Pre-Legal Collections? I think not.
There are many tactics employed by debt collectors to get you to pay as quickly as possible, even if you don't make an entire payment. This is because debt collectors work on a bonus structure based on fees collected. Among these tactics are threats to send your account to a "legal department" or "pre-legal collections."
These threats should raise a red flag to call us immediately.
The American Bar Association (ABA), which enforces rules and regulations governing lawyers, has stated that a lawyer cannot associate with a non-lawyer. (Rule 5.4: Professional Independence of a Lawyer). This means that a collection agency can contract but NOT employ a lawyer for the purposes of collection activity.
In many cases collectors will threaten to send your account to a "legal department" or "prelegal collections." Many of these threats are false. This is because its expensive to sue, and a lawyer or collection agency is not likely to sue on an account worth less than what it will cost to litigate. In reality this is an illegal tactic to get you to pay up faster. That is right, threats to sue not subsequently followed with legal actions are not only a violation of the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA) , but the Unfair Deceptive or Abusive Acts or Practices (UDAAP).
In some rare, but obvious to spot cases, a lawyer will actually associate with a collection agency in violation of the ABA rules. In this case, not only are your right above violated, but the lawyer may even be subject to sanctions and even license suspension.
How to spot likely illegal prelegal collections:
The number appearing on your caller ID when the attorney calls is the same as the collection agency.
The attorney's office is located within the collection agency.
The collector calling on behalf of the attorney is employed by the collection agency.
The collector calling is not clear on who is making the call, the collection agency or the attorney's office.
Also be on the look out for phrases like:
"If you do not pay, your account will be forwarded to our legal department"
"Collection efforts will continue by our legal department"
"The next step is to forward your account to our legal team"
If you are subject to collection calls, and believe your consumer rights have been violated call us TODAY for a FREE CONSULTATION: (706) 431-7297