On April 25, 2012, Nightline aired a segment, “Woman Fights to Collect from Collectors” [View Nightline Episode Here] in which a woman won a $10,086,000 judgment against abusive debt collector “RFA” for harassment and violations of the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA). RFA is an outfit run by Asset & Capital Managent Group ACM Group in Tustin California. The woman details how RFA called her for a debt she didn’t even owe and how terrified she became of the voice on the other line calling her vulgar names and threatening to “gang bang” her. Even worse, this call appeared to be coming from her local sheriff’s department because the debt collector had manipulated the caller ID output. She recorded all of her phone conversations and hired an attorney to hold RFA accountable for their violations of the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA) which prohibits this abusive behavior by debt collectors. Despite the fact that she was successful in winning her lawsuit, she expressed skepticism about whether or not she would ever see a dime of that money as RFA has yet to pay. Their lawyer calls the judgment “unfair”.
It is scary to think how many others might be out there that have endured this same abuse and harassment by RFA but did not act to hold RFA accountable for their actions. Even scarier, how many people succumbed to this abuse and paid RFA the money they were seeking to stop the abuse?
It is important to remember that the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA) prohibits this abusive behavior and provides for a statutory penalty of up to $1,000 to the victim of such abusive practices. You must be vigilant in holding debt collectors accountable for their abusive actions. If you are receiving abusive phonecalls, contact our office today. The one place you should always feel safe is your home. Just because debt collectors have a telephone doesn’t mean they have the right to abuse you with it.
Read more about the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA) and download your digital copy of the Federal Law at the Federal Trade Commission’s website here.