Source : ABC News
In a twist of irony, a West Virginia woman is trying to collect money from a collection agency. Diana Mey, of Wheeling, W. Va., won the largest judgment ever against an abusive debt collection company — more than $10 million.
“I’m a mom, and I’m a housewife, and I’m an accidental activist,” Mey said.
From her small-town home base in Wheeling, Mey went after a debt collection empire that hounds people nationwide and won. But she still hasn’t received any money.
“I don’t know that I’ll ever collect a dime, but if I can get their operation shut down, that would make me very happy.”
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At the time, Mey said she didn’t make a connection between that call and the collectors. But then she learned the call hadn’t come from the local sheriff’s office after all. The caller ID had been manipulated to look like it did, a practice called spoofing. That’s when she went online and discovered complaints about RFA debt collectors pretending to call from sheriff’s offices, including a male collector who called women vulgar names.
When “Nightline” went to RFA’s Orange County, Calif., office to ask about the case, it was abandoned. RFA is actually a fictitious business name for a company called Global AG, LLC. Records show it is just one of several collection companies run by the same people that often change names and move. “Nightline” also visited other offices registered to people named in Mey’s suit, but employees refused to talk and asked us to leave.
RFA’s lawyer later told “Nightline” that RFA made the first collection call to Mey, but denies making the second, obscene call. He said he was speaking on behalf of company principals Thai Han, Jim Phelps and Stewart Phillips.
“My clients say it is not their policy to engage in conduct that violates the law,” he said. He characterized the $10 million judgment as “unfair.”
As for Diana Mey, she says she knows she may never be able to collect the money, but that her lawsuit still serves a purpose.
“I hope that it sends a message to other debt collectors out there that you have to follow the law,” she said. “Because if you don’t, there are going to be people out there that are going to stand up against you.”