A civilian defense contractor dependent on her continued security clearances was subjected to abusive debt collection by Premium Asset Recovery Corporation (PARC) and false credit reporting, a federal lawsuit alleges. PARC alleged the defense contractor owed a mistaken sum of money to a hospital that should have been paid by her employer’s workers compensation policy. According to her Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA) lawsuit, when she tried to explain the discrepancy to PARC, she was met with abuse, harassment, and continued collection attempts despite providing detailed documentation of her dispute. The Complaint further alleges that her security clearances were jeopardized by allegations of unpaid debt. While PARC is now out of business, the consumer is asking the court to hold Asset Acceptance Capital Corp., its parent, responsible for the alleged liabilities incurred by PARC.
“A consumer must be careful when dealing with Asset Acceptance or any of its subsidiaries,” warned her attorney, Joseph A. Mullaney, III. “Making a telephone call or writing a letter that a debt is not owed is not enough – unfortunately – when dealing with huge debt collection agencies bent on extracting every last dollar.” Medical debt collection is problematic for both the debt collector and the consumer because privacy laws often do not permit the review of medical records to determine how an alleged debt arose. “Put a callous debt collection agent on the phone, and you have a recipe for frustration and worry,” he opined, “when neither the consumer nor the agent can easily obtain the documents necessary to resolve the dispute.” Although the privacy laws should remain intact, a debt collector that is ill-equipped to deal with medical debt will often violate the FDCPA. PARC was so incompetent, the Complaint alleges that when it did provide some documents to the consumer, they pertained to an unrelated patient by disclosing his drug and alcohol usage to the consumer. “Did PARC, in turn, provide my client’s confidential medical records to someone else?” Mullaney wondered.
The consumer seeks a judgment against both Asset Acceptance and PARC for violations of the FDCPA and her damages, attorney’s fees, and costs.