Third-party collection agencies such as SIMM Associates attempt to provide a legitimate service. It makes sense after all, debt collection is a touchy activity, which means that it’s best handled by professionals who specialize in how to do it effectively.
However, some third-party collectors can become driven by greed or cruelty and they begin to use aggressive methods to collect debts. The victims often feel powerless to fight back, even though they have a powerful tool available to them: the FDCPA.
Know Your Rights
The FDCPA (Fair Debt Collection Practices Act) is a federal law that keeps third-party collectors from using unreasonable tactics to attempt to collect debts. Some of these prohibited methods include:
- Calling you before 8 a.m. and after 9 p.m. in your time zone
- Publishing your name on a “bad debt” list
- Impersonating a police officer or an IRS agent
- Contacting you at work after you’ve asked an agency not to do so
Of course, even if your specific scenario doesn’t fit neatly into one of these examples, don’t fret. There are even more behaviors banned by the FDCPA, and to determine whether the treatment you’ve experienced counts as harassment under the FDCPA, your best bet is to contact an FDCPA attorney.
Going to Court with SIMM Associates
After determining that you should move forward with the case, you’ll file a claim against SIMM Associates. SIMM Associates will be served notice, which means that the company will be notified of why it is being asked to come to court and when it should appear.
Those two parts of the notice are called the complaint and the summons.
Once you receive your court date, you should immediately start planning transportation for that day. It’s deeply important that you come to court on time; not doing so is one of the quickest ways to irritate court officers.
You need to make as good of an impression as possible, and showing up to court on time is a great way to start. You won’t go to jail for not being able to pay your bills, so go to court without fear.
Preparing for Your Appearance
The preparation process is next, and this is where your attorney will prove to be particularly useful. The two of you will handle evidence-gathering, so think back on and look for correspondence demonstrating that SIMM Associates or a similar third-party collection agency had been harassing you.
A good example of this would be a voicemail where a collector uses foul language.
Your attorney is also going to help you prepare for questioning. Being able to anticipate what will be asked can make the court date feel much less intimidating, and it will also make you appear more confident. All of this bolsters the impression you’ll make in court; be sure that it’s a positive one.
Talk to an Attorney
It’s all too easy for people to find themselves mistreating their fellow man, and this goes for businesses as well. It can be easy to lose one’s way. But whether this is the case or not, you don’t deserve harassment and with a quick phone call, you could find an advocate that can make it stop. Contact an attorney today.
*Disclaimer: The content of this article serves only to provide information and should not be construed as legal advice. If you file a claim against SIMM Associates or any other third-party collection agency, you may not be entitled to any compensation.