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Harassing collector calls lead to premature birth

Feb 06, 2012 Mike Garretson

A debt collection agency is being charged with violating the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act for tactics against a woman that led to the premature birth of her baby, the Telegram & Gazette reports. Nina M. Scott of Grafton, Massachusetts, faced debts from the University of Massachusetts Memorial Medical Center (MMC) and the UMass Memorial Center Group (MCG) for services received. She had allegedly set up a payment plan with both entities. She promised to pay nearly $1,800 owed to MMC over 23 months at $75 per month, and also entered into a 30-month payment plan with MCG for $25 per month to pay off nearly $800 in debt. Despite the plans, UMass Memorial still received help from collections from Associated Credit Services of Westboro. The firm allegedly called the pregnant woman 10 times between June 27 and the time her child was born on July 9 - three weeks premature - despite her repeated attempts to explain her payment plan status. Scott alleges the calls caused her "undue stress" and seeks compensatory and statutory damages, as well as actual damages for personal humiliation, mental anguish, emotional distress and attorney's fees.