Diana Mey of Wheeling, West Virginia is currently in the process of attempting to collect over 10 million dollars from a collection agency. 10 million is the largest judgment ever held against a collection agency.
Her story began two years ago when a company called Reliant Financial Associates or RFA called her house about a debt she supposedly owed and implied that she was in danger of losing her house if she could not pay the debt. However, Mey, who was debt free, knew that it was illegal for debt collectors to make empty threats against people, regardless if they had debt or not.
RFA had most likely received her information as part of a “debt buy.” This is where creditors sell off debts and debtors information to “debt buyers” for pennies of the original value because they have given up on ever collecting. Debt buyers purchase the debts and then attack their next victim with outrageously galling tactics.
RFA began the onslaught of hounding and harassing phone calls beginning just 23 minutes after they received a “cease and desist” letter from Mey. Mey had sent the letter certified so the time could be tracked and recorded her phone calls to use as evidence. She was prepared because earlier, in 1999, she had been involved in a class action law suit against a major telemarketer who continuously harassed people, disregarding their pleas for them to stop. Ever since then she had recorded her phone calls.
The calls from RFA were disguised as a local number. Mey kept receiving hang up calls from a number that looked like her county government. When she called the number back the person on the other end answered as the sheriff’s office and said no one from that office had tried to contact Mey. Then, her situation worsened. The next call that came in, from the same number, she answered and a man on the other end called her obscene names and threatened to violate her sexually, going into explicit detail. Mey stayed on the line, not knowing yet that this was connected to the RFA company but knowing since she was recording the call she would catch this man.
Immediately after the call ended she bolted her doors, grabbed her husband’s gun and reported the call to 911. Then she began researching on the internet and found that others had reported being harassed by RFA, then receiving eerie, rude, or even sexually lewd calls like the one she received. Mey did not waste time beginning to file a case. She found two lawyers to represent her and two RFA to court.
Once in court, the RFA attorney did not up and the judge sympathized with Mey, awarding her 10 million in retribution and fines for the company. When camera crews and court officials went to the RFA office it was completely abandoned. It turns out RFA is just a cover name for a company called Global AG, LLC who creates fake company p[profiles all the time and when they are threatened, simply relocate.
Mey knows she will probably never see a dime but is still pleased with winning the lawsuit, knowing what it represents. She hopes it will be a warning against other abusive collection agencies.