Are you being called by Municipal Services Bureau?* Here's what you need to know
Getting calls from debt collectors is seldom pleasant, especially when they’re being rude, aggressive, and contacting you outside of approved hours. Instead of stressing out and contemplating personal bankruptcy to get them off your back, learn more about how you can protect yourself in such situations.
Your Rights Under the FDCPA
Signed into law in 1977, the Fair Debt Collections Practices Act, or FDCPA, is designed to protect debtors from abusive, deceptive, and unfair debt collection practices by allowing them to dispute debts and demand validation. Under the FDCPA, collection agencies that use strategies like those below can face severe consequences.
- Using abusive and / or obscene language
- Claiming to be police officers or federal agents
- Leaving voice messages that do not identify the collector and the purpose of their call
- Calling 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 legal actions that they have no intention of taking
Company Profile: Municipal Services Bureau
If you are being called by Municipal Services Bureau, information about the company is below.
Municipal Services Bureau, which also does business as Gila LLC, is a debt collection agency located in Austin, Texas. It was established in 2015, employs 360 staff, and is managed by CEO Bruce Cummings. According to the company website, it “operates as a financial services company for municipalities in billing, notification and payment processing of delinquent municipal fees and fines.” Records on file at the PACER (Public Access to Court Electronic Records) website reveals that consumers who felt that they were being harassed by Municipal Services Bureau went to court to fight for their rights.
Alleged Violations against Municipal Services Bureau*
According to PACER, in or around early 2014, Municipal Services Bureau allegedly began trying to collect a debt from a California woman. She later complained that the company called her no less than 11 times at her workplace after being notified that she was not allowed to receive debt collection phone calls at work. She also alleged that Municipal Services Bureau would routinely leave messages on her work voicemail stating that she needed to return the call as it involved “a serious Court matter”.
Feeling harassed by Municipal Services Bureau, the woman hired a consumer attorney and sued the company for allegedly violating the FDCPA in the following ways:
The matter was later resolved.
Hire an Attorney
The phone numbers for this debt collection agency are as follows:
If any of these numbers pop up on your caller ID, you are being called by Municipal Services Bureau. If they persist in contacting you at work and leaving messages that your colleagues can potentially hear, hire a consumer attorney. If you file a claim against Municipal Services Bureau, you may potentially be awarded $1,000 per FDCPA violation plus reasonable legal costs. When a debt collector tries to stress or embarrass you into paying, knowing your rights can compel you to take the right action.
*Case taken from PACER (www.pacer.gov). File number is Case 3:14-cv-01240-BAS-KSC from the United States District Court for the Southern District of California.
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 Municipal Services Bureau, or any other third-party collection agency, you may not be entitled to any compensation.