If you have a past due debt, or if you are being accused of owing a debt that you don’t owe, you do have resources available. Passed in 1978, the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA) had the intent of stopping third-party debt collectors from harassing consumers, their family, and friends. While the FDCPA has strict guidelines and harsh penalties, not all debt collectors abide by the rules. If you believe you have been threatened by Atlantic Credit & Finance, you may be eligible to pursue an FDCPA lawsuit against them.
About Atlantic Credit & Finance
Atlantic Credit & Finance is a subsidiary of Encore Capital. Encore Capital buys debt then passes it along to its subsidiaries for accumulation. Encore Capital buys unsecured consumer debts of all kinds – these include credit card, mobile phone, healthcare, utilities, and automotive related bills. As one of the largest buyers and collectors of consumer debt in the U.S., it has been involved in several lawsuits for illegal debt collection practices.
There has been action filed against Atlantic Credit & Finance and Encore Capital by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau as well as by government agencies. Despite having been in business more than 23 years, Atlantic Credit & Finance isn’t BBB accredited. It does have a B rating with the Better Business Bureau. It has had 105 complaints in the last 3 years with 35 of them being closed in the last 12 months.
What Constitutes Threats?
There is clear language in the FDCPA that prohibits debt collectors from making certain threats. If any of the following actions are taken by Atlantic Credit & Finance, they have violated the FDCPA:
- Threatening or using violence or other criminal acts that damage a debtor’s reputation or cause physical harm
- Threaten to seize the debtor’s property
- Threaten to garnish wages
- Threaten arrest for past due debts
- Publishing a list of debtors and threatening members of the published list with legal action
Damages That You May Be Entitled To
Debtors who can successfully prove their case in a court of law can receive $1,000 for statutory damages. The court could award actual damages, which may include emotional and physical damages as well as compensation for wage garnishment and lost wages. The debt collector may have to cover the attorney fees and legal expenses of the debtor.
The awards for physical damages cover ailments that can easily be proved, such as stress headaches, cardiovascular and blood pressure issues, rashes and hives. Stress and anxiety can lead attorneys to file damage claims because of the emotional distress the consumer has suffered.
End The Threats Today
If you think you have been threatened by Atlantic Credit & Finance, there are legal repercussions that they could face. Speak with an FDCPA attorney who specializes in creditor harassment to learn more about your rights and to stop Atlantic Credit & Finance from threatening you. Fill out our Free Case Evaluation Form to get connected with an FDCPA lawyer who handles consumer law issues in your state.
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 Atlantic Credit & Finance or any other third-party collection agency, you may not be entitled to compensation.