Is Monterey Financial Services, Inc calling you? You might be able to stop them.*
If debt collectors are harassing you with constant calls and letters, your situation is not unique. Nearly one-third of Americans have had an account in collections at some point.
If the thousands of complaints received by the Federal Trade Commission every year are any indication, the collectors are not always polite and ethical in their approach.
Although illegal, impolite and unethical tactics remain in use because too many stressed-out consumers prefer to pay up rather than fight back.
Unfortunately, many see it as the quickest way to stop the harassment.
Since 1977, debt collectors have been prohibited from employing methods like the following to collect money:
- Using profane and obscene language
- Calling you before 8:00 a.m. or after 9:00 p.m. in your time zone
- Calling you several times per day using an autodialer
- Threatening to have you arrested or send the sheriff over to seize your assets if you don’t pay
- Talking to uninvolved third parties like your friends and co-workers that you owe money
- Demanding an amount that is not supported by law or the original debt agreement
- Contacting you even after you’ve ordered them to cease communications
Alleged Violations against Monterey Financial Services, Inc*
Monterey Financial Services, Inc is a debt collection agency located in Oceanside, California. It was established in 1989, has a staff of 100 to 249 employees, and collects all types of consumer debt.
Records on file at the PACER (Public Access to Court Electronic Records) website confirm that Monterey Financial Services, Inc has been accused of violating the FDCPA while trying to collect certain consumer debts.
Randal Dotson vs. Monterey Financial Services, Inc.; and DOES 1-10, inclusive
In or around late 2012, California resident Randal Dotson allegedly received a letter from Monterey Financial Services, Inc, confirming that a debt he had formerly owed was paid in full.
Subsequently, in or around April of 2013, the agency allegedly contacted Mr. Dotson in an attempt to collect the debt that he claims to have paid. When he pointed out that he had received a letter stating that he no longer owed the debt, the Monterey representative allegedly replied that the letter had been sent in error and demanded immediate payment.
They added that unless the debt was immediately paid, they would pursue legal action against him and garnish his wages.
Monterey continued to call Mr. Dotson in an attempt to collect the debt. Mr Dotson claims that during each call, the representative repeated the threat to garnish. He responded by hiring a consumer attorney and suing the agency for the following alleged FDCPA violations:
- Engaging in harassing, oppressive, and abusive conduct
- Using false, deceptive, and misleading means to collect a debt
- Misrepresenting the character, amount and legal status of the debt
- Threatening legal action it had no intention of taking
- Using unfair and unconscionable means to collect a debt
The matter was later resolved.
The phone numbers for Monterey Financial Services, Inc are 1-800-456-2225 and 1-760-639-3500.
If a call comes in and either of these numbers appear on your caller ID, it means that a debt collector may be trying to contact you.
If they try to collect on an account that has already been paid off and threaten you with legal action if you refuse, see a consumer attorney.
Such deceptive tactics are illegal under the FDCPA, and your attorney can help you assert your rights in court. You may be compensated $1,000 per FDCPA violation plus attorney's fees, court costs, and any actual damages, making the company’s harassment of you an expensive mistake.
*Case taken from PACER (www.pacer.gov). File number is 3:13-cv-01404-JLS-DHB, from United States District Court, Southern District of California.
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 Monterey Financial Services, Inc or any other third-party collection agency, you may not be entitled to any compensation.