I believe that Alliance One Receivables has violated the federal Fair Debt Collections Practices Act in regards to consumer rights. It is my understanding that collection fees beyond a reasonable amount of interest are illegal. I am aware that the municipal parking enforcement division can escalate the amount of the unpaid fine, which has been imposed on all of my accounts, yet for the agency to escalate alleged collection fees on top of the interest and additional fines is a clear violation.
808. Unfair practices [15 USC 1692f]
A debt collector may not use unfair or unconscionable means to collect or attempt to collect any debt. Without limiting the general application of the foregoing, the following conduct is a violation of this section: (1) The collection of any amount (including any interest, fee, charge, or expense incidental to the principal obligation) unless such amount is expressly authorized by the agreement creating the debt or permitted by law.
What this says is that no other charges may be applied unless a contract says it may and I can assure you that is not the case with a processing/collection fee. In my opinion, the agency is padding the charges.
I have been dealing with the deceptive collection practices of Alliance One Receivables since 2005, they have violated my rights under the Fair Credit Reporting Act in regards to reporting the debt to the major credit reporting agencies while the debt is in dispute. Alliance One has contacted me via mail and phone after I requested them to cease all communication as I attempted to resolve the debt with the original creditor, Seattle Municipal, who has refused to allow me to settle the debt accordingly with them.
Furthermore; although the company has included the required notice of consumers' right to dispute the validity of the debt under collection, they have failed to include relevant information regarding consumers' rights. (see enclosure) In particular, the notice attached to Alliance One letters fails to notify the consumer of their right to dispute a portion of the alleged debt. This overshadows the required notice and has a misleading, unfair and coercive effect. Under the act, any such language that overshadows the validity notice, or that has an unfair, misleading or coercive effect is strictly forbidden. Since this verbiage was not included in the collection notices, I naively attempted to settle the debt, set up payment plans, all of which were denied.
There are multiple complaints on consumer advocate sites such as www.ripoffreport.com, and the BBB. I feel that since Alliance One is collecting for the municipal parking enforcement that they believe that they are above the law in regards to consumer rights. If you are in the same situation with this corrupt agency, file a complaint with the attorney general!