Collection Calls and Voicemails from Weltman, Weinberg & Reis

May 26, 2014

Weltman Weinberg and Reis, LPA is a debt collection law firm based in Cleveland, Ohio, that files and litigates debt collection suits throughout the United States.The firm was founded 1930 and has roughly 950 employees in nine offices throughout the United States. Weltman Weinberg & Reis, LPA specializes in bankruptcy, real estate default, consumer and commercial collection agency services.  Weltman Weinberg and Reis, LPA claims to be the largest creditors’ rights firm in the country.  Weltman Weinberg & Reis, LPA represents clients on retail, real estate default, commercial and collection matters involving bankruptcy, foreclosure, evictions, probate, compliance & defense litigation, collection recovery, collection litigation & post-judgment executions, complex collections & litigation, contract review, real estate title and closing services, insurance subrogation, and corporate & financial services.

Weltman Weinberg and Reis, LPA has nine offices located in Brooklyn Heights, OH; Chicago, IL; Cincinnati, OH; Cleveland, OH; Columbus, OH; Detroit, MI; Fort Lauderdale, FL; Philadelphia, PA; and Pittsburgh, PA, WWR attorneys licensed to practice in Florida, New York, Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Michigan, New Jersey, Ohio and Pennsylvania.

In Monty v. Weltman Weinberg & Reis Co., LPA, 2013 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 174011 (S.D. Fla. Dec. 11, 2013), the consumer alleged that beginning in approximately early 2013 and continuing through at least July 2013, he received multiple telephone calls per week on his home telephone at phone number from the law offices of Weltman, Weinberg & Reis with regard to an alleged debt that the law firm was trying to collect from him. The telephone calls resulted in numerous messages being left on Monty’s home answering machine and he contended that Weltman, Weinberg & Reis called him at least 200 calls between January 2013 and July 2013. During this same time period, Weltman, Weinberg & Reis repeatedly called an acquaintance of Monty’s and left, and left 15 voice messages on the acquaintance’s answering machine. Weltman, Weinberg & Reis did not have the prior consent to communicate with Monty’s acquaintance concerning the alleged debt.

Weltman, Weinberg & Reis moved to dismiss the Complaint on the basis that the Complaint failed to identify properly the acquaintance or state the acquaintance was an improper third party under the FDCPA. In addition, Weltman Weinberg & Reis Co., LPA contended that the Complaint did not allege that the telephone calls were harassing to constitute a valid claim under the FCCPA. The District Judge denied the motion ruling that based on the allegations in the Complaint, Monty had established a valid claim under the FDCPA.

Wrong Number” Calls from Debt Collectors

November 25, 2012

Have you ever received calls from debt collectors for a person completely unknown to you? These “wrong number” calls are usually the result of collection calls being made to the person who owned the telephone number immediately prior to you. What do you do about these wrong number calls? My advice is to tell the debt collector that you are not the person that she/he is trying to contact and ask them to stop calling. However, this common sense approach often does not work because the debt collector does not believe the person that she/he spoke with. The collecting caller may believe that the person called is actually the true debtor and is trying to avoid the call by saying that it was a “wrong number.” If the debt collector keeps calling after being told that they have the wrong number, in this author’s opinion, the continued calls constitute harassment under the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act.

In addition, the “wrong number” calls could be in violation of the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA). The TCPA prohibits calls using a pre-recorded or artificial voice to deliver a message to a consumer unless there is a previous business relationship or consent for the call by the consumer. With most calls made by the debt industry to a consumer, the previous business relationship between the creditor and the consumer is sufficient to allow the debt collector to utilize a pre-recorded message. However, with wrong number collection calls, such a previous business relationship is lacking. Bringing suit under the TCPA premised on wrong number debt collection calls can result in substantial claimed damages. The TCPA provides for a statutory penalty of $500.00 per call and that amount increases to $1500.00 per intentional violation.

For more information, visit us at Stop Debtor Harassment or Consumer Rights Orlando.