Williams & Fudge, Inc. is a collection agency based in South Carolina that specializes in student loan debt. Consumers have complained that this agency has violated certain provisions of the Fair Debt Collections Practices Act (FDCPA) such as making false statements and improper contact or sharing of information. If you have been contacted by this debt collector understand your rights before responding.
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According to the Better Business Bureau (BBB), Williams & Fudge is a legitimate debt collection firm, founded in 1986. The BBB opened its file in 1990. They are currently headquartered in Rock Hill, SC., and listed as a collection agency. Buzzfile estimates Williams & Fudge’s annual revenue at $31.5 million and the size of its staff at 220 people.
Williams & Fudge is a family-owned business that aids “colleges and universities in the recovery of education-related receivables… including Perkins Loans (Cohort management), tuition, campus-based institutional loans, Health Profession and Nursing Student Loans, private education (alternative) loans, and other receivables such as parking, room, board, and library fines.” In addition to third-party collections services, Williams & Fudge offers an “Early Intervention” program designed to prevent students from entering into delinquency.
Williams & Fudge describes itself as a business partner of educational institutes with a goal of responding quickly to customer needs. Williams & Fudge representatives visit campuses throughout the year to maintain a relationship as an extension of the university business office.
Williams & Fudge’s website does not discuss their policies of compliance. Their resources page is composed entirely of external links to information sites about Federal Perkins Student Loans; Federal Student Loan Grants; the Federal Student Aid Handbook; the Teacher Cancellation Low Income Directory; Family Education Rights and Privacy; the Fair Debt Collections Practices Act (FDCPA); the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA); the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA); and the Perkins Cohort Default Rate Guide. In addition, the payment portal requires site visitors to select their state of residence, after which appears a brief disclaimer of some of their rights under the FDCPA.
In the three years prior to September 2017, the BBB has closed 132 complaints against Williams & Fudge, with 36 of those complaints closed in the past twelve months. Most of the complaints filed with the BBB alleged problems with billing and collections. Since April 2015, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) has closed 90 complaints, and Justia lists at least 5cases of civil litigation naming Williams & Fudge as a defendant.
It is illegal for a debt collector to threaten to sue you or garnish your wages. It is also unlikely W&F would sue you for a debt you may not owe or they cannot validate. However, debt collection agencies are known to have summoned debtors to court and garnish wages after a default judgement. Contacting an attorney BEFORE this could possibly happen would be a smart move. We’ve helped thousands of consumers fight back against unscrupulous debt collection harassers. Find out if we can help you too today!
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Absolutely. Here are some Sample Cases against filed in Federal Court
In December 2008, in the United States District Court for the Western District of Pennsylvania, a judge issued a Memorandum Opinion and Order on Summary Judgement in a case alleging Williams & Fudge had violated provisions of the FDCPA. In this case, a Williams& Fudge collection agent had obtained via skip tracing a phone number he assumed belonged to the plaintiff. In fact, the phone number belonged to the plaintiff’s estranged father. Initially, the collection agent had left a voice message at the number without identifying himself as a debt collector. Eventually, the collection agent made contact with the plaintiff’s estranged father, and after an initial erroneous identification, began discussing the details of the debt. When it became clear that the plaintiff’s father was unsure why he was receiving the call, the collection agent attempted to identify him by Social Security Number, at which point the plaintiff’s father informed the collection agent that he should be speaking to his son. Once the agent discovered the mistake, he continued discussing the debt, including asking for information about how to reach the plaintiff. The plaintiff charged that this conduct violated the FDCPA’s provisions that “any debt collector communicating with any person other than the consumer for the purpose of acquiring location information about the consumer shall…not state that such consumer owes any debt”; that “a debt collector may not communicate, in connection with the collection of any debt, with any person other than the consumer”; and that a debt collector must “disclose in the initial oral communication that the debt collector is attempting to collect a debt and any information obtained will be used to collect the debt.” The judge in this case found that Williams & Fudge had violated all of these provisions as a matter of law, and granted the plaintiff‘s motion for summary judgement. Williams & Fudge’s objected that the violation was the result of “bona fide error,” but their motion for summary judgement was denied, and their objection was set for trial.
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.
Consumers have reported this agency harassing them from the following numbers:
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 receiving calls at work from a debt collection agency
- Debt collectors are calling your friends, neighbors, or coworkers
- Collectors are threatening you with violence, 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.
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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 NOW.
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