Is Macardis Singer calling you? Here's what you need to know.
No one wants to hear from a debt collector. It’s a sign that your finances have escaped your control and a court appearance may lie ahead if you can’t come to some kind of agreement with the collector. Although you may not be exactly shocked when third party collectors start calling you at home and even work, it’s still a stressful thing to go through, especially if the collector is rude, demanding, and persistent.
The Fair Debt Collection Practices Act, or FDCPA, grants certain rights and protections to consumers who owe a debt. This law was enacted in 1977 in response to widespread abuses from third-party debt collectors, and makes the following acts illegal while collecting or attempting to collect a debt.
- Cursing, yelling, and making threats that they cannot legally act upon
- Calling at inconvenient times, primarily before 8:00 a.m. and after 9:00 p.m. your time
- Contacting you at work after you make it clear that your employer does not allow you to take such calls
- Failing to identify themselves as debt collectors seeking to collect a debt
- Talking to your friends, neighbors, and coworkers about the debt
- Contacting you after you’ve sent a formal cease communications request
- Failing or refusing to verify the debt upon request
Alleged Violations against Marcadis Singer*
Not all debt collectors are respectful of your rights. Marcadis Singer PA (formerly Marcadis & Associates, PA) is a law firm in Tampa, Florida, that specializes in collecting consumer debts. The firm was established in 1999 and has a staff of 20 to 49. A search of the PACER (Public Access to Court Electronic Records) reveals that Marcadis Singer PA has been sued several times for alleged breaches of the FDCPA.
Helen J. Rodas v. Marcadis & Associates, PA
In April 2009 Marcadis & Associates, PA filed suit against Florida resident Helen Rodas for an amount she allegedly owed to Budget Rent-A-Car Systems. Although Ms. Rodas did not live there and did not sign any agreements within its limits, the suit was filed in Orange County.
Defending the action would cost her a considerable amount in travel time, which was arguably an oppressive situation under the FDCPA, so Ms. Rodas retained an attorney and filed a complaint in the US District Court and accused Marcadis & Associates, PA of violating the FDCPA in the following ways:
- Filing the lawsuit in an improper venue (15 U.S.C § 1692i(a)(2))
- Harassing, oppressing and abusing a consumer in its attempts to collect the alleged debt (15 U.S.C § 1692d)
The suit was later resolved.
If you receive a call from 1-888-547-1881 or 1-813-288-1881 someone from Marcadis & Associates, PA is trying to contact you to collect a debt. Even if you do in fact owe the money, no third-party collection agency is permitted to create circumstances that make it difficult for you to defend yourself, such as file a lawsuit in a jurisdiction far from where you live.
If Marcadis & Associates, PA put you in this type of tough position, don’t waste time arguing with them. See a consumer attorney who can ensure that you are treated fairly like the FDCPA requires. Any collection agency that breaks the law while dealing with consumers can be fined up to $1000 per violation and be required to pay your court costs and attorney fees. Although the FDCPA can’t prevent a debt collector from breaking the law in the first place, it can step in with expensive sanctions if the matter goes to court.
*Case taken from PACER (www.pacer.gov). File number is 1:09-cv-21533-FAM from United States District Court for the Southern District of Florida.
Disclaimer: The content of this article serves only to provide information and should not be construed as legal advice. If you file a claim against Marcadis Singer or any other third-party collection agency, you may not be entitled to any compensation.