On behalf of our clients, Lemberg & Associates recently filed a complaint in U.S. District Court, District of Massachusetts, against Commercial Recovery Systems. Our client alleges that Commercial Recovery Systems left a voice message that falsely stated the caller was a “lead investigator” calling “for restitution.” The caller threatened to garnish our client’s income and said that she would waive her rights if she didn’t return his call by 4:00 p.m. The caller didn’t say that he was calling from Commercial Recovery Systems or that he was attempting to collect a debt.
Our client returned the call and left a message saying that she didn’t know him or where he was calling from. She asked to be sent a letter and asked not to be called again. Several days later, our client received another voicemail threatening garnishment. She returned the call, again requesting a letter and asked that Commercial Recovery Systems stop calling. She said that she was disabled and could not pay the debt. She subsequently received another call, but when she answered there was no one on the line. She called the number back and was connected to another “lead investigator.” Our client told him that she had repeatedly asked Commercial Recovery Systems to stop calling and to instead send a letter. The person she spoke with said that a constable would come to her house to serve her with court papers. He threatened our client with “federal” garnishment and seizure of her bank account and other assets. He also threatened to garnish her future earnings for up to ten years. He told her that the court date “is on Monday.”
Commercial Recovery Systems called our client seven times within 14 minutes. Our client answered one of the calls and informed Commercial Recovery Systems that she had an attorney and told them to stop calling. Nevertheless, Commercial Recovery Systems called twice more – this time on her cell phone. When our client asked how Commercial Recovery Systems had gotten her cell phone number, Commercial Recovery Systems said it was through the court system.
The lawsuit charges that Commercial Recovery Systems violated the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA) by contacting our client knowing she was represented by an attorney; by engaging in harassing behavior; by not disclosing the identity of the debt collection agency during a call; by using false, deceptive, or misleading representation in connection with the collection of a debt; by misrepresenting the character, amount, and legal status of a debt; by threatening our client with garnishment; by threatening our client with attachment of property; by threatening to take legal action without actually intending to do so; by employing false and deceptive means to collect a debt; by failing to inform our client that the phone call was an attempt to collect a debt; and by failing to send a validation notice. In addition, the lawsuit charges that Commercial Recovery Systems invaded our client’s privacy.