Is Murphy Lomon & Associates calling you? Here's what you need to know.
Thanks to a credit-driven culture, most Americans carry personal debt these days. We owe money to the credit card company, the institution that issued our student loans, and the bank that supplied our mortgage. As long as we enjoy a steady income and good health, these debts are relatively easy to manage.
But job loss or illness can cause our financial security to crumble to such an extent that we can no longer make the minimum payments on our debts. That’s when we start hearing from debt collectors, which is rarely a positive experience.
In 1977 the US Congress passed the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act, or FDCPA, to protect consumers from abusive debt collection practices. This law made it illegal for debt collectors to use methods like the following to collect money from you.
- Cursing, raising their voice, and calling you names
- Failing to identify themselves as debt collectors trying to collect a debt
- Calling you at inconvenient times and places, such as before 8:00 a.m. and after 9:00 p.m. in your time zone or at work when your workplace doesn’t allow such calls.
- Using constant phone calls to annoy or harass you
- Threatening legal action they cannot take or have no intention of taking
- Demanding amounts not supported by law or the original creditor agreement
Alleged Violations against Murphy Lomon & Associates*
Some collection agencies, however, ignore the FDCPA. They’re willing to risk fines if breaking the law brings in more money.
Murphy Lomon & Associates is a debt collection agency located in Des Plaines, Illinois. It was established in 2002, employs approximately 10 staff and collects all types of consumer debt. According to civil litigation records retained by the PACER (Public Access to Court Electronic Records) website, Murphy Lomon & Associates has been accused of violating the FDCPA while trying to collect consumer debts.
Marne Sarovich vs. Murphy Lomon & Associates
On October 13, 2015, Illinois resident Marne Sarovich received a collection letter from Murphy Lomon & Associates. It showed an account number on the envelope, and the letter stated in part, “Your account with the above referenced creditor is seriously past due and has been placed with this agency for immediate collection....We extend this opportunity to make demand and if payment is not forthcoming, to proceed with the steps to effect collection..... You may either send your payment in full to our office or call us at once.”
Alarmed at what he perceived an an implicit threat and puzzled because legal action was being implied before he’d even received a debt validation letter, Mr. Sarovich hired a consumer attorney and filed a complaint accusing Murphy Lomon & Associates of the following FDCPA violations:
- Using false, deceptive, or misleading representation or means in connection with the collection of the debt
- Making threats that gave the impression that further collection activities would occur over Mr. Sarovich’s "Mini-Miranda" rights.
The matter was later resolved.
FDCPA Attorney Assistance With Your Claim
The phone number for Murphy Lomon & Associates is 1-847-299-5240. If it appears on your caller ID, a debt collector is attempting to settle a delinquent account with you. If they send you letters or leave voicemails implying that legal action is commencing even before you have received a validation letter, contact a consumer attorney.
Such actions are illegal under the FDCPA, and you could potentially receive $1,000 per violation plus attorney's fees, court costs, and any actual damages. When debt collectors go too far, remember that as a consumer you have rights, and let a good consumer attorney help you protect them.
*Case taken from PACER (www.pacer.gov). File number is 1:15-cv-09599, from United States District Court, Northern District of Illinois, Eastern Division.
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 Murphy Lomon & Associates or any other third-party collection agency, you may not be entitled to any compensation.