Is Business and Professional Collection Service calling you?* Here's what you need to know.
Debt collectors are arguably one of the most despised professionals in America. No one likes being reminded that they owe money, but the bigger issue is that a lot of them pursue debt payments in ways that are abusive, unethical, and deceptive.
In 1977 the US government stepped in by passing the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act, or FDCPA, a consumer protection law designed to eliminate abusive and harassing behavior on the part of third-party debt collectors. It prohibits debt collectors from practicing activities like the following:
- Using profane and abusive language
- Calling at inconvenient times, such as before 8:00 a.m. and after 9:00 p.m. in the consumer’s time zone
- Contacting someone at work after being informed that the employer does not permit such calls
- Presenting themselves as anyone except a debt collector seeking to settle a debt
- Threatening consequences they cannot legally inflict, or have no intention of carrying out
- Contacting someone who has hired an attorney to represent them in connection with the debt
- Discussing the debt with anyone but the consumer, their spouse, their attorney, and any debt co-signers
Established in 1961, Business and Professional Collection Service, Inc. is a debt collection agency located in Reno, Nevada. Their website lists them as specialists in medical collections, delinquent accounts, NSF checks, and collection litigation. According to the PACER (Public Access to Court Electronic Records) system, this particular collection agency has been sued allegedly violating the FDCPA while attempting to collect a debt.
According to PACER**, a California consumer began to get collection calls from Business and Professional Collection Service, Inc. representatives in or around 2009 regarding a debt she allegedly owed. The consumer later claimed that collectors contacted her with such frequency as to constitute harassment.
On average, Business and Professional Collection Service, Inc. allegedly called her more than ten times per week in connection with an attempt to collect an alleged debt. On more than one occasion, these collectors allegedly failed to disclose that the call was coming from a debt collector and the company’s true corporate or business name.
The consumer’s attorney drew up a complaint accusing Business and Professional Collection Service, Inc. of the following FDCPA violations:
- Failing to notify the consumer during the initial communication with her that the communication was an attempt to collect a debt and any information obtained would be used for that purpose (§1692e(11))
- Failing to indicate during each collection contact that the communication was from a debt collector (§1692e(11))
- Causing the consumer’s telephone to ring repeatedly or continuously with intent to harass, annoy or abuse her (§1692d(5))
- Failing to disclose the company’s true corporate or business name in a telephone call (§1692d(6))
The matter was later settled.
The phone number for Business and Professional Collection Service, Inc. is 1-775-333-4250. If this number appears on your caller ID, a debt collector is trying to collect debt payments from you. If the collector leaves messages that fail to identify their company name and reason for calling, or call several times per day, hire a consumer attorney.
If you take Business and Professional Collection Service, Inc. to court, you could win statutory damages of $1000 per FDCPA violation, as well as actual damages and attorney fees. When a debt collector crosses the line while trying to collect money from you, a good attorney will help you remind them that consumers have rights, no matter how much money they may owe.
**Case taken from PACER (www.pacer.gov). File number is (Case 1:10-cv-01415-AWI-SMS, from United States District Court for the Eastern District of California)
The content of this article serves only to provide information and should not be construed as legal advice. If you file a claim against Bay Area Credit Service or any other third-party collection agency, you may not be entitled to any compensation.