Falling behind on bills triggers stress and anxiety mostly because of the fear that a debt collection agency will hound you until you take care of the financial obligation. For decades leading up to September 20, 1977, most third party debt collectors banked on consumer fears by coming hard for the settlement of outstanding credit card and personal loan accounts. In response to a rapidly growing number of consumer complaints, the United States Congress enacted the monumental Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA). Considered by many legal experts to be the ultimate consumer Bill of Rights, the FDCPA bans dozens of previously legal debt collection tactics that include the issuing of threats.
About Bernstein, Shapiro & Associates, LLC
Established in 2009, Bernstein, Shapiro & Associates, LLC operates as a debt collection agency out of Stone Mountain, Georgia. The third party debt collector handles a wide variety of debt collection efforts, including home mortgages and the loans used to fund emergency expenses. With a large number of complaints filed with the Better Business Bureau (BBB), Bernstein, Shapiro & Associates, LLC has earned the reputation for harassing consumers. Civil lawsuit documents acquired by Public Access to Court electronic Records (PACER) reveals the bill collector has lost numerous lawsuits that resulted in significant financial awards.
Threats Forbidden by the FDCPA
The primary intent of the FDCPA is to eliminate overly aggressive debt collection tactics. A debt collection agency such as Bernstein, Shapiro & Associates, LLC cannot even subtly suggest the company will cause you bodily harm, if you fail to take action on an outstanding credit card or personal loan balance. The third party debt collector is not allowed to use abusive language in an attempt to coerce you into taking care of a debt.
Under the FDCPA, bill collectors are prohibited from issuing threats of any kind. A representative from Bernstein, Shapiro & Associates, LLC cannot threatened to have you arrested for failing to comply with a debt collection request. In fact, the United States does not have penal institutions dedicated for incarcerating consumers that fall behind on their financial obligations. The bill collector cannot threaten to seize your property to liquidate the property into cash. You also do not have to take threats to garnish your wages or threats to have the IRS come after you.
Making a Debt Collection Agency Pay
In addition to banning a large number of overly aggressive debt collection practices, the FDCPA also grants consumers the right to file claims seeking just compensation for violations of the historic federal consumer protection law. After meeting with an FDCPA lawyer, you might have a strong enough case to file a claim seeking statutory damages, which is a one-time award that punishes a bill collector for one or more violations of the consumer protection law. Your FDCPA lawyer might also request Bernstein, Shapiro & Associates, LLC cover your attorney fees. If there is not enough evidence to proceed with filing a claim, your attorney might decide to negotiate a settlement on the debt in question.
Never allow a debt collection agency to threaten you. Schedule a free initial consultation with a licensed consumer protection lawyer who handles FDCPA cases.
*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 Bernstein, Shapiro & Associates, LLC, or any other third-party collection agency, you may not be entitled to compensation.