Posts Tagged: ‘debt collection’

Just How Often Do Debt Collectors Harass People? The Answer Might Surprise You

October 26, 2017 Posted by kingcade

According to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB), debt collectors are required to stop calling once an official request has been made to cease communication. However, approximately 75 percent of consumers who have asked for debt collection calls to stop say that the calls kept coming.

The CFPB released a report earlier this year that surveyed over 10,800 consumers in 2014 and 2015 about their recent experiences with debt collectors. They received approximately 2,000 responses that revealed that over one in four consumers have felt threatened by the debt collector that most recently contacted them. Although debt collection agencies are not allowed to abuse or harass consumers, many collectors do not play by the rules. Approximately 40 percent of consumers surveyed said they asked a creditor or debt collector to stop contacting them, however; only one out of four people reported the collector actually stopped.

Debt collection is a $13.7 billion industry in the U.S. and the most frequent topic of complaint fielded by the CFPB. Approximately 70 million people have been contacted by a creditor attempting to collect on a debt in the past year, according to the CFPB.

The CFPB recently issued proposed rules that would strengthen consumer protections by limiting how often debt collectors can contact consumers. The rules would also require these companies to get the details right and offer an easy dispute process.

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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 McMaken 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 McMaken website at www.miamibankruptcy.com.

How Can I Verify Whether or Not a Debt Collector is Legitimate?

September 12, 2017 Posted by kingcade

Debt collection scams are becoming more difficult for Americans to detect. However, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) offers consumers a few ways to recognize a real debt collector from a scammer.

According to the CFPB, the first thing you should ask the caller is for their name, company name, street address, telephone number and professional licensing number. The next thing you should do is tell the caller is that you refuse to discuss any debt until you receive a “validation notice” in writing, which debt collectors are required to provide. An important thing to keep in mind is do not give out any personal or financial information to the caller until you have confirmed it is a legitimate debt collector.

Below are a few warning signs that could indicate a debt collection scam:

  • The caller threatens you with criminal charges. If the caller is a legitimate debt collector, they should not claim they will have you arrested.
  • The caller refuses to give you information about your debt. You have the right to ask a debt collector about the debt.
  • The caller is trying to collect a debt that you do not recognize. If you do not recognize the debt, this is a red flag, the caller might be involved in a scam.
  • The caller refuses to give you a mailing address or phone number for the company.
  • The caller asks you for sensitive personal financial information. Do not provide your financial or personal information unless you are certain the caller is legitimate.

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 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.

Wells Fargo Review Finds 1.4 Million More Fraudulent Accounts

September 11, 2017 Posted by kingcade

Last September Wells Fargo agreed to pay $185 million to settle three government lawsuits over the bank’s creation of fake accounts. Thousands of employees, trying to meet aggressive sales goals, created accounts in customers’ names without their knowledge. Workers who did not meet goals risked losing their jobs, while those who did meet their sales goals received bonuses.

At the time, Wells Fargo said that 2.1 million suspect accounts had been opened from 2011 to 2015, but it also acknowledged that the problems may have started earlier. The bank said it would expand the review to include accounts open from 2009 to 2011.

Last month the bank reported finding 1.4 million more accounts, bringing the number to approximately 3.5 million fraudulent accounts – nearly 70 percent more than the bank’s initial estimate. The bank has since released that 528,000 customers have been enrolled in the bank’s online bill payment service without authorization. The bank stated it will issue $910,000 to customers who incurred fees or charges, as a result.

“We are working hard to ensure this never happens again and to build a better bank for the future,” Timothy J. Sloan, Wells Fargo’s chief executive, said in a statement announcing the review’s results.

Senator Elizabeth Warren, Democrat of Massachusetts, released a statement saying, “Unbelievable. Wells Fargo’s massive fraud is even worse than we thought.”

Click here to read more on the story.

If you have any questions on this topic or are in a 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.

6 Things Debt Collectors May Not Want You To Know

August 25, 2017 Posted by kingcade

If you have been contacted by a debt collector in the last year, you are not alone. Nearly a third of all U.S. consumers have reported being contacted by a creditor or debt collector about a debt. As a consumer, your rights are protected by the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA). Here are some key facts to know if a debt collector contacts you.

  1. You do not have to reveal personal information. Debt collectors might ask you for your Social Security number, date of birth or other information. However, you are not legally required to provide this information. Collectors should use the information they already have available to them.
  2. You have a right to ask for details – and you can ask a debt collector not to contact you. You should always ask that they verify the accuracy of the debt. This means the collector must provide details of the debt when they speak to you, or in writing, within five days of the call. This allows you to confirm that you actually owe the amount. If the information is inaccurate, you have 30 days to dispute the debt.
  3. You can ask to have a settled debt removed from your credit reports. If you pay off an account in collections in full, it will not erase it from your credit reports right away. In fact, it will remain on your reports for seven years. However, if you negotiate with the debt collector to settle the debt, you can ask to have that debt removed from your credit reports.
  4. Debts have a statute of limitations. State laws determine how long a creditor has to collect an amount owed to them. The time period ranges from two to six years. After this time, you still owe the debt, however; creditors can no longer come after you to collect it. This type of debt is sometimes called zombie debt or time-barred debt.
  5. You can file a complaint. If you believe a debt collector is acting unethically or has violated your rights as a consumer, contact authorities. Some states have debt collection laws that differ from the FDCPA.

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.

Law Firm Faces Debt Collection Lawsuit

August 21, 2017 Posted by kingcade

On August 18th, a federal appeals court reinstated a Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA) lawsuit against a law firm that misstated the principal and interest due on a credit card loan in a collection effort.

The FDCPA prohibits debt collectors from making false statements when collecting debts. It also states that any such false statement would be considered “material.” However, the FDCPA does not specifically define the term “material.” As a result, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit focused on that question when issuing a ruling in the case of Afewerki v. Anaya Law Group. The lawsuit came after the Anaya Law Group of Westlake Village, California attempted to collect on a debt from Robel Afewerki, who owed $26,916.08 on a loan with a 9.65 percent interest rate.

The Anaya Law Group sued Afewerki in state court, stating that he owed $29,916.08, which is $3,000 higher than the loan. The firm also misstated the interested rate, saying that it was 9.965 percent, which is 0.315 percent higher than the rate. Afewerki sued the firm under the FDCPA, but a district court held for the firm on summary judgment, said the misstatements were not material.

The Ninth Circuit Court disagreed and vacated that ruling, saying the misstatements were material based on how the “least sophisticated debtor” might react to the misstatements. The court said the least sophisticated debtor in Afewerki’s position, “may well have simply paid the amount demanded in the complaint and would have overpaid by approximately $3,000.”

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 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.