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Anyone heard of this CA?

Regular Contributor

Anyone heard of this CA?

Stern & Associates in Greensboro, NC. Google just pulls up the information that they're a CA. A search of the various credit forums didn't find anything. They're on my husband's credit report 3 times. The OC and DOFD is the same on all 3, but they have different amounts. The account numbers are sequential. I know he didn't see the OC 3 times then so I'm inclined to think they're spreading the debt around to cause more damage. It comes to around $500 total. They just left a message stating that they're a law firm and gave a case number and a number to call back. Nowhere in the message did they state they were debt collector or that they were attempting to collect a debt. I don't remember them ever trying to contact him before. I get the mail so I would have saw it if they had.

A few questions
1) Aren't they supposed to identify theirselves as debt collectors?
2) Since this is the first contact, we should receive a letter from them in 5 days, correct?
3) Isn't it a violation for them to break up the debt and report it multiple times?
Message 1 of 6
5 REPLIES
Frequent Contributor

Re: Anyone heard of this CA?

You have a very interesting case.
They just left a message stating that they're a law firm and gave a case number and a number to call back.
If they called you and was not able to talk to someone else, they have placed themselves in dilemma by leaving a message. Win win for you, lose lose for them. If they are indeed a debt collector, they need to include the disclosure that they are attempting to collect a debt in the ANSWERING MACHINE. This is because leaving a message in an answering machine constitute a form of "communication" :
Foti v. NCO Financial Systems, Inc., 424 F. Supp.2d 643 (S.D.N.Y. 2006), the debt collector left a pre-recorded phone message at the debtor’s home, saying “Good day, we are calling from NCO Financial Systems regarding a personal business matter that requires your immediate attention. Please call back 1-866-701-1275 once again please call back, toll-free, 1-866-701-1275, this is not a solicitation.” The message did not mention a debt, but only a “personal business matter.” The court nevertheless found this to be a communication within the meaning of the FDCPA, stating “The FDCPA should be interpreted to cover communications that convey, directly or indirectly, any information relating to a debt, and not just when the debt collector discloses specific information about the particular debt being collected.”


Hosseinzadeh v. M.R.S. Associates, Inc., 387 F. Supp.2d 1104 (C.D. Cal. 2006), the debt collector left several messages of which the following is typical: “Hello, this is Thomas Hunt calling. Please have an adult contact me regarding some rather important information. This is not a sales call, however, regulations prevent me from leaving more details. You will want to contact me at 1-877-647-5945 as soon as possible. This is a toll free number. Once again this is Thomas Hunt calling and my number is 1-877-647-5945. Thank you.” The court found the messages to be communications even though, again, they did not explicitly mention the debt. The court also concluded that the messages violated the requirement of § 806(6), 15 U.S.C. § 16926(6), that debt collectors provide meaningful disclosure of their identity.


--- Source: Consumer Law and Public Policy Blog


They also have to inform you of your other rights as indicated in FDCPA.

Additionally, since they are a "LAW FIRM" and mentioned the word "CASE NUMBER", a least sophisticated consumer (the principle used by most court) may think that they are being sued. If you are not being sued, I believe thats already a violation.

§ 807. False or misleading representations: A debt collector may not use any false, deceptive, or misleading representation or means in connection with the collection of any debt. Without limiting the general application of the foregoing, the following conduct is a violation of this section: ... The false representation of— (A) the character, amount, or legal status of any debt; or ...
Message 2 of 6
Moderator Emeritus

Re: Anyone heard of this CA?

They are a CA/ Law Firm!!!!  The message that they left is correct. They can not say that they are collecting a debt!
Message 3 of 6
Moderator Emeritus

Re: Anyone heard of this CA?

Documents and get a copy of this message including a picture of the caller ID.
 
Sounds like they owe you 3K so far.
 
 
Message 4 of 6
Valued Contributor

Re: Anyone heard of this CA?

THis same collection agency has popped out of nowhere, on my mothers experian credit report only, i dont remember them calling, or seeing anything in the mail. Since this is medical the best thing to do is start Hipaa process or should i send a regular DV?

 

THanks


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Message 5 of 6
Moderator Emeritus

Re: Anyone heard of this CA?

HIPAA. I don't know the specific on the process, but you may want to post over in RYC.
Message 6 of 6