Many people fall into debt due to circumstances beyond their control. They lose their jobs, require medical treatment that exceeds their insurance coverage, or become suddenly and unexpectedly disabled.
This doesn’t stop debt collectors from hounding them relentlessly, so it is important to know your rights.
Your Rights Under the FDCPA
The Fair Debt Collection Practices Act, or FDCPA, is a consumer protection law passed in 1977 to protect consumers from abusive debt collectors. It prohibits the use of abusive tactics like the following while attempting to collect a debt:
- Demanding outrageous amounts that exceed the amount of the original debt
- Discussing the debt with anyone except you, your spouse, or your attorney
- Pretending to be police officers or federal agents to frighten debtors into paying
- Using profane and obscene language
- Calling at inconvenient times, such as before 8:00 a.m. and after 9:00 p.m. in the consumer’s time zone
- Threatening consequences they cannot legally inflict, or have no intention of carrying out
Company Profile: MCOT, Inc.
If you are being called by MCOT, Inc., information about the company is below.
MCOT, Inc., which is also known as Medical Collections of Tri-Cities, is a debt collection company located in Kingsport, Tennessee. It was established in 1987,has 30 employees and is managed by its founder and President, Thomas M. Cole, Jr.., who is also the current president of the National Healthcare Collector’s Association.
A search of litigation records at the PACER (Public Access to Court Electronic Records) website indicates that consumers who felt they were being harassed by MCOT, Inc. asserted their rights in court.
Alleged Violations against MCOT, Inc.
Eva Yarber vs. Sapling Grove Surgery Center and MCOT, Inc.*
According to PACER, on or about April 17, 2015, MCOT, Inc. filed a collection lawsuit against Virginia resident Eva Yarber to collect a medical debt, although Ms. Yarber had included the debt in a Chapter 13 bankruptcy and her counsel had sent notice to both the agency and the original creditor.
Feeling harassed by MCOT, Inc., Ms. Yarber hired a consumer attorney and sued the company for allegedly violating the FDCPA by trying to collect a debt not authorized by law. The matter was later resolved.
Hire an Attorney
The phone numbers for this debt collection agency are:
If you see either number on your caller ID, be aware that you are being called by MCOT, Inc. If they sue you to collect a debt included in an earlier bankruptcy, hire a consumer attorney immediately.
Violating the automatic bankruptcy stay in this manner is illegal under federal law, and if you file a claim against MCOT, Inc., you may win $1,000 per FDCPA violation. These awards are intended to remind collection agencies that they violate your rights at considerable financial risk.
*Case taken from PACER (www.pacer.gov). File number is Case 1:15-cv-00026-JPJ-PMS from the United States District Court for the Western District of Virginia.
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 MCOT, Inc., or any other third-party collection agency, you may not be entitled to any compensation.