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NW Minnesota
reply to AZinOH

Re: Collection Agency...What Is Typical?

I have no idea what effect it will have on your nephew but I've had several employees who have managed to drag my company and myself into their collection agency melee. If he has used your address on any of these bills, you can expect your phone to ring incessantly and a flurry of mail. One CA, who I asked not to call my business, decided to call my home phone every 30-45 minutes from 7:00A - 10:00P for months looking for an employee who I hadn't employed in over three years. They will attempt to make your life a living hell and has been mentioned, coerce you into paying. After getting pissed, I decided get an extra GV# and play along....some of the crap they say and threats they make are priceless. They must have figured it out since one day the calls stopped as mysteriously as they started.

You, as an Employer, can sue the collection agency for harassment. This falls under the FDCPA (Fair Debt Collection Practices Act - Google it). It matters not that the debt is not yours, nor the value of the debt.

EACH VIOLATION is worth $1,000 TO YOU. Put these collectors in their place.

Since they are calling outside normal hours, there's $1,000.
§ 805. Communication in connection with debt collection [15 USC 1692c]
(a)(1) at any unusual time or place or a time or place known or which should be known to be inconvenient to the consumer. In the absence of knowledge of circumstances to the contrary, a debt collector shall assume that the convenient time for communicating with a consumer is after 8 o'clock antimeridian and before 9 o'clock postmeridian, local time at the consumer's location;

(a)(3) at the consumer's place of employment if the debt collector knows or has reason to know that the consumer's employer prohibits the consumer from receiving such communication.

If they told you why they are calling (disclosure to a 3rd party) - There's $1,000.
(b) COMMUNICATION WITH THIRD PARTIES. Except as provided in section 804, without the prior consent of the consumer given directly to the debt collector, a debt collector may not communicate, in connection with the collection of any debt, with any person other than a consumer...

You can definitely get them for harassment - another $1,000.

§ 806. Harassment or abuse [15 USC 1692d]
A debt collector may not engage in any conduct the natural consequence of which is to harass, oppress, or abuse any person in connection with the collection of a debt.
(5) Causing a telephone to ring or engaging any person in telephone conversation repeatedly or continuously with intent to annoy, abuse, or harass any person at the called number.

If they lied to you, there's another $1,000.
§ 807. False or misleading representations [15 USC 1692e]
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:

§ 813. Civil liability [15 USC 1692k]

(a) Except as otherwise provided by this section, any debt collector who fails to comply with any provision of this title with respect to any person is liable to such person in an amount equal to the sum of --

(1) any actual damage sustained by such person as a result of such failure;

(2) (A) in the case of any action by an individual, such additional damages as the court may allow, but not exceeding $1,000;

(3) in the case of any successful action to enforce the foregoing liability, the costs of the action, together with a reasonable attorney's fee as determined by the court. On a finding by the court that an action under this section was brought in bad faith and for the purpose of harassment, the court may award to the defendant attorney's fees reasonable in relation to the work expended and costs.