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Protocol Recovery Service, Inc. (PRS) is a third-party collection agency based in Georgia. PRS has received consumer complaints alleging violations of the Fair Debt Collections Practices Act (FDCPA), including attempting to collect debts not owed and threatening to take illegal actions. If you have been contacted by PRS,understand your rights before responding.
According to the Better Business Bureau (BBB), Protocol Recovery Service, Inc. was founded and incorporated in Georgia in 1999. The BBB opened its file in 2006. PRS is listed as a collection agency and credit and debt counseling company. PRS uses the alternate business name, Protocol Collection. Buzzfile estimates PRS’ annual revenue at $2.6 million and the size of its headquarters staff at 45 people.
The website for PRS at www.protocol.us.com is no longer in service. According to anecdotal evidence gleaned from a variety of collection industry blogs and websites, PRS is no longer in business. Prior to closing its doors, PRS was reported to have been “a good little agency” that collected“retail accounts, bank cards, Discover, Rehabilicare, and…payday loans.” PRS was known to have practiced “some adherence to the FDCPA,” but suffered from an understaffed management team.
However, former employees also indicate that “preset goals went up every month whether collectors were ready for it or not, and those who weren’t reaching it” became recipients of “heckling, harassment, and ridicule from management.” Other former employees indicated a management practice of “feeding collectors they like,” and ignoring the rest. Furthermore, whereas “in a strict FDCPA environment which was also positive and professional…the focus was on helping the borrowers.” However, at “Protocol, the focus was on serving the client,”and collectors at Protocol with an “open-minded ‘student loan’ approach to the borrowers of payday loans were seen as ‘corny.’”
As of October 2017, the BBB has received only 1 complaint against PRS, in July 2016, alleging problems with billing and collections. The BBB has given PRS a rating of B-. The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) has not published any closed complaints against PRS. Justia lists at least 10 cases of civil litigation naming PRS as a defendant.
Absolutely. Here are some Sample Cases against Protocol Recovery Service, Inc?
In June 2007, in United States District Court for the District of Rhode Island, a plaintiff filed a complaint against PRS for alleged violations of the Fair Debt Collections Practices Act (FDCPA) and the Rhode Island Deceptive Trade Practices Act (DTPA). In this case, beginning around the summer of 2006, PRS representatives began calling the plaintiff in an effort to collect a debt. In one of those phone calls the following exchange took place:
PRS Representative: “Are you familiar with arbitration, Ma’am?”
PRS Representative: “Okay. Basically, what’s going to happen is this information been in our office again since May of 2006. We’ve been trying to get in contact with you to see if we can resolve this issue. If you don’t want to resolve it the alleged debt voluntarily at this point it is a pre-legal issue and they will submit this information to your local magistrate court, obtain a judgment to either garnish wages, lien property, anything they have to do to get the balance in full.”
During this exchange, the plaintiff had notified the representative that she did not owe the alleged debt, but “within days after the June 10, 2006 telephone conversation, Protocol again called the plaintiff.” And subsequent to June 10, 2006, Protocol “repeatedly called the plaintiff.”Next, in August 2006, a different PRS representative, whom the plaintiff had previously identified, began contacting her again. During one of these August 2006 attempts, this PRS representative stated, “now that we’ve gotten this far, lets discuss your bankruptcy,” and then immediately hung up.
As a result, the plaintiff filed a 3-count complaint citing violations of the FDCPA and the DTPA. In the first count, harassment through repeated telephone calls, the plaintiff cited the conduct described above as evidence that PRS “engaged her in conversation with the intent to annoy, abuse, or harass,” and “called her with the intent to annoy, abuse, or harass.” In the second count, making “false or misleading representations,” the plaintiff again cited the conduct above”regarding arbitration, and Protocol’s intended course of conduct, and the outcome of Protocol’s intended course of conduct, as false and/or misleading.” Finally, the third count, unfair collection efforts, charged that PRS “was, or should have been, aware of its agents’ conduct while calling the plaintiff…and that Protocol did not discipline any of its agents as a result of their calls to, and conversations with, the plaintiff…Protocol’s conduct as described in this Count constituted ‘unfair or deceptive acts or practices’ as that term is defined in the Rhode Island DTPA… and was deliberate and outrageous.”
Protocol Recovery Service, Inc.
655 Molly Ln., Ste. 120
Woodstock, GA 30189-6519
Understanding your Debt Collection Rights
The Fair Debt Collections Practices Act (FDCPA) and the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) are enforced by the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) and the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB). The FDCPA regulates the behavior of collection agencies by prohibiting actions such as the use of abusive or threatening language; harassment; or the use of false or misleading information to collect a debt.
The FCRA regulates how collection agencies and creditors report delinquent debts to credit reporting agencies. Additional consumer protection laws include the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA) and the Consumer Financial Protection Act (CFPA). The complaint above illustrates how these laws can be extremely effective tools to hold accountable collection agencies who fail to adhere to their provisions.
These laws also provide individuals with a means to seek monetary damages in court. For example, the FDCPA allows consumers who have been violated to recover damages of up to $1,000, plus attorney fees and court costs.
Seek legal assistance to find the relief you may be entitled to if you are having difficulty resolving disputes with a debt collection agency.
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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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