Is Malcolm S. Gerald and Associates calling you? Here's what you need to know.
When circumstances force you to fall behind in your financial obligations, it’s stressful and you feel out of control. It’s a bad situation that becomes ten times worse when the accounts are turned over to third-party collection agencies and the collection calls begin.
Many debt collectors are so aggressive and persistent that people do anything to make the harassment end, including pay off debts that aren’t theirs or agreeing to repayment arrangements that take away from important living expenses. They aren’t aware that the law affords them certain rights and protections.
The Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA) was enacted in 1977 to prevent third-party debt collectors from using unfair or unethical means to extract debt payments from people. Under the FDCPA, the following tactics are prohibited:
- Using profane or obscene language
- Ignoring a formal request to cease communications
- Calling at inconvenient times, such as before 8:00 a.m. and after 9:00 p.m. in your time zone
- Calling you at work when they know that your employer prohibits such calls
- Threatening action they cannot legally take or have no intention of taking, such as having you arrested
- Calling non-stop with the intention of annoying and harassing you
- Discussing the debt with anyone except you, your spouse, or your attorney
Who Is Malcolm S. Gerald?
Not all debt collectors respect FDCPA guidelines, unfortunately.
Malcolm S. Gerald and Associates, Inc. is a collection agency with an office in Chicago, Illinois. It is one of the larger companies, with a staff count of 250 to 499 and literally decades of collection experience. Records kept by the PACER (Public Access to Court Electronic Records) website include multiple instances of Malcolm S. Gerald and Associates, Inc. being sued for breaking FDCPA guidelines while attempting to collect debts.
According to the Better Business Bureau**, Malcolm S. Gerald and Associates have had 22 complaints filed in the last 3 years. It has extremely poor reviews on the BBB site, with 100% of them being negative.
Alleged Violations By Malcolm S. Gerald and Associates, Inc.
Veronica Levy v. Malcolm S. Gerald and Associates**
In November 2011 Pennsylvania resident Veronica Levy began receiving calls from Malcolm S. Gerald and Associates, Inc. about a debt she owed to HSBC. She later claimed that debt collectors would continuously and repetitively contact her on her home and cell phones in their attempts to collect the debt, sometimes three or four times a day. The company also allegedly called her at times where it was inconvenient for her to talk on the subject, such as at work.
Ms Levy sent a written request to verify the alleged debt, but Malcolm S. Gerald and Associates, Inc. allegedly did not verify but continued to call her to collect.
The complaint that she and her attorney filed with the US District Court accused Malcolm S. Gerald and Associates, Inc. of breaching the FDCPA , including calling at an inconvenient time, calling multiple times a day, and failing to cease collection of the debt after she had asked the company to stop.
The matter was later resolved.
The phone numbers for Malcolm S. Gerald and Associates, Inc are 1-800-265-3796 and 1-312-922-6500. If either number appears on your caller ID, be warned that a debt collector may be trying to contact you. If the debt collector does not honor a written request to cease communications or persist in calling you several times per day, contact a consumer attorney. A lawyer can help you with the process of dealing with Malcolm S. Gerald, up to and including filing a suit against the company.
For more information about starting legal proceedings against Malcolm S. Gerald, please see our page:
How Can You Stop Malcolm S. Gerald From Calling?
The law requires Malcolm S. Gerald and Associates, Inc. to stop contacting you after you hire an attorney, but if the harassment persists, you can take the company to court. If you win, you may be compensated up to $1,000 per FDCPA violation as well as actual damages (stress, etc), court costs, and attorney’s fees. The law is in place for a reason, so do not hesitate to take advantage of the rights that it grants you.
*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 Malcolm S. Gerald and Associates, Inc. or any other third-party collection agency, you may not be entitled to any compensation.
**Source: www.bbb.org/chicago/business-reviews/collections-agencies/malcolm-s-gerald-associates-inc-in-chicago-il-9003035/reviews-and-complaints?section=complaints, accessed Dec. 2017
***Case taken from PACER (www.pacer.gov). File number is 2:12-cv-06277-TON from United States District Court, Eastern District of Pennsylvania.