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Has American Collection Systems, Inc. Been Sued Before for Alleged Unlawful Debt Collection Practices That Were Allegedly in Violation of the FDCPA?

Yes. American Collection Systems, Inc (“American Collection Systems”) was sued in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of New York for allegedly violating the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (“FDCPA”). The docket number for this case is Case No. 2:08-cv-03334-LDW-AKT.   Allegedly, the plaintiff owed a consumer debt to a third-party creditor. The plaintiff alleged that the defendant was assigned the plaintiff’s debt to collect. He alleged that he sent the defendant a letter that asked for verification of the debt and requested for the defendant to stop communications with him because he had sought out legal counsel. The plaintiff alleged that despite his request, the defendant still sent him collection letters and directly contacted him regarding debt collection related matters. The plaintiff alleged that the defendant’s actions violated the FDCPA because the defendant communicated with him after being told that he was represented by legal counsel.   In another case, a federal lawsuit was filed against American Collection Systems as well as a part-owner of the company (also a debt collector) in the United States District Court for the Northern District of Illinois in the Eastern Division. American Collection Systems was sued for alleged violations of the FDCPA. The docket number for this case is Case No. 1:17-cv-02476.   The plaintiff in this case alleged that he received a collection letter from one of the defendants for a supposed consumer debt. Allegedly, this letter that the plaintiff received claimed that he did not honor the agreement by failing to keep up with his payments for his debt and demanded that he pay back the remaining balance in whole. The plaintiff alleged that he was confused by this letter since he did not have an agreement with this defendant nor had he had any contact with this defendant in the past.   The plaintiff then alleged that he made a call to this defendant and that a representative answered the phone. Allegedly, the employee who answered the phone did not reveal the name of the company and did not disclose to the plaintiff that the company was a debt collection company. The plaintiff alleged that the employee told him that he was sent the wrong letter but that he could give the plaintiff a 50% discount off his debt if he paid it at that moment. Afterward, the plaintiff alleged that he asked the representative to provide the discount offer in writing and that after hearing his request, the representative became angry and started to shout at him. The plaintiff also alleged that the representative threatened to pursue further action against the plaintiff if he did not abide by the representative’s terms. The plaintiff alleged that he then hung up the phone because he was feeling harassed and threatened.   The plaintiff alleged that the defendants violated the FDCPA due to these alleged actions: harassment; use of abusive language; use of deceptive representation; failure to disclose identity as a debt collector; and more.   American Collection Systems and its part-owner who is also a debt collector were also sued in a federal class action case in the United States District Court for the Northern District of Texas in the Dallas Division for alleged violations of the FDCPA. The docket number for this case is Case No. 3:18-cv-01039-N.   The plaintiff alleged that the defendants began to collect an alleged debt of his that arose from a defaulted student loan. The plaintiff alleged that one of the defendants mailed him a dunning letter, which is a letter that notifies consumers of an overdue debt. Allegedly, the letter the plaintiff received contained a phone number that consumers could call to ask any further questions. The plaintiff alleged that the phone number provided in the dunning letter did not match the phone number that the defendants used for their debt collection activities. The plaintiff alleged that the language used was misleading and deceptive. According to the plaintiff, the defendants’ alleged use of false representations and unfair means of collection constituted a violation of the FDCPA.   Another federal lawsuit was filed against American Collection Systems in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Missouri in the Eastern Division. The company was sued for alleged FDCPA violations. The docket number for this case is Case No. 4:12-cv-00131-AGF.   In this case, the plaintiff alleged that the defendant was assigned to collect an alleged debt that she owed to a third-party creditor. The plaintiff alleged that the defendant called her cellphone and left a message for collection purposes. Allegedly, the message that was left did not inform the plaintiff of the name of the defendant’s company and did not disclose that the defendant was a debt collector. The plaintiff alleged that the defendant’s actions violated the FDCPA because that law states that prerecorded messages left by debt collectors must disclose the caller’s identity and inform the consumer that the communication is from a debt collector.   In the United States District Court for the Northern District of Ohio in the Western Division, American Collection Systems was sued for alleged violations of the FDCPA. The docket number for this case is Case No. 3:19-cv-02251-JGC.   The plaintiff alleged that she received a collection letter from the defendant regarding an alleged debt that she owed to a creditor. The plaintiff alleged that the letter she received misstated her rights and responsibilities under the FDCPA. Allegedly, the letter stated that consumers must dispute the debt in writing even though the FDCPA allows for the dispute to be conducted in any form. Thus, the plaintiff alleged that the defendant violated the FDCPA because it used false representations and provided an inaccurate statement of a consumer’s rights.   What constitutes a violation of a consumer’s rights during the debt collection process?   The FDCPA is a federal statute that was enacted to promote fair debt collection, to eliminate unlawful collection practices, and to provide legal protection to consumers against debt collectors. The FDCPA covers consumer debts like credit card debt, student loans, auto loans, and mortgages.   The FDCPA prohibits certain behaviors during the debt collection process. For example, when collecting a debt from a consumer, a debt collector cannot use abusive language, threaten to take action that cannot be taken, or act unconscionably, amongst other things. Additionally, debt collectors are restricted by the hours during which they can call a consumer — they can only communicate with consumers between 8 a.m. and 9 p.m. — and they must cease their calls to a consumer if the individual asks them to stop calling. Furthermore, in most states, and unless a debt collector is a debt collection law firm, a debt collector cannot threaten to sue a consumer as it would not have the present right to do so. In these cases, the right to sue remains with the original or current creditor.   If a debt collector has violated a consumer’s rights under the FDCPA, the consumer can sue them for damages. The consumer could be entitled to statutory damages of up to $1,000, as well as actual damages including, but not limited to harm or loss that resulted from a debt collector’s actions.