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Blakely-Witt & Associates (BWA) is a third-party collection agency based in Texas that specializes in collecting delinquent debts for the apartment and residential rental industry. BWA has received consumer complaints alleging violations of the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA), including misrepresentation and failure to verify debts. If you have been contacted by BWA, be sure of your rights before responding.
According to the Better Business Bureau (BBB), Blakely-Witt & Associates is a collection agency located in Mesquite, TX. The BBB does not provide a founding date for BWA, but they do indicate they established BWA’s profile page in 1991.
According to its website, BWA is “a bonded, registered collection agency that has dedicated itself to the apartment and residential rental industry.” BWA takes “an aggressive approach in the recovery of delinquent accounts.” BWA offers “its knowledge of the TAA Lease Contract, the Texas Property Codes, and State and Federal laws” as the solution for “apartment community managers or the executives of…management companies” faced with the job of contacting “each resident that moves out owing money.” BWA provides “professional service on a contingent basis, with no set up fees, annual or monthly dues, or any hidden cost.”
Blakely-Witt & Associates website does not offer any information about its business practices, compliance policies, or employee training programs. There are no links or references to consumer protection resources, laws, or enforcement agencies
As of October 2017, the BBB has given Blakely-Witt & Associates a rating of F. The BBB has closed 28 complaints against BWA in the past three years, with 8 closed in the past 12 months. Most of those complaints allege problems with billing and collections. Since April 2015, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) has received 30 complaints about BWA. Justia does not list any cases of civil litigation involving Blakely-Witt & Associates.
Absolutely. Here are some Sample Cases against Blakely-Witt & Associates BWA.
Many of the complaints against Blakely-Witt & Associates allege problems with the accuracy of information reported to the credit reporting agencies (CRAs) or failure to provide verification of debts. In June 2017, a complainant indicated that he had received a collection notice from BWA for the unpaid last month’s rent on an apartment. According to the complainant, the balance should have been $700, but he alleged that BWA “added outrageous fees,” refused to send the original balance from the original creditor, and only provided the complainant with a handwritten balance statement. The complainant requested verification of the full original account number; date the original account was opened; original agreements between the complainant and the creditor proving the amount was owed; full account summary with itemized calculation of additional fees; date of the first delinquency; and dates and times of contact attempts prior to BWA’s reports to the CRAs. In addition, the complainant indicated he had not received a letter indicating his right to dispute the debt within 30 days of receiving a collection notice. Finally, the complainant alleged that the representative he contacted was “extremely rude,” kept hanging up on him, refused to settle the debt, and refused to send the verification of the debt he had requested.
In November 2016, a complainant indicated that Blakely-Witt & Associates had been pursuing collection activity on a debt they had failed to validate. The complainant indicated that BWA had received his certified letter requesting validation, but he had not received a response. He cited state laws that require a debt collection agency to respond to disputes within 30 calendar days; that disputed debts that have not been validated cannot be reported to the CRAs without indicating the debt is disputed; and that collection activity must cease until validation of the debt has been sent to the consumer. He indicated he preferred to post his complaint on the BBB site prior to filing a civil complaint in district court in the hope that BWA would offer a resolution.
As of October 2017, Blakely-Witt & Associates has not responded to any of the complaints posted on their profile page on the BBB website.
Blakely-Witt & Associates
802 US Highway 80 East
Mesquite, Texas 75149
Telephone: (972) 288-2106
Understanding your Debt Collection Rights
The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) and the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) enforce consumer protection laws, including the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA) and the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA). These two federal laws help regulate the collections industry. The FDCPA prohibits actions such as the use of false or misleading statements in an effort to collect a debt.
The FCRA regulates how collection agencies report information to credit reporting agencies. Additional consumer protection laws include the Consumer Financial Protection Act (CFPA) and the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA).
These laws also provide individuals with a means to seek monetary damages in court. For example, the FDCPA allows consumers to recover damages of up to $1,000, plus attorney fees and court costs, in cases proving violations of the FDCPA.
The case above illustrates how understanding your rights and responsibilities under these laws can help you hold collection agencies legally accountable. Seek legal assistance if you need help resolving a dispute with a collection agency.
Your debt harassment checklist:
- You are receiving multiple calls per week from third party collection agencies
- You are receiving early morning or late night calls from debt collectors
- You are recieving calls at work from a debt collection agency
- Debt collectors are calling your friends, neighbors, or coworkers
- Collectors are threatening you with violence, a lawsuit, or arrest
- A debt collector attempts to collect more than you owe
- You are being threatened with negative credit reporting
- A debt collector attempts to intimidate you
- Criminal accusations are being made towards you
- Use of obscene language during an attempt to collect
- Automated robocalls are being made to your phone in an attempt to collect
If you’ve been harassed by debt collectors and even one of these has happened to you, we can help. We will fight for your rights.
The Lemberg Law legal team is committed to holding debt collectors accountable, so complete our form for a FREE case evaluation, or call 844-685-9200.
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