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workplace harrassment...legal?


mmmagique
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I will appreciate any advice you can give...

A few years ago I bought a car...made payment after payment...

ran over a dead deer (2nd time in two years with different vehicles)?

Anyway, apparently a car cannot continue to run without oil, (who knew?)

The engine was blown, and I was a trapped single mom trying to work without a vehicle.

I finally just quit making the payments, left the car at a mechanics, and hurredly paid cash for something I could afford.

Of course, the company United Acceptance, wanted the rest of what they had coming (couldn't do it) and, eventually, the car.

They are in GA, and I am in IN.

I guess they got tired of waiting for me, and either sold the debt, or used another car dealer in the same state to try to collect.

Anyway, about every four months or so, these other people who I don't even know, come into my work (at a restaurant and bar) and talk to my boss, and co-workers, and tell them they are there to repo the car etc. :oops:

I was unable to afford to fix it, and pretty much just let it go... I am not even sure where it is anymore...

And even if I knew, they would still come after me for pretty much the same amount anyway, so to heck with them.

Can they legally come into my work (usually on a Fri or Sat during the dinner rush by the way), and talk to my employer and co-workers about this?

They already know the car is shot.

I did get their phone number and names of the guys who were here last time (all three of them!)

I did a reverse look-up and now know the name and address of their business. (I have never received anything from them in the mail)

They have my home address and phone number, so my work is not the only way for them to reach me...

I realize I was dumb and irresponsible, but, it can't be legal to do what they're doing....(can it?)

Thanks for any help you can give me

Christina

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Let me get this straight, THREE goons are making a habit of coming into your place of employment and harassing you by deliberately and repeatedly approaching your boss and coworkers about a car that you don't have anymore?....................and they already know you don't have it anymore??

Hmmm.................do these guys wear pinstriped suits with white ties by any chance? Do they say stuff like this:

Thug 1- "Hey boss man, we know your little helper here put the grab on our car, see?" "And we want it back, see?"

Boss- Grab?..............Car??.........."Little helper"?

Thug 2- "He don't know nothin' Rocko (actual name of thug 1), let's "ask" around a little more, eh?"

Thug 3- "Hey, how's the chili here?" "I think we should stay awhile and get "real" acquainted,................any objections?"

:) I'm sorry, of course I know it's not at all funny but I couldn't resist. If what you are describing is true, I'd say you are definitely being harassed and you should get some legal advice. Most initial consultations are free (call and ask to be sure) and the attorney should at least be able to point you in the right direction as far as options in your state. Good luck.

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Umm, yeah this is really bad business. I could maybe see a repo guy coming after a car at a person's job, but even then talking to the employer probably isn't legal. If I recall correctly, according to the FDCA they can only contact you at work to verify your name and address. They can't communicate to others that you owe money or whatever.

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Repossession agencies are not debt collectors within the FDCPA unless they perform common collection services, such as sending dunning letters, making telephone calls, etc. Jordan v. Kent Recovery Services; Larranaga v. Mile High Collection and Recovery Bureau, Inc.; Colton v. Ford Motor Credit Co..

Because the repossessor involved itself in the communication of the debt and not just the recovery of the property, they are debt collectors under the FDCPA. And, by communicating the debt with your employer and co-workers, they simultaneously violated the provisions about not communicating the debt with anyone other than the debtor.

Go get em.

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Thanks you guys for all your help.

Of course, you realize I am more confused than ever now...

Can they do this? (legally I mean)

They even have talked to me in front of my customers.

Extremely embarrassing...

Except I did make quite alot of money that night for some reason...

Just call me,

Confused in Indiana

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Where are you in Indiana?

So you never gave them the car to be repo'd but the mechanic had it?

The mechanic probably took out a mechanics lein against the car and ended up trashing it or selling it to a junkyard for parts.. or using it himself.

The SOL for a written contract in Indiana is 4 years per UCC and 6 years per the state statutes. ((Confusing I know.. just stating the fact))

They ARE debt collectors under Federal law.. ((as my attorney has recently found out)) and as such they can be responsible.

File a report with your local police department for harrassment.

They are harrassing you and your place of work for something they have no rright to do.

I would also write a letter to the company that supposedly owns the account now and tell them not to contact you at your place of work.

Tell them they need to contact the mechanic that last had the car if he got the lein of theirs removed .. then they should take it up with him.

Thats about all I can think of to tell you at this point.

Good luck

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Thanks you guys for all your help.

Of course, you realize I am more confused than ever now...

Can they do this? (legally I mean)

They even have talked to me in front of my customers.

Extremely embarrassing...

Except I did make quite alot of money that night for some reason...

Just call me,

Confused in Indiana

The short answer is no. What they did (or are doing) is ILLEGAL under federal law (FDCPA). You are entitled to sue them for any damages they have caused to your reputation. The Starting point to sue them at is $1000 and it goes up from there depending on how serious the damage to you is. They even have to pay your attorney fees on top of the damages.

I suggest you contact the law offices of Edelman, Combs, Latturer & Goodwin at www.edcombs.com. They are in Chicago. They will review your case for free and will either take it on themselves or hand it to an affiliate lawyer if they believe it is something you can win.

Understand this: The FDCPA has absolutely nothing to do with if you owe money to anyone. It is a law that defines what a debt collector is and regulates how a debt collector can behave. If a colelctor behaves outside the scope of what is allowed, then they have to pay you for the damages.

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Repossession agencies are not debt collectors within the FDCPA unless they perform common collection services, such as sending dunning letters, making telephone calls, etc. Jordan v. Kent Recovery Services; Larranaga v. Mile High Collection and Recovery Bureau, Inc.; Colton v. Ford Motor Credit Co..

Because the repossessor involved itself in the communication of the debt and not just the recovery of the property, they are debt collectors under the FDCPA. And, by communicating the debt with your employer and co-workers, they simultaneously violated the provisions about not communicating the debt with anyone other than the debtor.

Go get em.

To add, Methuss... they may not be covered under the FDCPA, but in some states, may be governed by state statute.

In MI, for example, they are directly identified as Collection Agents, working for a Collection Agency. As such they are not only bound by MI collection law, but the MI Occupational Code.

Also, while the FDCPA is lax on repossessors, the UCC is not - a repossession must take place without a breach of the peace - something that is not mentioned in the FDCPA....

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ok, guys, thanks. I'll get on this stuff.

I am in Evansville by the way thisclose to the Kentucky border.

Do you think that people do these things because most people won't fight them?

Sometimes I just don't feel like I have it in me to fight over all of this, (and other things) especially knowing I brought so much of it on myself...

Thanks again,

Christina

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