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UAB Hospitals and Franklin Collection Service sued under “Mob-Busting” Statute in Alabama
UAB Hospitals and Franklin Collection Service sued under “Mob-Busting” Statute in the US District Court in Birmingham, AL. Lawsuit alleges medical providers and collection agency conspired to add-on illegal charges to amounts owed by patients.
Filed on February 27 in U.S. District Court, Northern District of Alabama, civil action number CV-08-CO-0350-
Birmingham Attorney Allan Armstrong, one of the attorneys for the class action plaintiffs, explains the claims, “Franklin Collection Service is a collection agency that collects medical bills for UAB Hospitals, but they collect more than the amount due for the services. The suit alleges defendants have conspired to add unreasonable, unconscionable and illegal charges to the original debt owed by each of the class members on top of the medical bills.” Armstrong continued, “Strong-arm tactics and dunning communications were used to force the victims to pay more than what was legally due. For many of these victims, it could not come at a worse time, with unexpected medical bills potentially causing a financial hardship, and adding on these illegal charges just compounds the issues. In these hard times, medical bills are among the top reasons why many consumers are forced into bankruptcy. It is an outrage that these victims are toppled by such underhanded and illegal tactics. Now it is time for these consumers to fight back. Co-counsel and I are prepared to uphold the law and fight for these victims.”
In 2006, consumer complaints to the Federal Trade Commission about third party debt collectors (“FDCPA complaints”) increased both in absolute terms and as a percentage of all complaints that consumers filed with the Commission during the course of the year. The FTC received 69,204 FDCPA complaints in 2006 focused on the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act, another federal law that protects consumers against illegal collection activities. According to the FTC, more complaints are lodged against collection agencies than the FTC received against any other specific industry. Armstrong states that he believes “this only represents a small fraction of the violations of federal law occurring on an annual basis and it is time to hold the collectors and the creditors accountable. We intend to reform the entire industry.”
Allan L. Armstrong