Is Mattia & Associates Inc calling you? You might want to read this.*
Although experts are saying that the economic outlook is brighter, many Americans continue to struggle with their own financial crises.
A 2014 study released by the Urban Institute revealed that over one-third of Americans have debt that has been reported to collection agencies.
If you’re being pursued by debt collectors for delinquent credit card bills, student loans, and other obligations, it’s easy to be intimidated when you don’t know your rights as a consumer.
Not all debt collectors are professional and ethical, and many resort to illegal tricks.
Approaches like the following are illegal under the FDCPA:
- Calling you before 8:00 a.m. and after 9:00 p.m. your time
- Calling you at work when they know that your workplace won’t let you take such calls
- Trying to collect an amount not authorized by law or by the original creditor agreement
- Using profane or obscene language
- Threatening you with consequences or actions they can’t legally take or have no intention of taking
- Discussing the debt with anyone except you, your spouse, or your attorney
Alleged Violations against Mattia & Associates Inc*
Such unethical conduct is illegal under the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act, or FDCPA, but debt collectors still use them to bully consumers into paying.
Mattia & Associates Inc is a Wellington, Florida debt management company specializing in charged-off credit card and consumer receivables.
It was established around 2010, employs 10-20 staff, and both purchases and sells ‘junk’ debt portfolios. Records archived at the PACER (Public Access to Court Electronic Records) website confirm that Mattia & Associates Inc has been accused of improper and illegal debt collection practices.
Renato Guitart vs. Recovery Performance Capital Group, a California Corporation, and Mattia & Associates Inc., a California Corporation
In or around late 2013, Florida resident Renato Guitart received a series of voicemail messages from Recovery Performance Capital Group / Mattia & Associates Inc about a personal debt they had been assigned to collected.
One message, left on his residential number in November 2013, allegedly stated:
Hi, please listen to this entire message. This message is for Renato Guitart. Renato, my name is Chris Mountain, I’m the attorney from RPC Group.
My employees have previously left you messages regarding an action that’s pending for you in my office. I can help you with this.
I can reduce this for you but you’re running out of time. If you don’t return my call as quickly as possible you’re forcing me to proceed against you.
My number is 619.447.4098. I’m at extension 202 when you return the call use reference number 38003.
Another message allegedly stated:
Hi Renato it’s very important you listen to this message. This message is for Renato Guitart, Renato my name is Chris Mountain, I am at a company called RPC Group.
This will be our final call. We’ve left a number of messages for you sir regarding an action that’s pending against you at our offices.
We can help you out with this, we can substantially reduce it for you but if you don’t call us back immediately we will proceed against you.
My number for the last time is 619.447.4098, I am at extension 202 when you return the call use reference number 38001.
Mr. Guitart hired a consumer attorney and sued Recovery Performance Capital Group and Mattia & Associates Inc for the following alleged FDCPA violations:
- Failing to meaningfully disclose the caller’s identity in each voicemail message
- Using false and misleading means to collect a debt by warning that an action was pending and threatening litigation
In October 2014 a judge awarded Mr. Guitart $9,200 in damages, costs, and attorney fees.
The phone number for Mattia & Associates Inc is 1-561-753-1767. If you see it on your caller ID, be aware that a debt collector may be trying to contact you.
If they and / or their representatives leave voicemail messages that fail to properly disclose the company name or threaten litigation that never transpires, see a consumer attorney immediately.
Your attorney can deal with them on your behalf and help you pursue your rights in court.
They may be forced to pay $1,000 plus attorney's fees, court costs, and any actual damages.
The law places firm guidelines on how debts may be collected, and any company that ignores them does so at their own professional and financial risk.
*Case taken from PACER (www.pacer.gov). File number is 1:14-cv-21974-JAL, from United States District Court, 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 Mattia & Associates Inc or any other third-party collection agency, you may not be entitled to any compensation.