In November 2015 the Federal Trade Commission, in conjunction with other federal and state agencies, confirmed that charges were being brought against debt collectors all across the nation for allegedly using unethical and abusive debt collection practices.
It’s confirmation that a widespread problem exists, and more consumers need to know what to do if it happens to them.
Your Rights Under the FDCPA
Over 40 years ago, thousands of indebted Americans were declaring personal bankruptcy solely to escape debt collector harassment. In 1977 Congress responded by passing the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act, or FDCPA, which made it illegal for a collection agency to use methods like the following to collect or attempt to collect a debt.
- Use profane or obscene language
- Calling you before 8:00 a.m. and after 9:00 p.m. in your time zone
- Trying to collect after you have formally disputed a debt
- Threaten legal actions that they have no intention of taking
- Refuse to validate the debt and prove that they are authorized to collect it
- Call you at work when your employer does not allow such calls
- Trying to collect amounts that are not supported by law or the original creditor agreement
Company Profile: Transworld Systems Inc.
Transworld Systems Inc. is a collection agency headquartered in Wilmington, Delaware. It was established in 1970, has over 100 branches across the United States, and is managed by Rick Culbertson, Vice President. It also has an F rating with the Better Business Bureau. A search of court files at the PACER (Public Access to Court Electronic Records) website reveals that Transworld Systems Inc. has sued by consumers who felt that their rights had been violated.
Alleged Violations against Transworld Systems Inc.
James Jones vs. Transworld Systems Inc.
According to Transworld, in early 2014, Illinois resident James Jones, who was disabled with limited assets and income, sought the assistance of the legal aid attorneys at the Chicago Legal Clinic’s LASPD program because Transworld Systems Inc. had been attempting to collect a medical debt he was unable to pay.
On March 11, 2014, one of Mr. Jones’s attorneys at LASPD informed Transworld Systems Inc. in writing that Mr. Jones was represented by counsel. The letter directed the company to cease contacting him and to cease all further collection activities because Mr. Jones was forced, by his financial circumstances, to refuse to pay his unsecured debts.
Nonetheless, Transworld Systems Inc. allegedly continued to call Mr. Jones directly. This forced Mr. Jones’ LASPD attorneys to again write to the agency to demand that it cease communications and cease collection of the debt. When the calls allegedly continued, Mr. Jones and his attorney sued Transworld Systems Inc. for the following alleged FDCPA violations:
- Communicating with him after a direction to cease communications
- Continuing to demand payment of the debt after he refused to pay
- Communicating with him while knowing that he was represented by an attorney with respect to the debt
The matter was later resolved.
Hire a Creditor Harassment Attorney
The main phone numbers for Transworld Systems Inc. are:
If your phone rings and you see one of these numbers on your caller ID, a debt collector is attempting to reach you. If they keep contacting you directly after you’ve retained an attorney regarding the debt, hire a consumer attorney who can stop the harassment permanently.
If you decide to sue Transworld Systems Inc., they could be ordered to pay you $1,000 per FDCPA violation as well as attorney's fees, court costs, and any actual damages. Any debt collector that abuses your rights could eventually owe you money instead.
*Case taken from PACER (www.pacer.gov). File number is 1:14-cv-02276 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 constructed as legal advice. If you file a claim against Transworld Systems Inc., or any other third-party collection agency, you may not be entitled to any compensation.