Are you being called by Berndt & Associates?* Here's what you need to know.
According to a 2014 study, over one-third of Americans have a debt out for collection, so if a collection agency is hounding you for money, you’re not in a unique situation. No matter how much you owe, there are codes of conduct that must be followed when collecting it from you, or the company risks serious consequences.
Your Rights Under the FDCPA
The Fair Debt Collection Practices Act, or FDCPA, limits what third-party debt collectors can say or do when communicating with you about an alleged. If they use methods like those below to intimidate you into paying, they’re breaking the law.
- Using profane and obscene language
- Contacting you if the debt collector is aware that you are being represented by an attorney
- Pretending to be attorneys or police officers
- Calling before 8:00 a.m. and after 9:00 p.m. in your time zone
- Raising their voice and making threats
- Calling your friends, neighbors, and co-workers and telling them that you owe money
Company Profile: Berndt & Associates
If you are being called by Berndt & Associates, information about the company is below.
Berndt & Associates is a debt collection law office located in Warren, Michigan. It was established in 2007, has less than 10 employees, and is managed by Senior Partner Karol A. Berndt. Civil litigation records viewable at the PACER (Public Access to Court Electronic Records) website indicate that consumers who believed they were being harassed by Berndt & Associates filed lawsuits against the firm in response.
Alleged Violations against Berndt & Associates
Dan Sharpe vs. Berndt & Associates*
According to PACER, on or around June 20, 2013, Michigan resident Dan Sharpe was sued by Midland Funding, LLC for a debt he allegedly owed to Chase Bank. Both sides allegedly came to an agreement that required Mr. Sharpe to repay $2500 at the rate of $25 a month. Although he remained current with his payments, he later claimed that he was called by Berndt & Associates representatives, who allegedly threatened to to sue him for a balance of $3,070.28 on behalf of Midland Funding, LLC. Mr. Sharpe also complained that an employee named Chris kept calling him at home without first identifying himself as a debt collector.
Feeling harassed by Berndt & Associates, Mr. Sharpe sued the firm for the following alleged FDCPA violations:
- Threatening action that could not legally be taken
- Using unfair and unconscionable means to collect a debt
- Trying to collect an amount not permitted by law
- Misrepresenting the character, amount, or legal status of the debt
The matter was later resolved.
Hire an Attorney
The phone number for Berndt & Associates is 1-586-558-9000. If it appears on your caller ID, it means that you are being called by Berndt & Associates. If they threaten a lawsuit when the matter has already been settled and demand an amount not agreed upon, hire a consumer attorney. These actions violate the FDCPA, and if you file a claim against Berndt & Associates and win, the firm could be ordered to pay you $1,000 per violation as well as attorney's fees, court costs, and any actual damages. When it comes to collecting debts, even attorneys are not above the law.
*Case taken from PACER (www.pacer.gov). File number is Case 1:14-cv-11373-TLL-PTM from the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan, Southern Division.
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 Berndt & Associates or any other third-party collection agency, you may not be entitled to any compensation.