***Update: Our Client, Rhonda, received $1,500 in her pocket, plus had the $2,000 debt forgiven, as well as saving the $2,000 she would’ve paid the collector!
There aren’t too many jobs out there that allow you to help your Clients and lots of times not only save them money but make them money. Case in point: A couple of weeks ago, I’m working on several cases of FDCPA violations for some of our clients. (By the way, FDCPA stands for Fair Debt Collection Practices Act, the set of laws that govern Collectors and how they communicate with debtors.) One of my duties at NCS is to talk with Clients who have been receiving calls and/or voice mail messages from Debt Collectors and determine if there may be violations of the FDCPA and if the collection is legitimate. If there appears to be a violation or the debt is not legitimate, then I begin to gather evidence and put a case together.
Anyway, as I’m working, an email from one of my clients, whom I will call Rhonda, appears in my inbox. She had forwarded a collection offer that she had received by email and said, “Hi Ron, is this collection legitimate? Should I pay it?” The offer was for the settlement of a debt totaling approximately $9,000.00 for only $2,000.00. A great deal, right? Problem is, Rhonda really didn’t know any of the details about this debt. I suggested that we do a little research and get some information before paying.
Well, we did some fairly extensive research and, as it turns out, Rhonda came to the realization that the debt is probably not hers. Not only that, in communicating with the Collection company, there were several violations: 1) No Mini-Miranda statement on at least one call and one voice mail message, 2) A veiled threat of legal action, and 3) Stating that when paid the account would be removed from her credit report. The problem with #3 is, the account isn’t on her credit report and the debt is so old that they can’t put it on anyway.
Rhonda admitted that, had I not cautioned her to do some research before paying, she would’ve gone ahead and paid the debt and been out the $2,000. Okay, so saving her $2,000 is pretty cool, but check this out: I turned the information that Rhonda and I had gathered over to the attorney that we refer our FDCPA cases to. He has now filed suit in Federal Court on Rhonda’s behalf for the above-mentioned violations! So hopefully Rhonda will soon be receiving a settlement from the Collector–all at no cost to her! I will update this blog as soon as I know the results of the lawsuit.
See why I love my job?
FDCPA Compliance Director
National Credit Solutions
NOTE: How do you know if the collection calls or voice mail messages you are receiving are legitimate? Give me a call at 214.504.7102 or email me at R.Reed@NCS700.COM.