The Law Office of Paul Mankin

Is Equidata, Inc., Harassing You?

Equidata, Inc. is a debt collection agency located in Newport News, Virginia. The agency has been in business since 1905 and collects on many types of consumer debt. It also operates under the names Retail Merchants, Pen. Credit Bureau, and Equidata.

Contact Information:

724 Thimble Shoals Blvd

Newport News, VA 23606-2574

The Better Business Bureau (BBB) reports 2 complaints against Equidata, Inc., one of which is not available to the public. The publicly available complaint alleges that the debt is not owed by the consumer and he/she had no knowledge of the collection account until it appeared on his/her credit report. Equidata, Inc. responded to this complaint, saying that it mailed out the required notice informing the consumer that he/she had 30 days to dispute the debt, and provided the name of the original creditor and amount of the debt at this time. The company further said that because they did not receive any type of written dispute within those 30 days, the debt is now assumed to be valid and they are not required by any federal law to provide the consumer with further information.

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) has received 15 complaints about Equidata, Inc. over the last four years. The majority of the complaints allege that the agency reported false information to the credit reporting bureaus or failed to provide them with sufficient information to verify a debt.

The Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA) requires a debt collector to provide a consumer with certain written information within five days of the initial contact if the debt has not yet been paid and the information was not provided during the initial contact. This includes the amount of the debt, the name of the creditor to whom the debt is owed, and notice that the consumer has thirty days to dispute the debt before it is assumed to be valid.  If the consumer disputes the debt within the thirty days, the debt collector must then mail the consumer the name and address of the original creditor and a copy of any judgment that may exist. The FDCPA specifically prohibits debt collector from reporting credit information that it knew to be false, or should have known was false, to a credit reporting bureau. The Act also prohibits debt collectors from using many other annoying, abusive, or deceptive practices when attempting to collect a consumer debt. This includes:

  • Calling before 8:00 a.m. or after 9:00 p.m.
  • Using profane or obscene language
  • Falsely implying that a consumer has committed a crime by not paying a bill
  • Allowing a telephone to ring continuously
  • Failing to inform consumers that a call is an attempt to collect a debt and any information obtained will be used for that purpose

If Equidata, Inc. is annoying, abusing, or harassing you it is time they are held accountable for their actions. For a free, no obligation consultation, please call our office at 1-800-219-3577.