Equity Experts is a Michigan-based collection agency that collects upon outstanding homeowner’s association (HOA) debts across the county. The business, though over 14 years old, has not been accredited by the Better Business Bureau and maintains an “F” grade on the site. This score resulted from numerous unresolved claims of Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA) violations. On their website, the company boasts a 98% success rate and a 90 day resolution. But their no-holds barred approach to collections has led Maginnis Howard to an investigation into Equity Experts practices.
Homeowners Association Fees and the FDCPA
HOA fees are similar to mortgage payments, in that they are a mandatory obligation associated with living in a planned community. Homeowners who do not pay in a timely manner can be collected upon. This is because the FDCPA considers HOA fees as debts. When an Association has a delinquent (late) member, they will frequently hire a third party to collect debts.
In the past, our firm has pursued mortgage servicers such as Seterus for unfair and deceptive debt collection practices. The class action settled for more than $7 million in 2021. Seterus violated the FDCPA after sending “Final Notice” letters to homeowners, threatening foreclosure if they did not pay immediately. These claims were deceptive and our firm alleged Seterus acted illegally.
Equity Experts Consumer Complaints
A 2017 case levied against Equity Experts alleged the company repeatedly harassed a family member of the debtor. The plaintiff said the collection agency continued to contact him about late fees on his parent’s HOA fees. He informed the collectors that he was not the appropriate contact, but the company persisted. Attempting to collect a debt through a third party is one of the prohibited practices under the FDCPA.
In 2019, the State of Minnesota’s Commissioner issued a consent order (similar to a court order) over alleged consumer law violations by Equity Experts. A consumer complaint stated the company falsely threatened to file a lien on their property. Later attempts to collect included threatening to garnish the homeowner’s wages and tax returns.
What constitutes an FDCPA violation?
The FDCPA prohibits collectors from the following activities:
- Calling before 8 a.m. or after 9 p.m.
- Attempting to collect debts from the wrong person
- Threatening legal action against the borrower
- Misrepresenting the status or amount of a debt
- Repeatedly contacting a third party to get your whereabouts
- Continue seeking payment after receiving a cease communication notice
Representation for FDCPA Violations
If you believe Equity Experts has violated your rights under the FDCPA, please contact us today. You can reach us by phone at (919) 526-0450, by email firstname.lastname@example.org, or through our contact page.