If you’re one of the quarter of Americans who has a debt that’s currently in collections, you’re no stranger to the sight of an unknown number on your phone’s lock screen. While these calls start off as a minor annoyance, they can quickly escalate into a serious disruption and wear on your mental health — especially if you’re up against a pit bull like Pinnacle Credit Services.
The good news is that there are ways to get them to stop calling without paying out the entire debt as a lump sum – but it all starts with knowing your rights as a consumer, as well as figuring out how to respond to Pinnacle the next time the phone rings.
Pinnacle Credit Services is a Greenville, South Carolina-based agency that buys debts from companies that are charging them off, often for pennies on the dollar. If this company appears on your credit report as Pinnacle Credit Services, there’s a good chance that you’ll be contacted on by another one called Resurgent Capital Services, LLC – a third-party debt collector that manages some of Pinnacle’s purchased assets.
Typically, if Pinnacle Credit Services contacts you about a debt, it’s because you owe money on an account that went into collections. If you don’t recognize the account, it could be an oversight – or it could be a legitimate mistake on Pinnacle’s part. These are more common than most people realize, and they usually come down to a few common issues. These include the following.
This can include any outstanding balance on a credit card, loan or other financial obligation that have been paid in full.
This can include debts incurred by another family member or an ex-partner, or debts related to a fraudulent account opened in your name without your knowledge.
This could be anything from fraudulent credit cards and loans to online banking accounts, all created with the intent of stealing personal information.
This can happen when incorrect information is submitted to credit bureaus, resulting in inaccurate reporting and negative impacts on a person's credit score.
If you’ve assessed the situation and decided that the debt is not yours, you should take action. Reach out to us at Fair Credit for a free case review. We help to identify inaccuracies on your report, as well as managing your dispute for you. That way you can be sure the error gets removed from your credit report.
In the case of identity theft you should also be filing a police report in addition to the dispute on your report.
While some collection agencies may at least make an attempt to operate within the bounds of the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA), Pinnacle doesn't seem to think the law applies to them -- the company regularly employs tactics that include intimidation and manipulation to take advantage of less educated consumers who might not be aware of the rights afforded them under federal law.
For example, one of the restrictions placed on debt collectors by the FDCPA is that they cannot contact individuals at their workplace. This not only protects you from potential embarrassment or reputational damage that can come from a colleague overhearing your financial issues discussed in the office, it also helps protect employees’ relationships with their employers and allows them to keep financial matters private.
Additional restrictions include the following:
If Pinnacle has violated any of these rights, they've stepped beyond being an annoyance – they're actively breaking the law, and they deserve to pay. Working with an attorney can help get the initial debt dismissed even result in additional compensation, depending on the circumstances of the case.
If you've been served a lawsuit by Pinnacle Credit Services, you’ll need to take action and respond quickly. Ignoring the lawsuit won’t make it go away and is more likely to result in a default judgment being awarded in favor of the collector.
To protect your rights, you should file an Answer with the Clerk of Court within 20-30 days after being served with the Complaint. In your Answer, make sure not to admit to anything or indicate any liability for the alleged debt, since it’s up to the collector to prove that you owe this money in court.
After filing your Answer, be sure to mail a copy of the document – with a stamp by the Clerk of Court -- to Pinnacle Credit Services.
Responding immediately and comprehensively to a lawsuit from Pinnacle Credit Services or any other debt collector is key if you want to increase your likelihood of a favorable outcome. By keeping on top of all communications between yourself and the collector, you’ll be able to keep track of any important paperwork or information sent your way.
It’s also advisable to work with an experienced attorney who can protect your interests in any civil litigation matters.
At Fair Credit, we have years of experience in helping individuals get back on their feet financially. We believe in being transparent with all of our clients and keeping them informed throughout every step of the process so they can feel confident about their decisions.
Don't hesitate – if you're struggling with debt or need advice on what steps to take next, contact us today for a free case review and take back control over your finances!