Is Boudreau and Associates calling you? Here's what you need to know
The Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA) was passed in September 1977 to protect consumers from hostile and abusive debt collectors. It was, and still is, intended to prevent unethical debt collection practices, support fair debt collection, and provide consumers with legal means of validating or disputing the debt. The FDCPA imposes penalties on third-party debt collectors who violate its statutes: up to $1000 per incident, as well as court costs and attorney fees incurred by the consumer.
The FDCPA proscribes the following activities when collecting a debt:
- Contacting consumers before 8:00 a.m. or after 9:00 p.m. in the consumer’s time zone
- Calling someone’s workplace when they know that the employer does not allow such calls
- Threatening harm or violence
- Using profane or obscene language
- Using the phone to annoy and harass someone (e.g. calling and then hanging up)
- Claiming to be police officers, attorneys, or government representatives if they are not
- Claiming that a debtor can be arrested if they don’t pay their debt
- Threatening to seize or garnish one’s property or wages unless they are legally permitted to take the action and intend to do so
- Discussing a debt with anyone except the debtor, their spouse, attorney, or co-signers
Richard J. Boudreau & Associates, LLC is a law firm with offices in Salem, NH and Woburn, MA. It was established in 2001 and employs a staff of approximately 192. A search of the PACER (Public Access to Court Electronic Records) website indicates that Richard J. Boudreau & Associates, LLC has been sued frequently for allegedly disregarding FDCPA guidelines while collecting debts from consumers.
According to PACER**, when a Massachusetts consumer incurred a debt of approximately $9,000 and the account became delinquent, it was assigned to Richard J. Boudreau & Associates, LLC for collection. According to the complaint that the consumer filed with the United States District Court in 2010, Boudreau representatives called him several times a week in an attempt to collect the debt. They also allegedly used rude and abusive language, threatened to take him to court, and discussed the debt with uninvolved third parties, and failed to send the consumer the required 30-Day Validation Notice.
The complaint accused Richard J. Boudreau & Associates, LLC of the following FDCPA violations:
- Contacting third parties and stating that the consumer owed a debt (15 U.S.C. § 1692b(2))
- Using profane and abusive language (15 U.S.C. § 1692d(2))
- Causing the telephone to ring repeatedly, with the intention to annoy or harass (15 U.S.C. § 1692d(5))
- Threatening legal action they did not intend to take (15 U.S.C. § 1692e(5))
- Failing to send the consumer a validation notice stating the amount of the debt, the name and address of the original creditor, and advising him of his right to dispute the debt within 30 days (15 U.S.C. § 1692g(a)(1), (2), (3), (4), and (5)
The matter was later settled.
The phone number for Boudreau and Associates is 1-866-890-1644. If you receive a call from one of the firm’s representatives, remember that you have rights under the FDCPA. The debt collector is not permitted to swear at you, call incessantly, and fail to send you a validation notice. If you feel that your rights have not been respected, contact a consumer attorney with experience in FDCPA matters. Should the matter escalate to court and you win, you could receive $1000 per FDCPA violation, plus actual damages, court costs, and attorney fees.
**Case taken from PACER (www.pacer.gov). File number is (Case 1:10-cv-12071-DPW, from United States District Court, District of Massachusetts)
The content of this article serves only to provide information and should not be construed as legal advice. If you file a claim against Boudreau and Associates or any other third-party collection agency, you may not be entitled to any compensation.