The Law Office of Dimitrios Kolovos, LLC filed a lawsuit on behalf of a New Jersey consumer against Afni, Inc., a debt collector based in Bloomington, Illinois alleging that it violated the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA). The Complaint alleges that Afni falsely threatened to report a debt belonging to the consumer to the credit reporting agencies if it was not paid; it was filed in the federal court for New Jersey on January 31, 2008.
According to the Complaint, Afni contacted the consumer to collect on an old telephone bill from another state. The consumer believed she lived at the address in question approximately eight years ago. However, since the alleged debt is so old, the consumer is unable to determine if any money is even owed.
When Afni attempted to collect on the debt eight years later, the Complaint alleges that Afni’s debt collector told the consumer over the phone that if she did not pay the debt, Afni would report it to the credit reporting agencies. Since very old debts that are delinquent cannot be reported by the credit reporting agencies, the Complaint alleges that Afni made a false threat.
“Making false threats,” says the consumer’s attorney, Joseph A. Mullaney, III of the Law Office of Dimitrios Kolovos in Voorhees, NJ, “is unlawful under the FDCPA.” He adds, “Threats issued by debt collectors must be both 1) permitted by law, and 2) actually intended to be carried out to comply with the FDCPA.” In this action, the consumer alleges that Afni falsely threatened to report a very old debt that, if reported, would not comply with the Fair Credit Reporting Act, another federal consumer protection statute.
At this time, “No court has found Afni, Inc. responsible for violating the consumer’s rights pending the outcome of the litigation,” Mullaney said.