Posts Tagged: ‘abusive debt collecting practices’

Supreme Court Supports Bids to Collect Expired Debts in Bankruptcy

May 18, 2017 Posted by kingcade

Voting 5-3, the U.S. Supreme Court has ruled that debt collectors can use bankruptcy proceedings as a means to collect old debts, where the statute of limitations has expired. The court ruled that this was not a violation of the U.S. Fair Debt Collection Practices Act.

Consumer advocates accused debt collectors of violating the law by filing tens of thousands of outdated claims with bankruptcy courts in hopes that some debtors would not object.

Justice Sonia Sotomayor filed a dissenting opinion in which Justices Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Elena Kagan joined. “Professional debt collectors have built a business out of buying stale debt, filing claims in bankruptcy proceedings to collect it, and hoping that no one notices that the debt is too old to be enforced by the courts.  Debt collectors do not file these claims in good faith; they file them hoping and expecting that the bankruptcy system will fail,” Sotomayor wrote.  This practice is both “unfair” and “unconscionable,” she added.

Click here to read more on this story.

If you are in financial crisis and considering filing for bankruptcy, contact an experienced Miami bankruptcy attorney who can advise you of all your options. As an experienced CPA as well as a proven bankruptcy lawyer, Timothy Kingcade knows how to help clients take full advantage of the bankruptcy laws to protect their assets and get successful results. Since 1996 Kingcade & Garcia, P.A. has been helping people from all walks of life build a better tomorrow. Our attorneys’ help thousands of people every year take advantage of their rights under bankruptcy protection to restart, rebuild and recover. The day you hire our firm, we will contact your creditors to stop the harassment. You can also find useful consumer information on the Kingcade & Garcia website at www.miamibankruptcy.com.

 

The High-Tech Methods Debt Collectors are using to Find you- and Your Money

May 3, 2017 Posted by kingcade

Debt collectors are using some new high-tech tactics to collect and track down consumers. New software is allowing debt collectors to insert voicemails into phones by the thousands without a single ring, bypassing regulations that restrict how often they can call consumers.

Ringless Voicemails

Companies such as Stratics Networks maintain that because no phone calls are made, regulations prohibiting auto-dialed collection calls do not apply.  But consumer protection attorneys disagree, arguing that just because the phone does not ring, does not mean it’s not a call.  The Telephone Consumer Protection Act forbids debt collectors from harassing consumers.

Avatars

Animated cartoon characters show up in borrowers’ inboxes and smooth-talk borrowers into paying up. Collections managers design personalities of avatars, who speak multiple languages and weigh debtors’ credit scores when negotiating payment.

Speech Analytics

Advanced language-recognition programs not only track keywords during a conversation but identify the emotion of the borrower.  Cursing out a debt collector?  Prompts generated by CallMiner Inc. software help steer conversations back on track.

Supervisors using the speech-analytics company’s system see color-coded boxes on call-center computer monitors. Small green boxes represent routine conversations. During those calls, agents are reminded to recite mandatory “mini-Miranda” statements that inform consumers of their rights.  But a box turns red and expands when a call contains expletives or long silences.

Skip Tracing, Spoofing and Scrubbing

In a practice called skip tracing, collection agencies search databases to find borrowers who have skipped out on paying their debts.  Some collectors track debtors on Facebook and other social media sites. A Texas agency is linking Social Security numbers to social media accounts, raising privacy concerns. Another tactic known as spoofing, debt collectors insert local area codes in caller-ID displays, enticing the person being called to answer the phone. The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau is proposing to ban the practice.

Click here to read more on this story.

If you have any questions on this topic or are in financial crisis and considering filing for bankruptcy, contact an experienced Miami bankruptcy attorney who can advise you of all your options. As an experienced CPA as well as a proven bankruptcy lawyer, Timothy Kingcade knows how to help clients take full advantage of the bankruptcy laws to protect their assets and get successful results. Since 1996 Kingcade & Garcia, P.A. has been helping people from all walks of life build a better tomorrow. Our attorneys’ help thousands of people every year take advantage of their rights under bankruptcy protection to restart, rebuild and recover. The day you hire our firm, we will contact your creditors to stop the harassment. You can also find useful consumer information on the Kingcade & Garcia website at www.miamibankruptcy.com.

 

Select Portfolio Servicing Accused of Violating Telephone Harassment Law

January 3, 2017 Posted by kingcade

Debt collector, Select Portfolio Servicing, Inc., is being sued for violating telephone harassment statutes.  A consumer filed the complaint in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida alleging that the debt collector called his cell phone hundreds of times in an attempt to collect a debt.  The plaintiff alleges he suffered damages when he received more than 350 collection calls after he demanded the company stop contacting him.

Select Portfolio Servicing, Inc. allegedly used an automatic telephone dialing system to contact the plaintiff in this case.  The plaintiff is requesting a trial by jury, $1,000 in statutory damages, actual damages, all attorney fees paid, and any additional relief the court deems appropriate.

Click here to read more on this story.

If you are in financial crisis and considering filing for bankruptcy, contact an experienced Miami bankruptcy attorney who can advise you of all your options. As an experienced CPA as well as a proven bankruptcy lawyer, Timothy Kingcade knows how to help clients take full advantage of the bankruptcy laws to protect their assets and get successful results. Since 1996 Kingcade & Garcia, P.A. has been helping people from all walks of life build a better tomorrow. Our attorneys’ help thousands of people every year take advantage of their rights under bankruptcy protection to restart, rebuild and recover. The day you hire our firm, we will contact your creditors to stop the harassment. You can also find useful consumer information on the Kingcade & Garcia website at www.miamibankruptcy.com.

Click here to learn more about the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA), designed to help prevent creditor abuse and harassment.

Can a Debt Collector Contact You During the Holidays?

December 14, 2016 Posted by kingcade

Getting a call from a debt collector can be a frustrating and stressful experience, and the last thing you want to deal with during what is supposed to be the “Most Wonderful Time of the Year.”  Even though it is legal for debt collectors to try and recoup a debt you owe, there are restrictions.

For example, debt collectors cannot contact you at times they know are inconvenient (i.e. – before 8 a.m. or after 9 p.m.)  They cannot contact you at your job if you ask them to stop, they cannot repeatedly contact you throughout the day, they cannot threaten you or lie to you about the debt, and they cannot discuss your debt with any third party.

All of these are in violation of The Fair Debt Collections Practices Act (FDCPA).

But what about during holidays?  Although the FDCPA does not specifically state which days of the week debt collectors can and cannot call you and does not designate a holiday exemption, it does state that collectors cannot communicate with you during times which are known to be inconvenient.

So you could essentially argue that a call on Christmas Eve is, in fact, a violation of the FDCPA.  This would likely fall under, “calling at times known to be inconvenient.”

If you believe a debt collector is violating the law by calling you outside the allowed times or by calling more frequently than they should, after you have asked them to stop calling or have sent a cease and desist letter, you can report them to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau and your state Attorney General.

At the law firm of Kingcade & Garcia we want you to have a safe and Happy Holiday this year!   If you have any questions on this topic or are in financial crisis and considering filing for bankruptcy, contact an experienced Miami bankruptcy attorney who can advise you of all of your options. As an experienced CPA as well as a proven bankruptcy lawyer, Timothy Kingcade knows how to help clients take full advantage of the bankruptcy laws to protect their assets and get successful results. Since 1996 Kingcade & Garcia, P.A. has been helping people from all walks of life build a better tomorrow. Our attorneys’ help thousands of people every year take advantage of their rights under bankruptcy protection to restart, rebuild and recover. The day you hire our firm, we will contact your creditors to stop the harassment. You can also find useful consumer information on the Kingcade & Garcia website at www.miamibankruptcy.com.

Related Resources:

http://blog.credit.com/2016/12/can-a-debt-collector-call-me-during-the-holidays-163536/

https://www.thebalance.com/when-can-debt-collectors-call-960573

 

Tips for Dealing with Debt Collectors

April 17, 2014 Posted by kingcade

It’s one of the things consumers dread the most- a debt collector calling to collect a payment on an unpaid credit card, medical bill or past due student loan. Experts agree that ignoring debt collectors’ letters and phone calls is a bad idea. It can only make matters worse. The best advice is to avoid debt collectors altogether and attempt to negotiate a payment plan with the original creditor before it is sold to a third-party debt collector.

The following tips will help you deal with debt collectors:

1.) Educate yourself. Become familiar with the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA). The FDCPA protects consumers from harassing phone calls, threats and abusive language debt collectors often use to obtain payment. These tactics are illegal and should be reported to the U.S. Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB). To learn more about the FDCPA and the protections it offers, watch this short video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5o-ci9nVEgA.

2.) Do not ignore. The law allows consumers to send written requests for verification of the debt within 30 days of being contacted by a debt collector. Do not ignore letters, phone calls or court notices about debt lawsuits.

3.) Keep copies and records. Experts say keep these as long as you keep your tax documents. Others believe these should be kept for as long as the statute of limitations. Documents detailing proof of settlement or resolution of debts should be kept forever.

4.) Safeguard your bank account. Debt collectors can file a lawsuit against consumers for nonpayment of debts. Freezing savings or checking accounts is one of the court-ordered options for collecting debts. Do not make payments using your bank account and routing numbers. Make payments with money orders or a third party payment service so you have proof of payment but avoid paying with a personal check. Let collectors know if your bank account contains only exempt funds. You should also tell them if you have filed for bankruptcy. This will cease all collection attempts.

5.) Record conversations. If a debt collector uses abusive language or threatens you, record the conversation. Using these type tactics to collect on a debt is illegal. Another option is to tell the debt collector the conversation is being recorded, as many collectors will be less likely to overstep their bounds if they know they are being recorded.

6.) Get it in writing. Any agreements for making debt collection payments should be confirmed in writing and signed by a debt collector before you make your first payment. This can avoid any misunderstandings about the amount to be paid and time period to pay off the debt.

If you have any questions on this topic or are in a financial crisis and are considering filing bankruptcy, contact an experienced Miami bankruptcy attorney who can advise you of all of your options. As an experienced CPA as well as a proven bankruptcy lawyer, Timothy Kingcade knows how to help clients take full advantage of the bankruptcy laws to protect their assets and get successful results. Since 1996 Kingcade & Garcia, P.A. has been helping people from all walks of life build a better tomorrow. Our attorneys’ help thousands of people every year take advantage of their rights under bankruptcy protection to restart, rebuild and recover. The day you hire our firm, we will contact your creditors to stop the harassment. You can also find useful consumer information on the Kingcade & Garcia website at www.miamibankruptcy.com.

Related Resources:
http://www.foxbusiness.com/personal-finance/2014/04/02/10-tips-for-dealing-with-debt-collectors-collection/