Posts Tagged: ‘debt collector’

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.

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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, 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.”

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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.

The New Age in Digital Debt Collection

July 21, 2017 Posted by kingcade

Experian announced a self-service platform named eResolve, which it says will let consumers negotiate and resolve past-due debts without ever speaking to a debt collector.  The latest technology in “digital” debt collection is allowing consumers to interact on their terms at any time of the day, using a digital channel that is more preferred over the traditional phone calls during dinnertime and having to deal with aggressive debt collectors.

TrueAccord, another digital debt collection technology says they have had “hundreds of thousands” in successful resolutions where consumers can easily click and tell them they have been victims of identity theft or had recently filed for bankruptcy so collection attempts can stop.

Negotiating debt through digital platforms seems to be more straightforward as well. For example, with TrueAccord a similar digital-type platform:  Debtors get an email with an offer such as making three payments with 0% interest, or 90 cents on the dollar if paid in full. Depending on what lenders say they will accept, a consumer who turns down that offer might get a subsequent pitch for an 80-cents-on-the-dollar settlement.  According to certain experts, this digital-based debt collection solves two problems. Chief among them: Regulatory issues. Computers do not call or text at the wrong times. They do not use profanity or threaten arrest to get you to pay, which are all in violation of the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA).

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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, 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.

Beware of a New Scam Involving Cash Advances

March 15, 2017 Posted by kingcade

The Better Business Bureau (BBB) recently warned consumers to beware of a new debt collection con where scammers pose as debt collectors who claim to be collecting on cash advances.

Here is how the scam works:

You receive an automated call from a company claiming to be collecting a payment for a cash advance. Next, the recording will prompt you to stay on the line and speak with an agent.

If you stay on the line, the agent will request that you pay your debt immediately using a wire transfer or a prepaid debt card. If you refuse, the agent will use threats of arrest, lawsuits or garnished wages to intimidate you.

Keep in mind that the use of threats in debt collection is in violation of your rights as a consumer under the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act.

If you receive one of these calls, the BBB suggests you do the following:

  • Just hang up. If you don’t have any outstanding loans, hang up.
  • Get an official notice. Ask the debt collector to provide an official “validation notice” of the debt. In the US and most of Canada, debt collectors are required by law to provide the information in writing. The notice must include the amount of the debt, the name of the creditor and a statement of your rights.
  • Confirm the agency is real. Ask the caller for his/her name, company, street address and telephone number.
  • Do not provide any information they do not have. Until you have verified the call, do not provide or confirm a bank account, credit card number or any other personal information.
  • Check your credit report. If you are unsure if you have outstanding debt, check your credit report with one of the three national credit reporting companies: Equifax, TransUnion or Experian.
  • Place a fraud alert on your credit report. If the scammer has personal information, alert the three credit reporting companies that you have been contacted.

 

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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.

Debt Collection Dispute Headed to the Supreme Court

January 18, 2017 Posted by kingcade

The U.S. Supreme Court will decide whether firms collecting on a debt they bought for pennies on the dollar can be held liable in lawsuits brought by consumers.  The justices agreed to review a lower court’s decision to dismiss a consumer class action lawsuit against Santander Consumer USA Holdings Inc. over allegations it violated the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act– a debt collection law enacted in 1977 that prohibits collectors from using abusive, unfair or deceptive practices to collect a debt.

The current case hinges on the definition of “creditor” and “debt collector” and whether a company that purchases debt should be treated as a creditor and therefore not subject to the law.

The case (Ricky Henson et al v. Santander Consumer USA, Inc et al, in the Supreme Court of the United States, No. 16-349) involves four Maryland residents who defaulted on their auto loans, and filed a proposed class action lawsuit against Santander in 2012 in federal court alleging violations of the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act, such as misrepresenting the debt amount and bypassing debtors’ attorneys.

The debts had been sold to Santander, a Dallas-based vehicle-financing and lending company owned in part by a subsidiary of Banco Santander.  Santander then tried to collect on the loans.

The 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Richmond, Virginia threw out the lawsuit last March, saying the law applied only to debt collectors, and Santander became a creditor when it purchased the loans.

The Maryland residents told the Supreme Court the 4th Circuit’s reasoning would “hamper both government and private efforts to combat abusive debt-collection practices.” The appeal to the Supreme Court comes as the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau is considering proposals to toughen regulation of the industry.

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.