Is Estate Information Services, LLC Calling You?*
Is Estate Information Services, LLC calling you? Here’s what you need to know to protect your rights!
Debt has a negative impact on several areas of your life. You become stressed, which adversely affects your relationship with your friends and family.
Making the minimum payments is like pouring hard-earned funds down a black hole, with no appreciable lightening of the debt load.
If a point is reached where you can’t even meet the minimum monthly requirements, the debts may be assigned to third party collection agencies. That’s when collection letters and calls begin.
Legally, debt collectors are supposed to be professional and ethical while attempting to collect the debt from you.
The Fair Debt Collection Practices Act, or FDCPA, was enacted in 1977 to provide consumers with protection against unethical debt collection practices like those below:
- Calling you before 8:00 a.m. or after 9:00 p.m. in your time zone
- Calling you at your workplace when they know that your employer doesn’t permit you to take such calls
- Using profane and obscene language
- Telling uninvolved third parties like your friends and co-workers that you owe money
- Demanding an amount that is not supported by law or the original debt agreement
- Contacting you even after you’ve ordered them to cease communications
Although illegal, these activities remain in use today by debt collectors who count on the possibility that you won’t know enough about your rights to report them.
Who is Estate Information Services, LLC?
Estate Information Services, LLC is a collection agency located in Columbus, Ohio. It was established in 2000 has a large staff of 50-99, and specializes in collecting debts from the estates of deceased consumers.
While Estate Information Services, LLC is Better Business Bureau accredited, it has 14 complaints lodged against it with the BBB, and its reviews are entirely negative.**
A review of records on file at the PACER (Public Access to Court Electronic Records) website indicate that Estate Information Services, LLC has been sued for allegedly violating the FDCPA during its debt collection attempts.
On or about December 4, 2013, Estate Information Services, LLC sent New Jersey resident William Caruso a collection letter in an attempt to collect a debt owed by his deceased son.
It also sent the same letter to the family’s estate lawyer.
The letter allegedly stated,
“Unless within thirty (30) days after receipt of this notice you dispute the validity of the debt, or any portion thereof, we will assume the debt is valid. If you notify us within said 30 days that the debt or any portion there is disputed, we will obtain verification of the debt and will mail such verification to you. In addition, upon your written request within said 30 days, we will provide the name and address of the original creditor if different from the current creditor.”
This notice did not advise Mr. Caruso that a dispute must be in writing if he wanted to obtain verification of the debt.
The statement that if he notified Estate Information Services, LLC within 30 days that the debt was disputed, it would obtain verification of the debt and mail it to him was perceived as being inconsistent with the disclosure of his right to seek validation in writing within 30 days of the receipt of the notice.
Mr. Caruso later complained that the statement gave the impression that if he wanted to verify the debt, he could do so orally, rather than send a written dispute, which would lead him to give up his rights, since those rights are only triggered upon the receipt of a written dispute of the debt.
Mr. Caruso filed a class action lawsuit accusing Estate Information Services, LLC of communicating with a consumer known to be represented by an attorney, and failing to send a debt validation notice. The matter was later resolved.
How Can I Get Estate Information Services to Stop Calling?
The phone number for Estate Information Services, LLC is 1-855-526-9324. If you receive a call from this number, it means that a debt collector may be trying to collect money owed by a deceased relative.
If they send you communications that do not make your debt dispute and validation rights clear, see a consumer attorney. They can deal with Estate Information Services, LLC on your behalf and help you pursue the matter in court.
You could be awarded $1,000 per FDCPA violation, as well as court costs, attorney fees, and any actual damages.
When debt collectors are deceptive or unethical when dealing with you, expensive penalties result.
*Disclaimer: The content of this article serves only to provide information and should not be construed as legal advice. If you file a claim against Estate Information Services, LLC or any other third-party collection agency, you may not be entitled to any compensation.
***Case taken from PACER (www.pacer.gov). File number is 1:14-cv-00477-JEI-KMW from the United States District Court, District of New Jersey.