Regardless of Franklin Collection Service Inc.’s collection strategy, you will have an advantage if you are proactive when dealing with them.
Is Franklin Collection Services Inc. currently pursuing you for money? It can be a scary experience to have your debt sent to collections. What are your rights if Franklin Collection Services goes after you for money, and how far will they go to get your money?
Most states have similar laws that protect consumers against unfair debt collection practices. The Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA) protects consumers at the federal level. It is empowering to know your rights because, in addition to providing you with information, it boosts your confidence. In this article, you will learn a few things, such as:
- The rights you have when dealing with Franklin Collection Services
- What is Franklin Collection Services?
- The best way to deal with them in the event of a lawsuit
- Negotiating power
What is Franklin Collection Services?
Franklin Service, Inc., a licensed and bonded collection agency in the United States, has been operating from a 22,000-square-foot facility designed for expansion in Tupelo, Mississippi, since 1980. They follow up with customers who owe them money to retrieve their debts. Among the services they offer are:
- Reporting to credit bureaus
- Mail and phone collection
- Services for skip tracing
The following is the contact information for Franklin Collection Services:
Franklin Service, Inc.
2978 West Jackson Street
P.O. Box 3910
Tupelo, MS 38801
Client Services: 877-869-7776
Are there any reviews for Franklin Collection Services?
On a scale of A+ to F, Franklin Collection Service Inc. has had an A+ rating from the Better Business Bureau since 2004. Despite the BBB’s A+ rating, the company has received 228 complaints. A quick review of the complaints last year indicates that only 53 were resolved or closed to the consumer’s satisfaction.
Over the past ten years, Franklin Collection Services has also been the subject of more than 1,300 complaints filed with the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.
As an example, let’s take a look at a genuine complaint against FCS from the BBB’s profile on the company:
“I received a phone call regarding a bill that had been placed with them. I told them that I was willing to work with them, but I requested something to be sent to my home address via U.S. Mail. At this point, the agent became upset and claimed that because she was ‘doing me a favor’ by offering a discount that she didn’t need to send anything through the mail but would email it. When I explained my FDCPA rights to her, she threatened to put this on my credit report and to continue calling until it was resolved.
At this point, I told her that if she couldn’t follow the FDCPA then she would not be talking to me anymore. I simply want a letter via USPS from them stating the discounted amount owed. It really isn’t a discounted amount. All I want is for the equipment charge from DirecTV to be removed since we did return our equipment and now they claim we didn’t. Once the equipment charge is removed and I have it in writing, I will resolve the remainder of the debt. Until that happens, I won’t. I understand that the first payment I send them before they remove that charge is me agreeing that the entirety of the debt is valid.”
In addition to the above examples, there are a few other examples where the Federal Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA) has been violated. If you have been a victim of any of these violations, knowing your rights can help you protect yourself.
Franklin Collection Services will contact you if you violate your FDCPA rights
Third-party debt collectors must comply with the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act to collect a debt from you. Knowing your debt rights can save you a lot of headaches and prevent you from paying debts you don’t have to pay.
For example, you can request verification of this specific debt under Section 1692g of Title 15 of the United States Code. Therefore, you must send Franklin Collection Services a Debt Validation Letter within 30 days for them to verify that this is your debt.
Here are a few things that debt collectors are not allowed to do according to the FDCPA rules:
- It is against the law for debt collectors to call you before 8 a.m. or after 9 p.m.
- It is illegal for debt collectors to threaten to take legal action if they cannot, or have no plans to take, legal action themselves.
- Debt collectors cannot pretend to be government agencies or police officers to collect debts.
- It is illegal for debt collectors to discuss your debt with anyone other than you and your lawyer.
- There is no way for a debt collector to misrepresent their identity or tell lies about it.
- It is against the law for debt collectors to use abusive, threatening, or vulgar language when discussing your debt with you.
how to deal with Franklin Collection Services
Franklin Collection Services can also sue you as a last resort to get payment from you. In most cases, debtors don’t appear in court and lose by default. A default judgment allows the debt collector to garnish your wages, levy your bank account, or even both.
To respond to a lawsuit filed by Franklin Collection Services, you need to follow these three steps:
- Provide an answer to each of the claims listed in the Complaint.
- Make sure that you assert your affirmative defenses.
- Make sure the Answer is filed with the court and that a copy of the Answer is sent to Franklin Collection Services.
1. Respond to each claim in the complaint
You are officially involved in a lawsuit once you get a Summons and Complaint. The Summons informs you that you have been sued, while the Complaint explains why you have been sued. These documents may have different names in different states; for example, in Texas, they may be called Citation and Petition.
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This Complaint contains several numbered paragraphs that outline the facts of the lawsuit. It is recommended that you carefully read the Complaint, do not guess, and answer each Complaint as follows:
- It is true; you admit it. For example, if you live in Orange County and work at XYZ Construction, you would accept that part of the Complaint in the letter.
- It is untrue; you have denied it. For instance, you know that you have a debt to the person named, but you are not assuming or guessing that you owe that particular amount to them.
- There is no way to verify the statement as you don’t have sufficient knowledge about the subject. For example, you might assume that a collection agency is licensed and bonded when it files a lawsuit, but you do not have any proof and have never seen the license.
You are recommended to deny as many claims as you can. In this way, FCS will have to prove each of its shares, and if it cannot do so, the case has a chance of being dismissed.
2. Defend yourself affirmatively
It is possible to defend yourself from lawsuits using affirmative defenses that explain why there is no case for the plaintiff. It is important to list these defenses in your Answer, as they are one-of-a-kind opportunities, and many online forms could be more helpful regarding affirmative defenses.
A statute of limitations is one of the most common defenses that can be used when bringing a lawsuit. A statute of limitations is a law that limits the time that a lawsuit can be brought. You should check the statute of limitations before making a payment or entering into a repayment plan for an old debt to see if you can be sued or if FCS can collect the debt.
A debt collector may not be entitled to sue you after the legal time limit for filing a lawsuit against you has expired.
3. Make a copy of the Answer and file it in court
After you have answered the Complaint paragraphs and asserted your affirmative defenses, you are ready to file your Answer. If you file your Answer correctly, the document will be valuable, just like doing homework without submitting it.
You will find the address of the attorney on the summons and Complaint. In most instances, summonses do not include the court’s speech, and Google may list a different physical address for the court than the mailing address.
Here’s a simple example that you can relate to.
In the example that follows, Jane is being sued for $2,000 by Franklin Collection Services. In her Answer document, Jane asserts her affirmative defenses. She denies most of the allegations, stating that the statute of limitations on a debt has expired, which is only four years. She also cites the expired statute of limitations on debt as one of her defenses. Following a few weeks of waiting, Jane is happy to hear that FCS has dismissed her case.
Pay less than the full amount to settle a debt
There is a strategy that you can use if you prefer a collection account to be settled out of court. Write a Debt Lawsuit Settlement Letter to Franklin Collection Service Inc. asking for a lower settlement amount than the total amount. Your initial offering should be at most half of the full amount.
In writing, confirming that Franklin Collection Service Inc. has received the full payment after you agreed to a reduced amount is essential. Please wait until you receive this letter before sending it because they may accept your payment as partial payment and then continue to pursue you after receiving it.
Let’s take a look at another example in more detail.
Suppose Sue was contacted by Franklin Collection Services concerning a $7,000 debt. She responded promptly by sending a Debt Validation Letter to Franklin, and Franklin’s response was sufficient to determine that the debt was Sue’s. To settle the debt, Sue offered to pay $3,000. Franklin Collection Services countered with an offer of $5,500, and Sue countered that as long as her budget allowed for a $4,000 settlement, she countered again, stating that this was the only amount she could afford.
Since Franklin’s Collection Services knew that fighting it out in court would cost more than the $3,000 difference, they accepted the settlement amount as a compromise instead of fighting it out in court. After both parties signed the final Debt Settlement Letter, Sue paid the $4,000 – saving the company $3,000 and avoiding the need to go to court.