Practically every adult American owes money to credit cards, medical service providers, or mortgage issuers. For some people, debt becomes more than they can manage.
They lose their jobs, become disabled, or experience an expensive crisis such as divorce or car repairs. If they fail to keep up the minimum payments, it won’t be long before debt collectors start calling.
Your Rights Under the FDCPA
In 1977 Congress passed the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA), which outlawed abusive conduct on the part of third-party collection agencies. This consumer protection law made it illegal to use methods like the following to collect a debt:
- Demand amounts not supported by law or the original creditor agreement
- Fail or refuse to identify themselves as debt collectors in every communication
- Call at inconvenient times, usually before 8:00 a.m. and after 9:00 p.m.
- Use profane or obscene language
- Call someone at work after they’ve been advised that such calls are not allowed
- Use the phone to harass someone: for example, calling and hanging up
Company Profile: Gatestone & Co International Inc
Gatestone & Co International Inc is a debt collection company located in Phoenix, Arizona. It was established in 2003, has 1,100 employees, and, according to the Better Business Bureau**, “has a pattern of complaints involving billing/ collection and customer service issues.”
Litigation records on file at the PACER (Public Access to Court Electronic Records) website confirm that the company has been accused of debt collection practices that violate the FDCPA.
Alleged Violations against Gatestone & Co International Inc
According to PACER, on or about August 11, 2013, Gatestone & Co International Inc sent a New York resident a collection letter seeking to collect a debt.
This letter provided her with a notice of her rights, including the right to dispute the debt or request verification of the debt within 30 days.
On or about March 8, 2014, the company sent the plaintiff another collection letter, which allegedly represented that that she had an additional thirty days from the date of that subsequent communication to dispute the debt or request verification.
Because the law does not provide such rights with respect to a subsequent communication, the plaintiff treated the letter as false and misleading.
She hired a consumer attorney and filed a class action lawsuit against Gatestone & Co International Inc for allegedly violating the FDCPA by using false, deceptive and misleading means to collect a debt.
The matter was later settled.
Hire an Attorney
The phone numbers for Gatestone & Co International Inc are:
If the phone rings and any of these numbers appear on your caller ID, it means that a debt collector may be calling. If they send you letters that appear to mislead you on the subject of your rights, contact a consumer attorney.
Such actions are illegal under the FDCPA when employed to collect a debt, and if you sue Gatestone & Co International Inc with your attorney’s help, you could potentially win $1,000 per FDCPA violation as well as attorney's fees, court costs, and any actual damages.
If a debt collector attempts to deceive you, fight back.
**According to the BBB: http://www.bbb.org/csal/business-reviews/collection-agencies/gatestone-a...
*Case taken from PACER (www.pacer.gov). File number is Case 1:15-cv-01182-JG-RML from the United States District Court, Eastern 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 Gatestone & Co International Inc or any other third-party collection agency, you may not be entitled to any compensation.