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New York debt collector sued for threatening consumer with lawsuit

Aug 08, 2011 Mike Garretson

Consumers whose debt is in check are becoming increasingly harassed by debt collectors claiming that they owe money that the consumer has never borrowed. The issue has become such a significant one that debt-related problems now top the list of people's main concerns, a recent survey indicated. One company has been targeting consumers and using debt collection tactics that are barred under the Fair Debt Collections Practices Act. Among many regulations, agencies are not allowed to threaten legal action to a consumer - no matter how far in debt he or she may be - unless that agency actually plans to go through with a lawsuit. New-York based Global Credit & Collection Corp was recently sued for threatening legal action, Collections & Credit Risk reported. The organization threatened to sue a Louisiana woman, despite the fact that it never actually intended to do so. This week, Wendy Trahan filed a lawsuit alleging violation of the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act with a New Orleans federal court. "According to the lawsuit, the agency contacted Trahan in January about a debt she owed to Capital One Services," the source noted. "The agency threatened to sue Trahan if she did not satisfy the debt, although the defendant did not have the ability to sue the plaintiff. Global Credit allegedly contacted Trahan's mother about one month later and falsely represented that there was a pending legal matter against Trahan. The agency, the suit alleges, also contacted Trahan's father's place of employment and left a voicemail regarding a breach of agreement." Trahan is now seeking an award of actual damages, as well as statutory damages, costs and attorney's fees, according to the source. The Fair Debt Collection Practices Act bars debt collection agencies from taking their efforts too far. They are banned from calling before 8 a.m. or after 9 p.m., and cannot speak to a consumer with abusive language, threaten a lawsuit or arrest, or pretend to be a government employee or attorney. They are also unable to reveal to anyone else a debt that a consumer may owe.