Is MAD Collection Agency calling you? You may want to read this.*
Financial hardship can happen when you least expect it. Job loss, layoffs, injuries, and expensive personal setbacks can cause you to slide from a relatively secure financial position to a crisis of unpaid credit cards, student loans, and medical bills.
Once a certain number of payments have been missed, your creditors will likely turn the accounts over to third-party debt collectors.
Dealing with a debt collector is rarely a cheery process, and if the company assigned to collect your account is abrasive, hostile, and intrusive, the situation can be unbearable.
Before you consider drastic solutions like personal bankruptcy, be aware that legally, you don’t have to tolerate abuse.
You do have rights as a consumer, and you do have legal options if you are harrassed by collections agencies. It's up to you to protect your rights by taking action against illegal debt collection practices.
The Fair Debt Collection Practices Act, or FDCPA, prohibits actions like the ones below when committed during a debt collection attempt:
- Using profane or obscene language
- Calling you constantly every day, and at inconvenient times
- Demanding amounts that are not supported by law or the original creditor agreement
- Calling you at work after you tell them that you are not allowed to talk to them there
- Failing to report to the credit bureaus that a debt is in dispute
- Telling you that you have committed a crime and will be arrested if you don’t pay
Alleged Violations against MAD Collection Agency*
Some agencies ignore FDCPA mandates as inconsequential nuisances, and get your money any way they can.
MAD Collection Agency is a collection agency located in Swanzey, New Hampshire. It was established in 2005, employs a staff of under 10, and collects all types of consumer debt.
Records archived at the PACER (Public Access to Court Electronic Records) website confirm that MAD Collection Agency has been sued for allegedly violating the FDCPA during its debt collection activities.
Daniel Preekett v. MAD Collection Agency et al
In or around 2003, Minnesota resident Daniel Preekett began receiving communications from MAD Collection Agency about an alleged debt. He later alleged that some of the letters contained threats to damage his credit rating and made other insinuations that caused embarrassment and distress.
When he went to the agency’s website, he claims he saw a photograph of a woman, believed to be owner Michelle Dunn, waving a pool cue in a threatening manner.
Alarmed, Mr. Preekett hired a consumer attorney. When the agency persisted in contacting him directly instead of his counsel, he filed a lawsuit accusing MAD Collection Agency and Michelle Dunn of violating the FDCPA in the following ways:
- Making false and misleading representations (threatening to harm his credit rating)
- Using unfair and unconscionable means to collect a debt.
When MAD Collection Agency and Michelle Dunn failed to respond, a judge issued a default judgement in favor of Mr. Preekett. He received $1000 in statutory damages and $6,342.28 in attorneys’ fees and costs.
The phone number for MAD Collection Agency is 1-603-536-4090. If it appears on your caller ID, be aware that a debt collector may be trying to contact you.
If they send letters that are abusive in content and tone and persist in contacting you directly even after you have retained an attorney, you have the option of taking them to court for violating the FDCPA.
You may get them to pay damages, court and attorney's fees, and $1,000 per violation on top of that. Even if you do owe money, the FDCPA grants you rights that collectors ignore at their own professional risk.
*Case taken from PACER (www.pacer.gov). File number is 0:04-cv-00883-JNE-JGL, from United States District Court, District of Minnesota.
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 MAD Collection Agency or any other third-party collection agency, you may not be entitled to any compensation.