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  4.  — Was Global Receivables Solutions, Inc. Sued for Allegedly Committing Unlawful Debt Collection in Violation of the FDCPA?

Was Global Receivables Solutions, Inc. Sued for Allegedly Committing Unlawful Debt Collection in Violation of the FDCPA?

by | Jul 14, 2021 | Firm News |

Yes.  In the United States District Court for the District of Idaho, a federal class action lawsuit was filed against Global Receivables Solutions, Inc. (“Global Receivables Solutions”) – which is a debt collector – for alleged violations of the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act, 15 U.S.C. § 1692, et seq.

The Fair Debt Collection Practices Act is a federal law that regulates the actions of debt collectors.

Any debt collector that has allegedly violated a consumer’s rights under the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (“FDCPA”), can be sued by a consumer for statutory damages of up to $1,000; actual damages including, but not limited to, harm or loss that resulted from a debt collector’s actions; as well as the consumer’s attorney’s fees and costs.

The docket number for the case is Case No. 1:18-cv-00006-EJL.

The plaintiff alleged that Global Receivables Solutions continued to harass and annoy her with unwanted telephone calls in violation of the FDCPA.  The plaintiff alleged that she previously told Global Receivables Solutions to stop calling her, and that she also told them that she was not the true debtor that Global Receivables Solutions was looking for, but that Global Receivables Solutions kept on calling her and harassing her through the usage of an automatic telephone dialing machine with the capability and capacity to call stored telephone numbers automatically; without human intervention; in sequential order; and also randomly.

As a result of the aforementioned conduct by Global Receivables Solutions, Plaintiff also alleged that her rights were violated under the Telephone Consumer Protection Act, 47 U.S.C. § 227, et seq.

The Plaintiff alleged that by Global Receivables Solutions placing those automated calls to Plaintiff’s cellular telephone without prior express consent, Global Receivables Solutions caused Plaintiff harm and/or injury, by invading upon Plaintiff’s privacy rights by electronically intruding upon Plaintiff’s seclusion and Plaintiff’s use and enjoyment of her cellular telephone.

The plaintiff kept getting these unwanted robocalls after telling Global Receivables Solutions that she was not true debtor that it was looking for.  The Fair Debt Collection Practices Act prohibits debt collectors from doing anything that it knows would harass and/or annoy a consumer.

Another federal lawsuit was filed against Global Receivables Solutions in the United States District Court for the Southern District of Florida in the Palm Beach Division for alleged violations of the FDCPA. The docket number for this case is Case No. 9:19-cv-80287-RLR.

The plaintiff in this case alleged that he received medical treatment from a hospital due to an injury from a work-related accident. The plaintiff alleged that because his injury was work-related, he was subject to workers’ compensation and according to Florida law, health care providers do not have the right to collect a fee from injured employees. The plaintiff alleged that in spite of this law, he still received a debt collection letter from the defendant which stated that he had a past due balance from a creditor, the hospital that he received treatment at.

Additionally, the plaintiff alleged that if the defendant had taken the time to review the records that the hospital had sent, they would have realized that the debt was the result of a workplace injury, and thus subject to the aforementioned Florida statute. The plaintiff alleged that the defendant could have found out about the nature of the injury from the Office of the Judges Compensation Claims website. The plaintiff also alleged that the defendant could have accessed his records from the hospital’s billing service because the defendant was a subsidiary of that company. The plaintiff alleged that Global Receivables Solutions used false or misleading representation during the debt collection process because it tried to collect a debt from the plaintiff that he legally did not owe, which is in violation of the FDCPA.

Global Receivables Solutions was also sued in the United States District Court for the Middle District of Florida in the Tampa Division for alleged violations of the FDCPA and Florida state law. The docket number for this case is Case No. 8:18-cv-01932-VMC-JSS.

The plaintiff alleged that the defendant tried to collect an alleged debt from her but that she had sent a fax to the defendant stating that she would no longer allow the defendant to contact her. The plaintiff also alleged that she provided contact information for her attorney and asked the defendant to contact her attorney for communication purposes. The plaintiff alleged that in spite of her request, the defendant still knowingly harassed her by calling her home phone up to five times a day. Additionally, the plaintiff alleged that the defendant called her from a variety of different numbers. The plaintiff alleged that in many of the calls, she did not speak with a representative, either because no one spoke after the plaintiff answered the phone or because the defendant used a pre-recorded voice to make the call. The plaintiff also alleged that her attorney provided timely responses to communications with the defendant and that her attorney did not give the defendant the right for the defendant to contact the plaintiff directly. The plaintiff alleged that Global Receivables Solutions violated the FDCPA because they contacted her after knowing that she was represented by an attorney and after she had revoked her consent to their having direct communications with her.

In the United States District Court for the Eastern District of New York, a class action lawsuit was filed against Global Receivables Solutions for alleged violations of the FDCPA. The docket number for this case is Case No. 2:18-cv-05905-ILG-SMG.

The plaintiff alleged that the defendant attempted to collect a debt from her that was originally owed to an Old Navy credit card. The plaintiff alleged that she was sent a collection letter that provided her with amounts for “Total Account Balance” as well as “Amount Now Due.” The plaintiff alleged that by doing this, the letter did not clearly indicate the actual amount of alleged debt and did not provide adequate information for the plaintiff to pay off the debt. The plaintiff also alleged that the letter included a statement which stated that the balance, “[M]ay be periodically increased due to the addition of accrued interest or other charges.” The plaintiff alleged that this phrasing did not provide information regarding interest rates or fees and would not allow the least sophisticated consumer to determine the amount of alleged debt that is owed because it did not provide valid “safe harbor” provisions.

The plaintiff alleged that the collection letter was deceptive and unfair because it did not reveal to the consumer that interest could continue to be accrued and did not specify whether interest was accruing on the “Total Account Balance” or the “Amount Now Due” balance. The plaintiff alleged that because of the lack of clarity in the collection letter and the fact that the least sophisticated consumer could be misled by the wording, the defendant violated the FDCPA by using false or misleading representations and unfair practices in connection to the collection process.

Another federal lawsuit was filed against Global Receivables Solutions in the United States District Court for the Northern District of Texas in the Fort Worth Division for alleged violations of the FDCPA and Texas state law. The docket number for this case is Case No. 4:16-cv-00208-O.

In this case, the plaintiff alleged that the defendant tried to collect a debt from him due to his status as the personal representative of a decedent’s estate. The plaintiff alleged that the defendant did not have a bond with the State of Texas and that according to Texas law, all debt collectors must be bonded before they can collect a debt in Texas. The plaintiff alleged that on at least two separate occasions, the defendant tried to collect debts from him through written communications with his attorney and that the defendant also tried to contact his attorney’s phone many times. The plaintiff also alleged that the defendant misled him because despite not having a bond filed with the Texas Secretary of State, the defendant claimed that they were legally allowed to collect debts in Texas.

The plaintiff alleged that according to the Texas Estates Code, the executor of an estate has to send a notice to the creditors of the estate in order to provide them with 4-month period to present a claim. The plaintiff alleged that he sent such a notice to the creditor who contracted the defendant but that the creditor then sent back correspondence which claimed that the letter was sent to them in error. After, the plaintiff alleged that the defendant filed a claim with the estate but that the claim was cut off after it was rejected, and the creditor did not bring a suit against the executor. The plaintiff then alleged that the defendant tried to collect this debt many months later, after the expiration of the time frame provided by Texas law. The plaintiff alleged that by attempting to collect a debt after the statutory period had expired and by attempting to collect a debt in Texas without the legal right to do so, the defendant violated the FDCPA through its use of false or misleading representations, unfair practices, and harassment.

In the United States District Court for the District of Colorado, another federal lawsuit was filed against Global Receivables Solutions. The plaintiff in this case also sued the company for alleged violations of the FDCPA. The docket number for this case is Case No. 1:19-cv-00137-REB-SKC.

The plaintiff alleged that the defendant had sent her a collection letter for an alleged hospital-related debt that was totaled at $389.89. The plaintiff alleged that she called the defendant in order to arrange a payment schedule and that this arrangement was confirmed by both parties. The plaintiff then alleged that a few days later, the defendant called her to tell her that the arrangement would no longer be honored because they had received more accounts for her. The plaintiff alleged that the defendant informed her that these new debts were added to her payment plan and that she now owed over $1300. The plaintiff alleged that she was never notified about the extra debts and disputed the claims with the defendant. The plaintiff also alleged that she told the defendant that the hospital would send her documentation in order to prove that the debt was not hers but that the defendant still said that she had to pay off the balance.

The plaintiff then alleged that she sent a Cease and Desist letter that was shown to have been received by the defendant. However, the plaintiff alleged that in spite of receiving the letter, the defendant still continued to contact the plaintiff by placing calls to her phone. The plaintiff alleged that Global Receivables Solutions violated the FDCPA because they continued to contact her after she asked them not to, harassed her, and used false representations and unfair means to collect the debt.

In the United States District Court for the Northern District of Illinois in the Eastern Division, Global Receivables Solutions was again sued for alleged violations of the FDCPA. The docket number for this case is 1:16-cv-02213.

In this case, the plaintiff alleged that she received a call from the defendant in connection to the collection of an alleged debt that she owed to the Department of Education. The plaintiff alleged that during the phone call, the defendant never gave the plaintiff information about the caller’s identity. The plaintiff also alleged that the defendant never revealed to the plaintiff that it was a debt collector, that it was trying to collect a debt, and that the information acquired during the call would be used for collection purposes. The plaintiff alleged that by failing to disclose the caller’s identity and the purpose of the communication, the actions of the defendant were in violation of the FDCPA.

 

What is the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act?

The Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (“FDCPA”) is a federal statute enacted by the 95th United States Congress. The purpose of this statute is to encourage fair debt collection, to eliminate unlawful debt collection practices, and to provide legal protection for consumers against debt collectors. The types of debt covered by the FDCPA are consumer debts, including but not limited to credit card debt, student loans, auto loans, and mortgages.

The FDCPA prohibits certain behaviors during the debt collection process and pursuant to the statute, there are a number of actions that a debt collector cannot engage in when attempting to collect a debt. For example, when speaking with a consumer, a debt collector cannot threaten them with harm or with actions that they cannot take, lie to them, swear or use foul language, or pretend that they are a government agency or a law enforcement agency, amongst other things. Additionally, there are restrictions as to when a debt collector is allowed to communicate with a consumer. For example, a debt collector cannot call an individual between the hours of 9 p.m. and 8 a.m. and if they have already told them to stop calling, the debt collector must cease their calls to both their personal phone and their workplace. A debt collector also cannot call a consumer during time periods that they have indicated are inconvenient for them. Moreover, in most states, and unless a debt collector is a debt collection law firm, a debt collector cannot threaten to sue a consumer; as they do not have the present right to do so. In these cases, the right to sue remains with the original or current creditor.

If a debt collector has violated a consumer’s rights under the FDCPA, the consumer can sue them for damages. The consumer could be entitled to statutory damages of up to $1,000.00, as well as actual damages including, but not limited to harm or loss that resulted from a debt collector’s actions.