Harris & Harris Collections Complaints.Stop the annoying debt collection calls!
In this day and age, the average American is more likely to be swamped in debt since jobs pay extremely less and people have to rely on loans. However, that can become a pain if you are unable to pay off your debt. Your creditors will hire debt collectors, such as Harris & Harris, to get their money back or the debt collectors may even buy your debt from the creditor.
Are You Being Called By Harris & Harris? Here’s what you need to know
Many people tend to panic when they see calls from debt collection agency. They do not know the right response but they do not want to feel pressured either. Debt collection companies can get extremely rude and threatening if you do not pay off your debt. However, if only consumers knew their rights, they would know that these agencies have no right to engage with consumers in this way.
What is Harris & Harris?
Harris & Harris is a debt collections company started in 1986 with the aim to treat debtors with respect. Samuel J. Harris wanted to be a different debt collector and understood that people had outstanding obligations for not paying the debt. With this principle, he started the company from the basement of his home. Now, it is a company with hundreds of collections experts. Arnie and Dave Harris own the company; Arnie joined the firm as a litigating attorney in 1986 while Dave joined in 2 years later as a front-line collection representative. The firm equips the latest technology and follows ethical practices to help creditors recover the debt. The services they provide are disaster recovery, asset identification, litigation management, commercial insurance resolution, secondary collection activities, and debt buying. The company has headquarters in Chicago, it has call centers in Detroit and Milwaukee as well.
The firm works with organizations in multiple industries including utilities, government organizations, and healthcare. The mission of the company is to offer debt collections services. They believe their reputation and the reputation of their clients is important than debt collecting from one account. So, this is why they make sure their representatives follow the guiding principles. Every employee value these principles:
What Customers Say About Harris & Harris
Despite claiming to follow the guiding principles, there are numerous complaints against the company. Have a look at what the customers have to say about them.
One user reported that a representative threatened them and to share their information. According to him, a robo-call was left for his son stating they want to talk to him and asked for his number. When he returned the call and asked who it was, they told him they were calling from Harris & Harris. This call was about an unpaid red-light ticket. They wanted him to identify his address and when he rejected, they told him was the wrong address and will remove the number.
After a few days, his wife got a call from Harris & Harris. They wrongly accused his son of running a red light as on that date and time he was on basic training.
Another user complained Harris & Harris representatives repetitively called them. They informed the representative that this was the wrong number, yet they call them 1 to 2 times a day. This is a violation of the FDCPA.
Lisa Batey-Kolegas sued the company Harris & Harris for harassing, repetitive call, and unfair means to collect the debt. In 2016, Harris & Harris started calling Lisa for debt collection; the debt was owed by a person named Nicholas Kolegas. Lisa told them she didn’t know anyone by that name and told them to stop calling her, but they didn’t. So, she decided to sue the company for harassment.
How to Know if the Debt Collection Agency Calling You is Scam?
When you get a call from Harris & Harris, do not panic and remain very calm. Do not lose your wits as debt collectors very much count on that. To tell whether a debt collector is legitimate, follow these few tricks:
- Instead of the so-called debt collector asking you questions, make sure you start asking them questions as well. Ask for more information, which company they belong to, what their company name and logo is, etc. Make sure not to confirm any information like your bank account number or where you live. Ask them what the debt is about and which company has issued it and what the basis for the debt is. If they cannot provide you with any reasons or do not provide you with their company name or number, that should set off some red flags.
- As soon as you receive your first call from the Harris & Harris, you should receive a written confirmation of the debt from them. The letter should include the debt collection agency name, it should have a few of your rights listed, a mailing address, etc.
- Do your research. There are times when the debt collecting agency may be legitimate but not your debt. They tend to make mistakes. Search on Google for the company and verify whether it is an actual debt collection agency. Check your state attorney general’s office to check whether this agency is verified and is licensed. You may also find the number of complaints filed against this debt collection agency. Moreover, once you know that the debt collecting agency is legitimate, contact them, because sometimes some people may pretend to be working with the collection agency.
- Check your credit report. You will get a quick view of the debts you owe, to whom you owe, how much you owe and the like. If someone calls you out of the blue to tell you that you have some unpaid debt and it is not mentioned on the credit report, chances are that it is a scam.
- Check the statute of limitations. If it has expired, the Harris & Harris cannot ask you to pay stale debt. Do not reaffirm anything verbally which may lead you to restart the stale debt.
Harassing phone numbers
Harris & Harris, Ltd.
111 W Jackson Blvd, Suite 400
Chicago, IL 60604
Understand Your Debt Collection Rights and Fight Harris & Harris
When Harris & Harris comes knocking at your door, the first thing to do is to search for your rights in the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act 1977. This statute was specifically enacted to protect consumers from illegal actions taken by debt collection agencies such as harassment, threatening to sue, threatening family members, coming to your home in disguise, etc. The key provisions of the FDCPA 1977 are:
- Protection against harassment: abusive phone calls, excessive phone calls, threats, violence.
- You have the right to sue either the whole debt collecting company or just the individual
- You can ask for proof of debt
- You can ban debt collectors from calling you at inconvenient times or at work. You can even ban them altogether.
- They CANNOT blab about your debt to other people. The debt should remain between you and the debt collection agency.
When Harris & Harris contacts a consumer for the first time, they have to give them a ‘mini-Miranda’ which is basically a full disclosure. In the ‘mini-Miranda’ the consumer must be told of their right to dispute the debt, the name of the company, the amount and the right of the consumer to ask for verification of the debt. They have to send you all of this information in writing 5 days after the call.
If a consumer decides to dispute the debt, they have to make sure to send a letter in writing to the Harris & Harris collection agency. The letter must be sent within 30 days of the call. Till then the calls and messages from the collectors must halt. Once your debt is verified, the company will continue the collection of the amount. If not, they must cease to collect the amount.
If the company badgers you with constant calls at inconvenient times or at work, you can send them a cease communication letter. They cannot contact you during the specified time you mention, can only contact through letters or you can ask them to stop contacting at all. If they have to contact, it will only be to tell you whether the debt has been finished or whether the creditor is filing a law suit against the consumer.
If Harris & Harris uses abusive or threatening language or harm the consumer in any way, it is illegal under federal law. They cannot call you to abuse you, use profane or offensive language, threaten you or your property or your family. They are not allowed to call the consumer or their family from different numbers, silent phone calls or anything of the like is also illegal.
If anyone from debt collection agency shows up to your home in the uniform of a police officer or claim to be an attorney of the creditor, that is completely illegal. Moreover any kinds of threats to seize the consumer’s property or other assets or have them thrown to jail is also illegal.
Avoid sending personal checks. This may give debt collectors your routing number and account number, allowing them to take out money as they please.CBE Group Review
It is important to know your rights.
The reason why debt collectors are hired is because they are persuasive, almost to the point where it starts counting as harassment and threatening. Since many people do not know of their rights against debt collecting agencies, they feel pressured to pay off the debt and become broke or depressed.
Something which you need to know is that it is in the debt collector’s best interests that they pressure you enough to crack you and get you to pay money. This is because your creditor who hires them pays them on commission basis. The earlier they get the money out of you, the higher the commission they get. If you do not pay your debt, your creditor may fire them. Which is why at times debt collectors may even accept a small amount just so they can get their commission quickly.