Who is Palisades Collection, LLC?
Palisades Collection, LLC, is a debt buyer under the Asta Funding umbrella of businesses. It, like other debt buyers, profits by approaching primary lending institutions and purchasing debt that is “not performing.” This is a sanitized way of saying that Palisades buys debt that its original owner no longer wishes to attempt collections on. When Bank of America, Chase Bank, Capital One or any other major financial institution sells debt to a debt scavenger, it is because that debt has been charged off or otherwise gone delinquent for some time. Most financial institutions will consider selling debt to a scavenger after 120 days, at the minimum. At this point, the account holder can no longer deal with the original institution to make a payment or put together a settlement.
Palisades is one of many debt scavengers that makes money when it gets those high risk account holders to pay up. Sometimes, this is a fair process that ends up benefiting both parties. This is usually the case when the debt owed is a small one, so the account holder can manage a fair, modest settlement. However, Palisades will frequently engage in legal action if it considers the move to be advantageous. In many instances, the defendant had no idea that they were about to be the target of legal action.
Is Palisades collection agency a trustworthy company?
In general, it is rarely a good idea to trust a debt scavenger. Their only goal is to extract as much money as possible from their targets. These aren’t compassionate, understanding types. Consumers are entries in a spreadsheet, and their unique financial hardships are rarely, if ever, taken into account. As such, it is unwise to consider the collector trustworthy.
This is particularly true of Palisades, which is notorious among attorneys for its unethical, and often illegal, means of debt collection. Revealed in a 2013 Wall Street Journal article, Palisades is facing hundreds of federal lawsuits and consumer complaints, most of which stem from its violation of the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act, or FDCPA. This act requires debt collectors to adhere to several standards of behavior. For example, collectors may not threaten or deceive someone in attempting to collect a debt, nor may they contact someone at unreasonable times, or at work. There are many more standards outlined in the FDCPA, and Palisades has played fast and loose with many of them.
Frequent FDCPA violations are common in the debt buyer industry, but Palisades has taken even this dubious honor a step further. Earlier in 2018, the New York City Civil Court determined that Palisades must pay $3.9 million in a class action lawsuit filed against the company. The lawsuit concerned AT&T Wireless debts accrued from 2005 to 2007, and asserted that Palisades committed several excesses in attempts to collect on this debt. Palisades was found to lack information regarding who owned those accounts, so the debt buyer sued people without evidence that they were suing the right people. Worst, though, was that Palisades sued people without notifying them of the lawsuit, winning default judgments without giving the defendant a chance to respond. Palisades used these judgments to coerce some account holders into paying them, and the debt scavenger froze bank accounts and garnished wages in some instances. Palisades told the relevant courts, at the time, that it had followed all procedures properly. Evidently, the New York City Civil Court disagreed.
Can I fight back with legal help?
Debt scavengers are some of the most deceitful plaintiffs in civil law, and defendants are up against it if they attempt to fight a lawsuit alone. Fortunately, these tactics are obvious to a debt defense attorney. With professional legal representation, a defendant can assert their side of the case and ensure no defense is left on the table. This is a nightmare outcome for Palisades, as it only wants to win default judgments. As soon as it is dragged into court for an extended legal battle, it is losing money in court fees, representation and in time that could be spent pursuing other accounts. Given this, it is clear that a defendant should consider fighting back, especially if they cannot negotiate a manageable settlement beforehand.
A debt defense attorney has several tactics at their disposal for outmaneuvering or exhausting Palisades. Some of those defenses include:
- Not enough information – Palisades has already shown that it will sue without the legal authority to do so. Debt scavengers purchase debt in bulk, and they know that many of those accounts will come with incomplete information. They also know that this doesn’t matter in most cases because more than 90 percent of people named in a lawsuit will not respond.However, if Palisades is pressed to provide this information, they will have to prove the defendant is, in fact, the person who owns the account. Further, they will have to prove they have payment histories and any documentation that the defendant signed in promising to pay back any debts. Palisades often fails to provide this information.
- Statute of limitations – Almost all debts are time-barred, which means they eventually cannot be used as a subject of a debt collection lawsuit. There are several reasons why these statutes are in place, and they usually trigger after four to 10 years, following the last payment made on the account. Palisades, again, will sue for debt that is no longer applicable under the statute of limitations. This defense will have to be asserted early on to render their attempt invalid.
- Exhausting the plaintiff – The defendant has every right to request as much information as needed to show they truly owe the debt, and that they owe the amount specified in the initial complaint. It is up to Palisades to respond to these discovery requests in a timely manner. This places strain on Palisades, though, as the company must dedicate manpower and time to the task. And both cost the company money. If Palisades provides scant information from the outset, repeated discovery requests will often make the company give up. It may not be worth their time to keep going. There are always softer targets, after all.
A company like Palisades is looking to cause panic and despair in the people it targets for legal action. Don’t give in to these attempts to intimidate. Fight back with the help of a debt defense attorney and put Palisades to the test.
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