A collection agency called my parents house and my cell phone attempting to get in contact with my daughter. The person left a detailed message on my voice mail and my parents answering machine stating he was contracted by the state to serve my daughter with a summons. If she did not contact them about the debt, he and and law enforcement would show up at her work or my house to arrest her and hold her until her court date. My parents heard the message before I did and contacted these people and settled my daughters debt fearing her impending date with jail. I heard the message and am furious because of the violations of the Fair Credit Act by these people. Is there any recourse? I have the messages and contact information of the person at ACS collections.
2 Answer from Attorneys
If you still have the messages, contact me by email and I'll give you the names of attorneys who practice in this area.
Absolutely it's a violation of the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act, and there are damages available. It's reprehensible to threaten grandparents that their grandchild will be arrested if a debt is not paid.
The only time there might be jail looming for someone who owes a debt is if the individual is in contempt of a court order, and that's rare for it to go that far. First, there would need to be a Complaint filed and service of summons perfected. Then, a judgment obtained against the individual. After that, there might be post-judgment discovery served, in order to collect information, such as bank account numbers and employment information for garnishment. However, if the individual does not respond to discovery requests, the court may order the responses "compelled." If that order is violated, the person will then be served with summons to "show cause" why they should not be held in contempt. If they are served with summons and still do not come to court, they might very well be facing a bench warrant. However, that could not happen until after they've been served.
However, if the collection agency is still calling, that likely means no lawsuit had yet been filed. No court order, no looming threat of jail. An attorney would be calling, or a private investigator, not a collection agency.