Lewis McDonnell & Associates Debt Collection Harassment?
Lewis McDonnell & Associates Debt Collection Harassment? Nobody ever wishes to be in debt, it is a very stressful and confusing situation to find yourself in. Are you dealing with Lewis McDonnell & Associates debt collection harassment? The bad news is that it only gets worse when Lewis McDonnell & Associates keeps placing call after call to you, reminding you of your unpaid debt. We understand that it is the responsibility of Lewis McDonnell & Associates to recover debts owed by consumers, and it is very logical to want to make a profit, however, it is not acceptable for them to overstep the boundaries prescribed by the law and engage in debt collection harassment.
Under the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act, Debt collection Agencies must act in a way that ensures that the consumer does not feel disrespected, scared, or taken advantage of. The Act, also known as the FDCPA, protects consumers’ rights in the context of debt collection. In other words, debt collectors must adhere to a certain set of rules when they are pursuing consumers who owe money. If a collector violates the FDCPA, you can sue the collector in court. The law allows consumers who have been victims of harassment from debt collectors to get the calls to stop in addition to recover statutory damages of up to $1,000, plus attorney fees.
Who is Lewis McDonnell & Associates?
Lewis McDonnell & Associates is a third-party debt collector located in Tustin, California.
PO Box 751
Tustin, CA 92781-0751
Phone: 888-263-8638 & 877-256-5525, 626-699-2561
Is Lewis McDonnell & Associates a legitimate collection agency?
According to the Better Business Bureau website, Lewis McDonnell & Associates has been in business since 2017. There have been 70 complaints closed in the last 3 years and 40 complaints closed in the last 12 months. Read more about it here: Lewis McDonnell & Associates Better Business Bureau
What is classified as unlawful behavior by the FDCPA?
According to the federal law enacted for the protection of your consumer rights (the FDCPA), a third-party debt collector, during the collection of a debt, is not allowed to use unfair practices to coerce a debt from you.
Examples of such unfair practices prohibited by the FDCPA include:
- A debt collection organization trying to collect extra interests and charges in addition to the amount that you owe to them.
- Messing up your payments by depositing a post-dated check too early
- Failure to properly inform you about the debt and your right to dispute it
- Employing the use of obscene, profane, unethical, and harassing words during their communications with you.
Furthermore, the Fair Debt Collection Practices act strongly frowns upon the use of false, deceptive, or misleading practices by debt collectors in the debt recovery process. Examples of such practices include:
- Misrepresenting the details of your debt, including the amount that is owed, and any other important credit details
- Debt collection officials falsely representing themselves as legal officials or police officers.
- Issuing threats that are not within their power to carry out. Such threats include threats of bodily harm, arrest, or jail time.
- Issuing threats to embark on illegal courses of action that the debt collector has no intention of pursuing.
- Harassing you with an excessive amount of phone calls intended to annoy, harass, or shame you into the payment of your outstanding debts.
In addition to these federal laws that protect your consumer rights, each state usually has a slightly altered set of rules (alongside other federal laws) that are aimed at generally prohibiting debt collection practices that might be considered unfair, deceptive, or abusive towards the consumer.
It is also highly advisable to keep good records of your communications with a debt collector in case you will need to pursue any form of legal action in the future. For this reason, it is always a good idea to keep a file of all the letters, documents, and correspondence that you have received from a debt collector.
Additionally, retain copies of anything that you have also sent to a debt collector such as a cease-and-desist letter. Keep comprehensive notes that record the dates and times that conversations took place, alongside what was discussed. Also, keep records of any violations of your consumer rights committed by the other party. Keeping these records will come in handy in the case of a dispute with a debt collector or if you decide to retain legal counsel.
How to end the badgering calls from Lewis McDonnell & Associates
Note that following the first communication you receive from Lewis McDonnell & Associates, a debt collector cannot call you outside the hours of 8 a.m. to 9 p.m.
Lewis McDonnell & Associates is expected to adhere to these restrictions, as they are meant to protect your privacy, and a violation of them would amount to a violation of the FDCPA laws.
In addition to this, Lewis McDonnell & Associates is not allowed to place anonymous calls to you. They must give you their business name, address, state their intention for the call, and the name of the debt collection representative you are talking to.
Additionally, you should let your Lewis McDonnell & Associates debt collector know if you are unable to receive calls at your place of employment, and once they know, they are expected to adhere to those rules. They can call people in your social circle (such as family and friends) to get your address, phone number, or place of employment. Note that they are not allowed to mention that they are contacting you over the non-payment of a debt, or to reveal sensitive details about the debt to any of those persons.
To stop the badgering calls, you should get in touch with an attorney as soon as possible. Once you inform Lewis McDonnell & Associates that you have retained the services of a lawyer, they will direct all subsequent phone calls to the office of the lawyer. You can get in touch with a qualified lawyer by calling (877)-700-5790.
The second option is to write and send them a cease-and-desist letter. This is basically a letter you write to the collection agency asking them to stop calling and harassing you, and it should be sent by certified mail.
Please note that sending a certified letter to the collection agency does NOT equate to you being free from the debt, it simply means that you will no longer receive communications from Lewis McDonnell & Associates about it. The debt still very much exists.
When Lewis McDonnell & Associates gets your certified letter, they are no longer legally permitted to contact you except:
- They want to acknowledge the receipt of your letter and tell you that they will no longer be contacting you to remind you about your unpaid debts, or
- They want to let you know that certain actions have been or will be taken against you (for example, an impending lawsuit)
Regardless, it is always wise to seek legal counsel in order to know the right direction to walk in before you proceed.
How can we help?
If you are facing harassment from Lewis McDonnell & Associates, we will use both federal and state laws to ensure that they face the full consequences of their actions.
In the first stage, we will send Lewis McDonnell & Associates a cease-and-desist letter, instructing them to desist from all harassing actions.
If, on the other hand, it is proven beyond reasonable doubt that Lewis McDonnell & Associates has violated any of the laws that protect your consumer rights you may be entitled to monetary compensation for your inconvenience, and we will fight till the end to ensure that you get it.
Under the FDCPA, you are entitled to get $1,000 in statutory damages in addition to whatever amount that the harassment from Lewis McDonnell & Associates has caused you in actual damages. In addition to this Lewis McDonnell & Associates. is responsible for all legal costs, including your attorney fees.
What this means is that if we are able to prove a valid case of debt collection harassment against Lewis McDonnell & Associates, you do not have to pay us a penny, as all costs will be covered by the erring debt collection agency.
In addition to federal laws, you may also be covered by certain state laws that are set up to prohibit harassment from Lewis McDonnell & Associates.
CONSUMER RIGHTS LAW FIRM, PLLC
Consumer Rights Law Firm, PLLC is a law firm that specializes in helping clients who are facing harassment from debt collectors in any form, including telephone communication. Contact a legal professional to stop the Lewis McDonnell & Associates phone harassment. Our office has been assisting consumers since 2010. We have an A+ rating with the Better Business Bureau.
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Last Updated on February 20, 2024