Posts Tagged: ‘Harassment’

Debt Collection Horror Stories: Beware of Illegal Practices

February 15, 2013 Posted by kingcade

According to the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act, debt collectors are prohibited from threatening violence, using profanity, calling incessantly, inflating a debt or impersonating an attorney. However, the Act has not yet put a stop to illegal harassment. In fact, debt collection companies have used some outrageous practices to collect on debts.

Below are some of the latest outrageous allegations of abuse:

Threatening to take away children. The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) shut down a debt collector in Texas for using abusive scare tactics to force people to pay off their debts. Consumers reported the company threatening to take away their children, send them to jail or send the sheriff’s department to their job site.
Posing as an attorney. Some debt collectors have been allegedly calling debtors and posing as an attorney or a representative from a law firm in order to scare them into paying off their debts. In some cases, the attorney imposters have even charged unauthorized attorney’s fees known as “juice.”
Threatening to dig up dead bodies. According to the FTC, the debt collection agency, Rumson, Bolling & Associates was accused of threatening to dig up deceased children of other debtors and drop them at their doors if they did not pay funeral bills.
Threatening to hurt pets. Rumson, Bolling & Associates was also accused of threatening to kill a debtor’s dog in one report.
Collecting debt owed to other companies. The FTC has also reported a new scheme where scam artists are stealing customer information and trying to collect on debts owed to another company. In some cases, scammers are trying to collect on debt that has already been paid.

To read more on this story visit: http://money.cnn.com/2013/02/06/pf/debt-collection/index.html

Consumers who have been victims of threatening debt collection practices may want to consider taking legal action. Even in cases where consumers owe money – there are certain actions debt collectors can and cannot take in contacting debtors, which are guided by state and federal law. The Fair Debt Collections Practices Act, the Fair Credit Reporting Act and the Telephone Consumer Protection Act restrict debt collectors on when and how they can contact debtors. For example, these regulations protect calls to telephones and cell phones, calling at certain times of day, repeated or threatening calls and calls to non-debtors (such as the debtor’s family or colleagues).

If you have any questions on this topic or are in a financial crisis and are considering filing bankruptcy, contact an experienced 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, P.A. at www.miamibankruptcy.com.

Miami Landlord Ordered to Stop Harassing Family Protected by Chapter 7 Bankruptcy Automatic Stay

December 3, 2012 Posted by kingcade

MIAMI – A Florida judge recently ordered a landlord to stop harassing a Miami couple with two children who sought Chapter 7 bankruptcy protection. The family was struggling to keep up with their bills and was facing eminent eviction when they went to see Miami bankruptcy attorney, Timothy S. Kingcade to file for bankruptcy protection.

“The landlord disregarded the automatic stay put in place that protects from harassing debt collector calls, wage garnishment and repossession of property. This landlord was extremely aggressive and thought the laws of bankruptcy code did not apply to him,” Timothy S. Kingcade said.

Kingcade filed an emergency motion to hold the landlord in contempt of court for violating the automatic stay. The landlord did not appear at the hearing, but harassed Mr. Kingcade and the family with threatening phone calls and text messages. Ultimately, the bankruptcy judge found the landlord in contempt of court and ordered him to stop harassing the family and their attorney.

Mr. Kingcade proceeded to take the family’s case to the state court judge. After reviewing the bankruptcy court’s findings, the judge vacated all pleadings filed in violation of the automatic stay. The family now has time to restructure their finances without risk of eviction and will no longer be harassed by their landlord.

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Miami-based Kingcade & Garcia, P.A. was established by managing partner and bankruptcy attorney, Timothy Kingcade in 1996. The firm represents clients throughout the Southern District of Florida in Chapter 7 bankruptcy and foreclosure defense cases. The firm is committed to providing personalized service to each and every client, clearly explaining the options according to the unique circumstances of his or her life. The office environment and the service provided are centered on a culture of superior client care. More information can be found at www.miamibankruptcy.com or by calling 305-285-9100.

Debt Collectors are now Being Held Responsible for Harassing Debtors

February 27, 2012 Posted by kingcade

The Federal Trade Commission is giving debt collection agencies a dose of their own medicine in terms of harassment. The FTC is taking strong steps forward to hold these agencies responsible for harassing debtors. In 2010, a reported 140,036 claims of harassment were filed, which was not only the largest in history, but a 20,000 increase from the previous year. The collection agencies are not only in trouble with the FTC for harassment, but also for failure to notify the debtor of their outstanding debt in writing and also for “misinterpreting” the debt.

Many cases such as the one filed by an 85 year-old in Oregon are surfacing and becoming national news. Anne Sessions is suing Wells Fargo Bank for harassment after she was falsely turned in by a debt collector for being in danger of committing suicide. After Sessions was taken into custody by the police and sent to a mental health institute, she was observed and later released due to the fact she was found to be of no danger to herself or anyone else.

Sessions is now suing in hopes to receive compensation for her $1,055 medical bill from the mental health facility. She is also suing for $250,000 in punitive damages. Sessions claims that she made the remark to the debt collector that some people must want to commit suicide from the harassment of the company, and later was drilled with questions by the debt collector such as, “If you did commit suicide, how would you do it?”

To read more on this story visit: http://www.bankruptcyhome.com/bankruptcyblog/2012/02/13/harassment-goes-too-far-in-debt-collection-efforts/

Choosing the right attorney can make the difference between whether or not you can keep your home. A well qualified attorney will not only help you keep your home, but they will be able to negotiate a loan that has payments you can afford. Foreclosure defense attorney, Timothy Kingcade has helped many facing foreclosure alleviate their stress by letting them stay in their homes for at least another year, allowing them to re-organize their lives. If you have any questions on the topic of foreclosure please feel free to contact me at (305) 285-9100. You can also find useful consumer information on the Kingcade & Garcia, P.A. website at www.miamibankruptcy.com.

Jury Awards Man $1.5 M after Debt Collection Agency Leaves Harassing and Vulgar Voicemail Messages

June 10, 2010 Posted by kingcade

The largest verdict of its kind was awarded to Texas resident, Allen Jones after he received a series of racist and vulgar voicemail messages from Advanced Call Center Technologies (ACT) in August of 2007. Advanced Call Center Technologies (ACT), a Pennsylvania debt collection agency began making these calls as early as 6:30 a.m. and would continue till 11:00 p.m. More egregious was the amount in question, which was a mere $200 that Jones had already paid in full. Eight messages were cited in the case and when brought to court the jury sided with Jones, awarding him $1.5 million in punitive damages, $143,000 in attorney’s fees, and $50,000 in mental anguish.

There are several rules and regulations when it comes to collecting debt: no calls before 8 a.m. and after 9 p.m. unless agreed, no false claims, no harassment, and no unfair practices. This verdict should come as a warning to debt collection agencies that are practicing corrupt collection practices. There are strict laws against this that protect the people.

To read more on the Allen Jones story go to :
http://www.aolnews.com/nation/article/vulgar-voice-mails-cost-debt-collection-agency-15-million/19500256

For more information on your rights as a consumer, visit:
http://www.ftc.gov/bcp/edu/pubs/consumer/credit/cre18.shtm

If you have any questions on the topic of bankruptcy or feel you have been a victim of corrupt collection practices please contact me, Bankruptcy Attorney Timothy Kingcade at (305) 285-9100. You can also find useful consumer information on the Kingcade & Garcia, P.A. Web site at www.miamibankruptcy.com.

-Timothy Kingcade