Is California Service Bureau calling you? Here’s what you need to know.
Falling behind on payments will eventually lead to calls from debt collectors. While collection calls are rarely a pleasant experience, the actions of some collectors border on complete abuse. They call you constantly, annoy and upset your family and colleagues, and even issue threats. Such behavior is illegal, but that doesn’t appear to deter them.
The Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA) prohibits debt collectors from using hostile and unethical approaches to collect money from consumers. Examples of illegal activities include:
- Calling you outside of the hours of 8:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m. in your time zone
- Using the telephone to harass you (calling and hanging up, using an autodialer)
- Using profane and abusive language
- Discussing the debt with your friends and family
- Demanding more money than the law or original credit agreement support
- Telling you that you can be arrested and imprisoned if you don’t pay
California Service Bureau, Inc is a collection agency located in Novato, California. It was established in 1968, employs a small staff, and collects consumer debt all over the country. Records on file at the PACER (Public Access to Court Electronic Records) website confirm that California Service Bureau, Inc has been accused of violating the FDCPA while collecting or attempting to collect consumer debt.
According to PACER**, in 2008, California Service Bureau, Inc obtained a judgement against California resident for a $2,100 debt. She was making monthly payments of $75.00 to reduce it, and in September 2012, called the agency in an effort offer a lump sum payment of $700 to satisfy the debt in full.
In response, California Service Bureau, Inc allegedly stated that she had to pay a lump sum of $1600, or it would start garnishing her wages immediately. the California resident informed them that she did not have wages as she was self-employed. The representative allegedly replied that unless she paid $1600, California Service Bureau, Inc would send a sheriff to her workplace every day, and that the sheriff would confiscate all money she received on a daily basis until the debt was satisfied in full. The representative allegedly further stated that it was authorized by law to have the sheriff seize all funds received by the California resident
She hired an attorney and filed a complaint accusing California Service Bureau, Inc of the following FDCPA violations:
- Engaging in behavior the natural consequence of which was to harass, oppress, or abuse her connection with the collection of a debt (15 U.S.C. § 1692d)
- Using false, deceptive, or misleading representation or means in connection with the collection of a debt (15 U.S.C. § 1692e)
- Employing false and deceptive means to collect a debt (15 U.S.C. § 1692e(10))
- Using unfair and unconscionable means to collect a debt (15 U.S.C. § 1692f)
The matter was later dismissed.
The phone number for California Service Bureau, Inc is 1-800-366-9368. If this number appears on your caller ID, a debt collector is trying to contact you about paying a debt. If they behave in a hostile, abrasive manner or make threats if you don’t pay what they are demanding, contact a consumer attorney.
The FDCPA prohibits the bullying and intimidation of consumers who owe a debt, and your attorney can help you pursue compensation in court. You could be awarded statutory damages of $1,000 per violation plus court costs and attorney fees. Never forget that you have rights, and when debt collectors go too far, you have recourse under the law.
**Case taken from PACER (www.pacer.gov). File number is (Case 2:12-cv-02556-WBS-KJN, from United States District Court, Eastern District of California, Sacramento Division)
The content of this article serves only to provide information and should not be construed as legal advice. If you file a claim against California Service Bureau, or any other third-party collection agency, you may not be entitled to any compensation.