Are you being called by Jonathan Neil & Associates, Inc.?* Here's what you need to know.
If you’re having trouble paying your student loans, credit card bills, and other obligations, you may be contacted by a collection agency. Although most of these companies obey the law while seeking debt payments, many do not. If you are called by one of the latter, you should know your rights and responsibilities.
Your Rights Under the FDCPA
In 1977 Congress passed the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act, or FDCPA, to protect indebted consumers from being abused to the point of bankruptcy. It gives you the right to dispute a debt and request no more contact from the agency. It also punishes debt collectors who use tactics like the following:
- Failing to identify themselves during each communication as a debt collector seeking to collect a debt
- Pretending to be police officers, government officials, or any other law enforcement figure
- Using obscene, profane, and threatening language
- Calling the consumer at work after being informed that the workplace does not allow non-business calls
- Ignoring a cease communications notice
- Failing or refusing to validate the debt
Company Profile: Jonathan Neil & Associates, Inc.
If you are being called by Jonathan Neil & Associates, Inc., information about the company is below.
Jonathan Neil & Associates, Inc. is a debt collection company located in Tarzana, California, with branch offices in Illinois and New Jersey. It was established in 1981, has 11-55 employees, and is managed by its President, Dean Cimins. The agency has a BBB rating of B-. Civil litigation records archived at the PACER (Public Access to Court Electronic Records) website indicate that people who believed they were being harassed by Jonathan Neil & Associates, Inc. over a real or nonexistent debt challenged the company in court.
Alleged Violations against Jonathan Neil & Associates, Inc.
Levi Stone, on behalf of himself and all others similarly situated vs. Jonathan Neil & Associates, Inc. et al*
According to PACER, in September 2006 New York resident Levi Stone received a collection letter from Jonathan Neil & Associates, Inc. demanding payment of a debt allegedly owed to FedEx. The letter bore an attorney's letterhead and listed an address of P.O. Box 7000, Tarzana, CA 91357.
The collection letter, which appeared to come from attorney Brian Jeffrey Ferber, stated ‘This office has been retained by Jonathan Neil & Associates, Inc.’ but the phone number and PO Box on the letterhead actually belonged to the agency. The letter also stated, SINCE YOU HAVE NOT RESPONDED TO LETTERS PREVIOUSLY SENT BY JONATHAN NEIL & ASSOCIATES, INC. WE ASSUME THAT THE SUBJECT DEBT IS NOT DISPUTED. ACCORDINGLY, WE URGE YOU TO BRING THIS MATTER TO A CLOSE BY SENDING PAYMENT IMMEDIATELY TO OUR OFFICE OR CONTACTING JONATHAN NEIL & ASSOCIATES AT 800-331-6333."
Feeling harassed by Jonathan Neil & Associates, Inc., and believing that similar letters had been sent to other consumers, Mr. Stone hired a consumer attorney sued the company for allegedly violating the FDCPA in the following ways:
- Using false, deceptive, and misleading means to collect a debt
- Threatening legal action it could not take
- Suggesting that there was attorney involvement in her case when there was not
- Demanding immediate payment and overshadowing the required 30 day notice period
The matter was later settled.
Hire an Attorney
The phone numbers for this collection agency are:
If you see any of these numbers on your caller ID, it means that you are being called by Jonathan Neil & Associates, Inc., presumably about an alleged debt. If they imply that you are about to be sued and make demands that overshadow your rights, hire a consumer attorney. If you decide to file a claim against Jonathan Neil & Associates, Inc., you could potentially be awarded $1,000 per FDCPA violation plus associated damages, attorney fees, and court costs. When debt collectors go too far, the law can help you get the compensation you deserve.
*Case taken from PACER (www.pacer.gov). File number is Case 1:11-cv-06-5880 from the United States District Court for the 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 Jonathan Neil & Associates, Inc., or any other third-party collection agency, you may not be entitled to any compensation.