Blakely-Witt & Associates or BWA is a debt collection agency which receives a lot of consumer complaints to our law firm for debt harassment. Find out who they are, why they might be calling, and how you can stop them.
What is Blakely-Witt & Associates?
Blakely-Witt & Associates (BWA) is a third-party collection agency based in Texas that specializes in collecting delinquent debts for the apartment and residential rental industry. BWA has received consumer complaints alleging violations of the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA), including misrepresentation and failure to verify debts. If you have been contacted by BWA, be sure of your rights before responding.
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Is Blakely-Witt & Associates a scam?
They’re legit. According to the Better Business Bureau (BBB), Blakely-Witt & Associates is a collection agency located in Mesquite, TX. The BBB does not provide a founding date for BWA, but they do indicate they established BWA’s profile page in 1991.
Who does Blakely-Witt & Associates collect for?
According to its website, Blakely-Witt & Associates is “a bonded, registered collection agency that has dedicated itself to the apartment and residential rental industry.”
BWA takes “an aggressive approach in the recovery of delinquent accounts.” BWA offers “its knowledge of the TAA Lease Contract, the Texas Property Codes, and State and Federal laws” as the solution for “apartment community managers or the executives of…management companies” faced with the job of contacting “each resident that moves out owing money.” BWA provides “professional service on a contingent basis, with no set up fees, annual or monthly dues, or any hidden cost.”
Blakely-Witt & Associates website does not offer any information about its business practices, compliance policies, or employee training programs. There are no links or references to consumer protection resources, laws, or enforcement agencies.
Who are we? We are Lemberg Law, a Consumer Law Firm
Lemberg Law is a consumer law firm helping victims of collection harassment and abuse. We are ranked A+ by the BBB. We’ve helped more than 15,000 consumers stop harassment and recover money from debt collectors. Harassed? Abused? Misled by a collector? Call our Helpline today! There is no charge unless we win.
How many complaints are there against Blakely-Witt & Associates?
As of October 2017, the BBB has given Blakely-Witt & Associates a rating of F. The BBB has closed 28 complaints against BWA in the past three years, with 8 closed in the past 12 months. Most of those complaints allege problems with billing and collections. Since April 2015, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) has received 30 complaints about BWA. Justia does not list any cases of civil litigation involving Blakely-Witt & Associates.
Many of the complaints against Blakely-Witt & Associates allege problems with the accuracy of information reported to the credit reporting agencies (CRAs) or failure to provide verification of debts. In June 2017, a complainant indicated that he had received a collection notice from BWA for the unpaid last month’s rent on an apartment. According to the complainant, the balance should have been $700, but he alleged that BWA “added outrageous fees,” refused to send the original balance from the original creditor, and only provided the complainant with a handwritten balance statement. The complainant requested verification of the full original account number; date the original account was opened; original agreements between the complainant and the creditor proving the amount was owed; full account summary with itemized calculation of additional fees; date of the first delinquency; and dates and times of contact attempts prior to BWA’s reports to the CRAs. In addition, the complainant indicated he had not received a letter indicating his right to dispute the debt within 30 days of receiving a collection notice. Finally, the complainant alleged that the representative he contacted was “extremely rude,” kept hanging up on him, refused to settle the debt, and refused to send the verification of the debt he had requested.
In November 2016, a complainant indicated that Blakely-Witt & Associates had been pursuing collection activity on a debt they had failed to validate. The complainant indicated that BWA had received his certified letter requesting validation, but he had not received a response. He cited state laws that require a debt collection agency to respond to disputes within 30 calendar days; that disputed debts that have not been validated cannot be reported to the CRAs without indicating the debt is disputed; and that collection activity must cease until validation of the debt has been sent to the consumer. He indicated he preferred to post his complaint on the BBB site prior to filing a civil complaint in district court in the hope that BWA would offer a resolution.
As of October 2017, Blakely-Witt & Associates has not responded to any of the complaints posted on their profile page on the BBB website.
Blakely-Witt & Associates Calling You?
Federal laws protect you. The Fair Debt Collections Practices Act (FDCPA) regulates the behavior of collection agencies by prohibiting actions such as the use of abusive or threatening language; harassment; or the use of false or misleading information to collect a debt. The FCRA regulates how collection agencies and creditors report delinquent debts to credit reporting agencies. Additional consumer protection laws include the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA) and the Consumer Financial Protection Act (CFPA).
Can I sue BWA for harassment?
Yes. If you want to enforce your rights, or recover money for violations — you need to sue. Federal laws provide individuals like you with a means to seek monetary damages in court. For example, the FDCPA allows consumers who have been violated to recover damages of up to $1,000, plus attorney fees and court costs.
“The group at Lemberg Law was professional, courteous, and effective. Their grasp of consumer protection laws and guidelines are second to none, and they work extremely difficult to ensure this procedure is client-friendly.”
“After a few months of frustration with a debt collector, I eventually called Lemberg Law. It was among the best financial decisions I have ever made. Jody and her staff were comprehensive, useful, and above all else powerful. I highly recommend their services and thank them for their continual efforts.”
“I just wanted to let you know we received the check from your office on now and I wanted to take some time to inform you that we really appreciate all of your efforts in this matter.”
Can You Help Me Delete Blakely-Witt & Associates from My Credit Report?
Chances are good that we can help. Call us today and we’ll explain.
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About the Author:
Sergei Lemberg is a lawyer whose practice focuses on consumer law, class actions and personal injury litigation. He has been repeatedly recognized as the “most active consumer attorney” in the country. In 2020, Mr. Lemberg represented Noah Duguid in the United States Supreme Court in the case entitled Duguid v. Facebook. He is the author of Defanging Debt Collectors, a book that teaches consumers how to battle debt collectors and win.