Is Bronson & Migliaccio calling you? Here's what you need to know.
When confronted by a debt collector, most consumers are intimidated and either retreat or agree to payment arrangements they can’t afford. While it’s normal to be worried, especially if the collector is hostile or persistent, consumers should remember that they have rights and protections under the FDCPA, and be prepared to act on them if the collector goes too far.
The Fair Debt Collection Practices Act, or FDCPA, was passed in 1977 to curb the abusive collection tactics being practiced by third-party debt collectors. Under this consumer protection law, a debt collector may not do any of the following in the process of collecting a debt:
- Use obscene or abusive language
- Threaten to have someone arrested or imprisoned if they don’t pay
- Call a consumer before 8:00 a.m. or after 9:00 p.m. in the consumer’s time zone
- Annoy or harass someone by phone
- Call a consumer at work when they know that the employer does not permit such calls
- Claim to be a police officer, attorney, or government representative if they are not
- Discuss a debt with anyone except the debtor, their spouse, attorney, or co-signers
Not all debt collectors follow the rules. Bronson & Migliaccio LLP, a law office located in Williamsville, NY, collects delinquent credit card accounts and similar debt. It has featured prominently on consumer complaint boards and a search of the PACER (Public Access to Court Electronic Records) website turns up several instances of Bronson & Migliaccio LLP being taken for court for allegedly violating the FDCPA.
Acording to PACER**, a Massachusetts consumer incurred a financial obligation that was later submitted to Cavalry Portfolio Services LLC and Bronson & Migliaccio LLP for collection. When Cavalry representatives contacted the consumer, he informed them that the debt was beyond the statute of limitations and to cease contacting him.
Soon afterward, Bronson & Migliaccio LLP representatives called the consumer, who repeated that collecting his debt was barred by the statute of limitations. The agent allegedly threatened him with legal action that was never taken. Collectors for the law firm subsequently called the consumer several times per day, and were allegedly rude and abusive in their communications. They also allegedly called him at his place of employment even though he had advised that he could not be contacted there.
The complaint accused Cavalry Portfolio Services LLC and Bronson & Migliaccio LLP of the following FDCPA violations:
- Contacting him at his place of employment, knowing that his employer prohibits such calls (15 U.S.C. § 1692c(a)(3))
- Using profane and abusive language when speaking to the consumer, (15 U.S.C. § 1692d(2))
- Causing the phone to ring repeatedly and engaging him in telephone conversations, with the intent to annoy and harass (15 U.S.C. § 1692d(5))
- Misrepresenting the character, amount and legal status of the debt, (15 U.S.C. § 1692e(2))
- Threatening to take legal action, without actually intending to do so, (15 U.S.C. § 1692e(5))
- Employing false and deceptive means to collect a debt (15 U.S.C. § 1692e(10))
The matter was later dismissed.
The phone number for Bronson & Migliaccio LLP is 1-716-635-0259. If the number shows up on your caller ID, someone from the firm may be trying to collect a debt from you. Remember that you have a right to be treated fairly and with courtesy during all communications.
If the debt collector uses aggressive and abusive tactics, see a consumer attorney. Once you retain legal counsel, Bronson & Migliaccio LLP is not permitted to contact you directly regarding the debt. Your attorney can also help you sue them if they go too far, and if the matter is decided in your favor, you could receive statutory damages of $1000 per FDCPA violation, plus actual damages, court costs, and attorney fees. The FDCPA is intended to protect consumers, and there are consequences for disregarding it.
**Case taken from PACER (www.pacer.gov). File number is(Case 3:10-cv-02122-MMA-RBB, 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 Bronson & Migliaccio LLP or any other third-party collection agency, you may not be entitled to any compensation.