Vulgar voicemails force debt collector to pay $1.5 million

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by JASON WHITELY

Bio | Email | Follow: @jasonwhitely

WFAA

Posted on May 28, 2010 at 11:30 PM

Updated Wednesday, Jun 2 at 12:19 AM

DALLAS — The harassing and threatening voicemail messages left on Allen Jones' mobile phone are nothing short of vulgar.

"This shouldn't be tolerated," he said. "Nobody should have to experience what I had to experience."

Debt collectors from Advanced Call Center Technologies, LLC left eight messages for Jones in August 2007 trying to collect what it said he owed on a credit card.

Most messages were laced with profanity and spewed racial slurs:

"This is your mother******* wake-up call you little lazy a** b****," a collector said on one. "Get your mother******* n****r ass up and go pick some mother******* cotton fields."

Jones is African-American.

"If we did not have tapes, no one would ever believe that this happened," Mark Frenkel, one of Jones' attorneys said.

The recordings are so offensive News 8 decided against publishing transcripts of the others.

"This is absolutely, without a doubt, the most egregious collection case I've ever seen," Dean Malone, Jones' other attorney, added.

Jones sued Advanced Call Center Technologies over the harassing calls.

Friday afternoon, a Dallas County jury awarded him one of the biggest verdicts of its kind.

He won $50,000 in mental anguish and $1.5 million in punitive damages.

"We made a statement and the statement is we will not tolerate abusive debt collectors," Jones continued.

Frenkel and Malone said employees from Advanced Call Center Technologies confessed to the calls. It remains unclear if they're still with the company and whether it will appeal. Messages left at its headquarters were not immediately returned.

Jones always disputed the debt and claims he paid it.

The amount in question is as hard to believe as the calls themselves.

"They did this to Allen for under $200," Frenkel pointed out. "Two hundred bucks put him through this."

Now the company trying to collect money has become the one paying it out.

Email: jwhitely@wfaa.com

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