Being contacted by an unknown debt collection agency can be stressful. Being contacted and told almost immediately that you must pay a debt is absolutely terrifying. Owing money to someone always means that you must watch out with what you say. So how far is too far?
American Collections Enterprise is one such debt collection agency that may be known for being harassing and abusive when collecting on debts. So are they in the wrong? Here is what you need to know about them, and if what they are doing is illegal.
What is American Collections Enterprise?
American Collections Enterprise is listed as a collections agency that serves the Metro Washington DC, Metro Philadelphia, and Eastern Pennsylvania areas. They go by the alternate names AM Collect and American Collections Enterprise Inc.
Is American Collections Enterprise a legit Debt Collection Agency?
Unfortunately, they are a very real and legitimate debt collection agency. They have been in business since 1993, and have been operating for 26 years. They are not currently accredited by the Better Business Bureau, and hold a C- rating in the BBB database.
American Collections Enterprise Contact Information
Address: 205 S Whiting St Ste 500 Alexandria, VA 22304-3632
Other Address: PO Box 30096 Alexandria, VA 22310-8096
Phone Number: 1-703-719-9403
Other Phone: 1-800-208-2234
Fax Number: 1-703-719-9587
Does American Collections Enterprise have Complaints against them?
American Collections Enterprise has quite a few complaints against them. On the BBB database, they have 37 complaints within the last 3 years, with 14 of those complaints being closed within the last 12 months. They also have an average of 1.2 stars out of 5 from 16 customer reviews.
The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau's Consumer Complaint Database shows 9 total complaints lodged against them through the name American Collections Enterprise Inc.
What kind of Complaints have been made?
Of the complaints made on the BBB database, 27 of those were due to billing and collections, while 10 were due to problems with the product or service provided. The reviews also mirror the complaints in issues and situations. Many stated that the representatives of the debt collection agency were harassing and threatening, and non-responsive when it came to reporting on debts paid.
The complaints made through the CFPB's CCD also hold that American Collections Enterprise mismanaged information in an attempt to gain extra income and payments from consumers.
Are the Practices of American Collections Enterprise Legal?
The practices listed above directly contradict the guidelines set forth by the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA) and Rosenthal Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (RFDCPA). The Fair Debt Collection Practices Act states that there are basic practices that must be adhered to by debt collectors. These include, but are not limited to:
- No calls after excess hours
- No usage of harassing or threatening language
- No robocalls or excessive calling
- No misuse or misinformation when attempting to collect on a debt
In each instance, American Collections Enterprise is seen breaking each one. As such, the practices are considered illegal.
How can I protect myself and fight back against American Collections Enterprise?
Now that you know what tactics are being used by this debt collection agency, it is time to defend yourself against them. There are a few ways to do this, the easiest being to ask for verification. Asking for verification of the debt is well within your right as a consumer, and should be easy for any legitimate debt collection agency. If they cannot provide you proof of legitimacy, then you are under no obligation to pay.
If they continue to harass and threaten you, then it may be time to hire an debt collection harassment attorney or consumer rights lawyer. We here at the Law Office of Paul Mankin, APC have been fighting the long fight against debt collector harassment and abuse. Because it can come in so many different ways, we are able to help you identify, stop, and report the debt collector harassment if you hire us as we have a vast amount of experience and information at hand.
Not only can we help you to defend against harassment, we can also help to build a case, and assist you in understanding where the illegal collection patterns are for debt collectors. We are also able to help facilitate any communications or discussions between the parties, ensuring that nothing you say can be used against you.
The most important bit of information in your fight is to always remain vigilant. No matter who you have at your side, it can seem like a daunting battle against such a large company and agency. If you have ever been the subject of:
- Multiple calls per week from a third party collection agency
- Multiple calls in the early morning or late night from debt collectors.
- Violent and belligerent language and harassment from debt collectors.
- Threats of arrests or poor credit due to outstanding debts.
- Having your friends, family, and coworkers harassed by debt collectors.
- Automated robocalls from third party collection agencies.
Then you may have a case available. So do not wait, make sure to give us a call, and get started fighting back against the debt collection harassment.