Is Baker, Govern & Baker calling you?* Here's what you need to know.
Many people become tangled in major debt through no fault of their own. They get laid off become disabled, or experience a sudden financial downturn. Whatever the reason, they will soon be contacted by debt collectors, who are not always pleasant to deal with. If you are being harassed, read on to learn more about your rights.
Your Rights Under the FDCPA
The Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA) was passed in 1977 to protect consumers from being intimidated and harassed by third-party debt collectors. It regulates what collection agents may or may not do during their communications with consumers and prohibits actions like the following:
- Using profane and obscene language
- Calling you at work when they know that your workplace won’t let you take such calls
- Discussing the debt with anyone except you, your spouse, or your attorney
- Trying to collect an amount not authorized by law or by the original creditor agreement
- Calling you at all hours of the day and night
- Keep calling you and sending letters after you dispute a debt
Company Profile: Baker, Govern & Baker
Baker, Govern & Baker is a debt collection agency located in Sunrise, Florida. It was established in 1984, specializes in check recovery, and is managed by Michael Dierkes. A review of records kept at the PACER (Public Access to Court Electronic Records) website indicate that Baker, Govern & Baker has been accused of illegal debt collection practices by frustrated consumers.
Alleged Violations against Baker, Govern & Baker
Miriam Kingoff vs. Baker, Govern & Baker*
According to PACER, in or around March 23, 2013, Baker, Govern & Baker sent New York resident Miriam Kingoff a collection letter regarding a debt for freight bills. In this letter, which was later introduced as an exhibit, the company did not prominently include a 30 day validation notice of Ms. Kingoff’s rights. The validation notice was in very small print, at the bottom of the letter. This letter also demanded payment within 10 days, which also overshadowed her dispute rights, and threatened to coordinate litigation, despite the fact that it had no intention to do so in the immediate future.
Ms. Kingoff hired a consumer attorney and sued Baker, Govern & Baker for the following alleged FDCPA violations:
- Using false, deceptive, or misleading representation or means in collecting on a debt.
- Failing to convey the validation notice information in a clear way
The matter was later settled.
Hire an Attorney
The phone numbers for Baker, Govern & Baker are:
If you see either of these numbers on your caller ID when the phone rings, be warned that a debt collector looking for you. If they are vague regarding your rights and threaten legal action that never transpires, hire a consumer attorney. If you sue for these infringements on your rights as an indebted consumer, you could potentially win $1,000 per FDCPA violation as well as attorney's fees, court costs, and any actual damages. The fact that you owe money does not give a debt collector license to intimidate you, a fact they ignore at their own professional risk.
*Case taken from PACER (www.pacer.gov). File number is Case Case 7:13-cv-01262-VB from the United States District Court, Southern District of New York.
Disclaimer: The content of this article serves only to provide information and should not be constructed as legal advice. If you file a claim against Baker, Govern & Baker or any other third-party collection agency, you may not be entitled to any compensation.