The actions you set forth here are clear and egregious violations of the Fair Debt Collections Practice Act (FDCPA) and probably other state consumer protection laws as well . If this debt collector can be tracked down (it is not just an offshore scam trying to collect money but impossible to locate and/or sue) and is solvent then a consumer rights/protection lawyer in your area would likely represent you on a contingency basis. You should be able to find a consumer rights lawyer in your area (search for consumer attorney and FDCPA) yourself, or by contacting your local attorney Bar. Also, I recommend a search on the National Association of Consumer Advocates (NACA) website to see if any NACA members are located near you. I wish you the best and I'm sorry you have had to endure this outrageous behavior.
This info is for basic information only and no attorney-client relationship should be construed. If you need actual legal representation, you should consult with a lawyer in your area who is licensed to practice in your state.
A debt collector cannot call your workplace if you put them on notice that your employer policy prohibits such calls. I am uncertain that your situation involves a legitimate debt collector. It sounds very fishy that a county sheriff would be involved in a non-litigation collection of a debt, and would have arrest power. Do you really owe this debt? Are you sure the collector your speaking with is actually an authorized agent of the owner of the account? I recommend you meet with a consumer lawyer for further assistance. You should not be bullied by a debt collector at your workplace.
This is not legal advice. Seek a consultation with an attorney in your jurisdiction. An attorney/client relationship is not sought or formed by the participation in this website. I am licensed to practice law in New York and New Jersey.
You should contact an attorney who handles FDCPA issues. Consult with them regarding your case. If you need help finding an attorney, search this site or contact the Florida Bar for a referral. Many attorneys offer free consults. Good Luck!
The asking of and answering general questions does not establish an attorney-client relationship. Please consult with an actual attorney in your local area before deciding on a course of action.
Scam "collectors" have been working the area where I practice for the last couple of weeks. I have heard this same story at least 5 times in August alone. The debts are claimed from payday lenders, and lots of them are very old debts. Before I was a consumer lawyer, I was a Public Defender. I have never heard of a member of law enforcement calling to collect a debt or they will arrest. If you have warrant, they will arrest you. You may want to check your local county website for any outstanding warrants and call the clerk for the county court to make certain that there are no pending lawsuits. My feeling is that there are neither and this is a scammer. Legitimate collectors can and do violate the FDCPA, but my experience is that these over the top brazen violations are scammers. Scammers are very difficult to sue under the FDCA because they're criminals. Good luck.
I'm sorry for your experience. I agree with the other responses. In addition, I would recommend having a consultation with a bankruptcy attorney. If you have other debts as well, bankruptcy is often times the most cost effective solution in dealing with debt. It stops the collection efforts.
It sounds like a scam. Read about it in USA Today from their 8/9/13 edition. The reason it sounds like a scam is that such a threat is SO OVER THE TOP that even the most unscrupulous, low-life, bottom- feeding collection agency would be reluctant to make those threats.
In other words, the threat is so bad, and speaking with the employer is so off the chart, that it does not sound like a collection agency doing the calling.
Having said that, obviously collection agencies can say awful things, and did. Otherwise, there would not have been an FDCPA passed to begin with.
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