Is Zenith Acquisition Corp calling you? Here's what you need to know.
Debt collection calls are a major form of stress, even when you don’t answer them. When the collection agents call often enough (making it actual harassment) many debtors reluctantly agree to some payment arrangement simply to make the phone stop ringing.
This reaction can cause trouble later on, when you are unable to make the payments. Debt collectors don’t care about how much you owe to everyone else: only the bill that they make a hefty commission on.
Legally, they are not allowed to stress you out to that point. The Fair Debt Collection Practices Act, or FDCPA, requires debt collectors to be ethical and transparent while collecting or attempting to collect a debt. Practices like those listed below are illegal.
- Swearing and yelling at you
- Using the phone to harass you: calling several times a day, hanging up when you answer, or using an autodialer.
- Threatening to ruin your credit or have you arrested
- Contacting you after you have retained legal counsel with regards to the debt
- Calling you at work after you’ve told them that your employer doesn’t allow such calls
- Making threats they cannot legally carry out or have no intention of carrying out
Not all debt collectors respect the FDCPA, especially if illegal, bullying tactics bring in the money.
Zenith Acquisition Corp is a junk debt buyer located in Buffalo, New York. It purchases defaulted consumer debts for pennies on the dollar, which it then collects upon through other collection agencies. Zenith Acquisition Corp was established in 1996 and and employs a staff of approximately 10 to 19. In 2012, Mercantile Adjustment Bureau, LLC acquired its assets.
Court records viewable at Public Access to Court Electronic Records website (pacer.gov) indicate that Zenith Acquisition Corp has often been accused of violating the FDCPA while collecting or attempting to collect a consumer debt.
Lorraine Scott v. Zenith Acquisition Corp et al.
In January 2011 Chicago resident Lorraine Scott, a disabled senior citizen, received a collection letter from Leading Edge Recovery Solutions (LERS), a Chicago-based collection agency retained by Zenith Acquisition Corp to collect a debt she owed originally to G.E. Sales Finance.
Ms. Scott sought the assistance of legal aid attorneys at the Chicago Legal Clinic’s LASPD program. On February 23, 2011, one of her attorneys at LASPD informed Zenith Acquisition Corp, through its agent, LERS, that Ms. Scott was represented by counsel, and directed Zenith to cease contacting her, and to cease all further collection activities because Ms. Scott was forced, by her financial circumstances to refuse to pay the debt.
Undeterred, Zenith retained another collection agency, First National Collection Bureau, Inc., to send Ms. Scott a collection letter demanding payment of the G.E. Sales Finance debt. Ms. Scott's LASPD attorney had to send Zenith Acquisition Corp another letter, again directing them to cease communications and to cease collections.
Through her attorneys, Ms. Scott filed a complaint accusing Zenith Acquisition Corp of the following FDCPA violations:
- Disregarding a direction to cease communications, and continuing to demand payment of a debt that Ms. Scott had indicated that she refused to pay (15 U.S.C. § 1692c(c))
- Communicating with Ms. Scott when they knew she was represented by an attorney with respect to the debt and could readily ascertain the attorney’s name and address (15 U.S.C. § 1692c(a)(2))
A judge ruled in favor of Ms. Scott and directed Zenith Acquisition Corp to pay her $13,422.55 in damages and costs.
The number for Zenith Acquisition Corp is 1-716-639-0111. The number for Mercantile Adjustment Bureau, which acquired its assets portfolio, is 1-800-480-7094. If either number appears on your caller ID, a debt collector is attempting to collect a debt.
If they keep hounding you to pay a debt you’ve indicated that you refuse to pay, or contact you directly when you have an attorney representing you in the matter, request your consumer attorney to help you take the company to court. You could win statutory damages of $1,000 per FDCPA violation, plus court costs and attorney’s fees, compensating you for the stress and illegal harassment.
*Case taken from PACER (www.pacer.gov). File number is 1:12-cv-03041 from United States District Court for the Northern District of Illinois, Eastern Division
Disclaimer: The content of this article serves only to provide information and should not be constructed as legal advice. If you file a claim against Zenith Acquisition Corp, or any other third-party collection agency, you may not be entitled to any compensation.