The following story appeared on a Houston television station about debt a collection harrassment lawsuit resulting in a $1.5 million damages award.
The harassing and threatening voicemail messages left on Allen Jones’ mobile phone are nothing short of vulgar.
“This shouldn’t be tolerated,” he said. “Nobody should have to experience what I had to experience.”
Debt collectors from Advanced Call Center Technologies, LLC left eight messages for Jones in August 2007 trying to collect what it said he owed on a credit card.
Most messages were laced with profanity and spewed racial slurs:
“This is your mother******* wake-up call you little lazy a** b****,” a collector said on one. “Get your mother******* n****r ass up and go pick some mother******* cotton fields.”
Jones is African-American.
“If we did not have tapes, no one would ever believe that this happened,” Mark Frenkel, one of Jones’ attorneys said.
The recordings are so offensive News 8 decided against publishing transcripts of the others.
“This is absolutely, without a doubt, the most egregious collection case I’ve ever seen,” Dean Malone, Jones’ other attorney, added.
Jones sued Advanced Call Center Technologies over the harassing calls.
Friday afternoon, a Dallas County jury awarded him one of the biggest verdicts of its kind.
He won $50,000 in mental anguish and $1.5 million in punitive damages.
“We made a statement and the statement is we will not tolerate abusive debt collectors,” Jones continued.
Frenkel and Malone said employees from Advanced Call Center Technologies confessed to the calls. It remains unclear if they’re still with the company and whether it will appeal. Messages left at its headquarters were not immediately returned.
Jones always disputed the debt and claims he paid it.
The amount in question is as hard to believe as the calls themselves.
“They did this to Allen for under $200,” Frenkel pointed out. “Two hundred bucks put him through this.”
Now the company trying to collect money has become the one paying it out.
Our Oak Brook consumer rights private law firm handles individual and class action predatory lending, unfair debt collection, lemon law and other consumer fraud cases that government agencies and public interest law firms such as the Illinois Attorney General may not pursue. Class action lawsuits our law firm has been involved in or spear-headed have led to substantial awards totalling over a million dollars to organizations including the National Association of Consumer Advocates, the National Consumer Law Center, and local law school consumer programs. The Chicago consumer attorneys at DiTommaso Lubin Austermuehle are proud of our achievements in assisting national and local consumer rights organizations obtain the funds needed to ensure that consumers are protected and informed of their rights. By standing up to consumer fraud and consumer rip-offs, and in the right case filing consumer protection lawsuits and class-actions you too can help ensure that other consumers’ rights are protected from consumer rip-offs and unscrupulous or dishonest practices.
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