Barron, Gibson & Phillips, AFSCO, Financial Management Solutions Listed as Worst Companies for Consumer Complaints
The North Carolina Better Business Bureau recently released a list of the top 12 Charlotte companies with the most unanswered and unresolved complaints during 2015. Not surprisingly, 3 of the worst offenders were collection agencies. The full and complete list of offenders can be found here. The company with the most consumer complaints was Barron, Gibson & Phillips LLC, a Charlotte based collection agency.
Consumers across 29 states have complained that the collection agency has a pattern of using unlawful collection practices. Among others, consumers have alleged that Barron, Gibson & Phillips LLC have attempted to collect debts that are outside of the statute of limitations period and have threatened consumers with arrest or imprisonment for failing to pay debts. These practices likely violate the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act or the North Carolina Collection Agency Act.
Another collection agency with an F rating from the Better Business Bureau is AFSCO. The BBB indicates that AFSCO has a pattern of complaints concerning their collection and billing practices. Consumers have alleged that the Charlotte-based collection agency has violated the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act and North Carolina Collection Agency Act by using threats and harassment to collect debts.
The final collection agency listed in the Better Business Bureau report is Financial Management Solutions, based out of Fort Mill, South Carolina. Individuals in North Carolina and South Carolina have alleged that Financial Management Solutions has used hostile and threatening collection tactics. For example, an individual that contacted our firm alleged that employees of Financial Management Solutions regularly came to her place of work and aggressively attempted to collect a small debt by telling her coworkers, bosses, and customers that she was a “deadbeat” that owed money.
Under the FDCPA and NCCAA, debt collectors like Barron, Gibson & Phillips LLC cannot harass, oppress, or abuse consumers. Debt collectors cannot use threats of violence or harm, use obscene or profane language, or repeatedly call a consumers’ number with the intent to annoy or harass. Debt collectors are also prohibited from saying that a consumer will be arrested for not paying a debt, that the debt collector will seize a consumer’s property or wages unless they are allowed to by law, or that legal action will be taken unless the threatened action is legal and they actually intend to take such action.
Consumers have the right to sue debt collectors in state or federal court for debt collection violations. In addition to any actual damages like lost wages or medical bills, a collection agency can be required to pay statutory damages, attorneys’ fees, and costs. Under the North Carolina Collection Agency Act, statutory damages can range from $500 to $4,000 per violation. The consumer protection attorneys at Maginnis Law, PLLC stand up against unlawful practices committed by collection agencies and debt collectors. For a free case evaluation with a consumer protection attorney, contact our firm at 919.526.0450, firstname.lastname@example.org, or through our confidential contact page.
You can also subscribe to our mailing list to learn about the rights you have under consumer protection law against large corporations.