Bankruptcy Law, Debt Relief, Timothy Kingcade Posts

U.S. District Court in NY Grants Debt Collector Motion to Certify Important FDCPA Issue

In an Order dated this month, a Federal Judge in New York determined that a decision he rendered in the matter of Halberstam v. Global Credit and Collection Corp.(U.S. District Court, ED, NY, 15-cv-5696 (BMC) be certified for an immediate interlocutory appeal.

The Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA) case involved leaving a message with a person who answers the debtor’s phone.  The issue presented in the case was whether a debt collector, whose phone call to a debtor is answered by a third party may leave his name and number for the debtor to return the call- without disclosing that he is a debt collector – or whether the debt collector must refrain from leaving call back information and simply attempt to make the call at a later time.

In the May 5, 2016 Memorandum, Decision, and Order Judge Brian M. Cogan wrote:

 “I had no doubt, and I remain of the view, that the purpose of leaving such a message was to induce plaintiff to return the collection agent’s call without knowing that he was calling a collection agent. Describing the purpose of the call to a third party as a “personal business matter” was at least as suggestive, and probably more, of a business opportunity for plaintiff to make money as it was of its true purpose, which was to cause plaintiff to pay money. I granted summary judgment for plaintiff because I found that by leaving a message for plaintiff with a third party that was calculated to induce a return call without the debtor knowing that he would be calling a collection company, defendant violated section 1692c(b) of the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (“FDCPA”).

The Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA) was designed to help prevent creditor abuse and harassment.

Further, the issue of whether leaving a message with a third party violates the FDCPA has the potential to impact a large number of other cases, as well as debt collection practices more generally.”

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.

 

Bankruptcy Law, Credit, Timothy Kingcade Posts

4 Ways Debt Collectors Abuse Your Rights

Debt collectors often resort to abusive practices to try and collect on a debt. This can include lying, using profanity and even intimidating you to try and get you to pay up. Many consumers do not know that they have rights when it comes to these abusive debt collection practices. The Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA) protects consumers from harassing phone calls, threats and abusive language debt collectors often use to obtain payment.

Do not be a victim to these most commonly used debt collection practices:

Threats of garnishment / criminal action. If a debt collector calls and threatens to garnish your wages, it’s a lie. The only exceptions are for student loan debt and taxes. A debt collector must sue you, first and this can take months.

Calling too late or too early. The law states that a debt collector can only call you between the hours of 8 a.m. and 9 p.m. in your time zone.

Calling your neighbors or employers. Debt collectors cannot reveal who they are or why they are calling. If they do not abide by this, they run the risk of having a lawsuit filed against them for releasing third party information.

Not putting it in writing. Do not settle a debt if it is not put in writing by the debt collector. If you give a debt collector access to your bank account, they can take everything and leave you with nothing to pay your rent and bills.

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.

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.daveramsey.com/blog/4-top-ways-debt-collectors-abuse-your-rights

Credit, Timothy Kingcade Posts

8 Ways to tell if a Debt Collector is a Scammer

If someone calls to collect payment on a debt you were unaware of, it’s important to ask the following questions to ensure you are not getting scammed.
1.) Basic Information: Whether the collection caller is attempting to collect on a real debt or if it’s a scam, the caller is going to ask you questions. Make sure and ask some of your own. A real collector is going to provide you with the company name, address and phone number. Scammers will likely refuse to give you this information.
2.) Get Confirmation: A genuine debt collector has five days from the first phone call to send you written confirmation of the debt. That confirmation letter should be more than a demand to pay. It should also spell out some of your rights and include information on the collection agency, such as the company name, mailing address and phone number.
3.) Verify that the agency exists: Input the company name and/or phone number into an Internet search engine. Have there been any complaints against them? Confirm that the company is licensed or allowed to work in your state. Some scammers will claim to be from genuine collection firms or attorney’s offices. Contact your state attorney general’s office or department of consumer affairs and verify this- and most importantly, do NOT disclose any personal information to them.
4.) Pull your credit report: Credit reports provide a quick snapshot of your current debts. If someone calls and says you owe money and it is not listed on your credit report, it’s like to be a scam. Consumers should be checking their credit reports at least one a year. You can get each of your three reports free every year at AnnualCreditReport.com or by calling 877-322-8228.
5.) Check your state’s statute of limitations: If the statute of limitations has expired, the collector cannot make you pay. In addition, seven years after you went into default, the debt has to come off your credit report — even if it’s sold to collectors. No matter who owns it or when they bought it, it cannot be listed on your history or used to compute your credit score.
6.) Send for verification of the debt: After you’ve been contacted by a debt collector, you have 30 days to demand proof that it’s a real debt and that it belongs to you. If the debt isn’t an outright con, you want verification. As a return address, consider using a post office box or office address instead of your home address to protect your home address.
7.) Make sure you get real proof: The verification you receive could take many forms. It could be a copy of your contract with the original creditor, a copy of the charge-off statement or an invoice from the original creditor. Or it could simply be information about the debt, such as the original creditor’s name, the account number, charge-off amount and current balance. The collector should also be able to furnish at least the last four digits of your Social Security number.
8.) Determine if it’s yours—and theirs: When you receive the verification information, read it carefully. Check the billing address, the styling of your name, the middle name or initial listed and even designations like “Jr.” or “Sr.” If anything is off, it could be a case of mistaken identity or a scam. You also want to make sure the debt is being handled by the agency that contacted you.
To read more on this story visit: http://money.msn.com/debt-management/is-that-debt-collector-a-scammer-bankrate.aspx.
If you are in a financial crisis and are considering filing bankruptcy, contact an experienced attorney who can advise you of all of your options. 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. website at www.miamibankruptcy.com.