Being in financial difficulties is hard enough to cope with mentally and emotionally, but when a debt collector makes your life miserable by calling constantly and threatening you for nonpayment, bankruptcy can seem tempting. Before you take that step, however, contact a consumer lawyer first.
Your Rights Under the FDCPA
The Fair Debt Collections Practices Act (FDCPA) was passed by Congress over 40 years ago to protect debtors from being harassed into bankruptcy. Today, most states have their own debt collection laws too. Both state and federal laws protect you from the following types of mistreatment.
- Threatening you with frivolous lawsuits
- Using profane and obscene language
- Misrepresenting the amount of your debt
- Ignoring a cease communication notice
- Using an autodialer to leave pre-recorded messages on your voicemail
- Calling you at inconvenient times and places
Company Profile: CB Merchant Services
If you are being called by CB Merchant Services, an overview of the agency's history, ownership, and operation is below.
CB Merchant Services, which also does business as Credit Bureau of San Joaquin County, is a debt collection agency in Stockton, California. It was established in 1917, has 54 employees, and is managed by its CEO, Linda Guinn. Litigation files at the PACER website indicate that consumers who believed that they were being harassed by CB Merchant Services pursued compensation in federal court.
Alleged Violations against CB Merchant Services*
According to information on the PACER website, on or about August 12, 2013, a California consumer who owed a debt to CB Merchant Services received a discharge from his Chapter 7 bankruptcy. When he checked his credit report, he alleged that the agency continued to report derogatory information about his discharged debt.
Feeling harassed by CB Merchant Services, the consumer filed an FDCPA lawsuit against the company for:
- Misrepresenting the character, amount, or legal status of the debt
- Using unfair and unconscionable means to collect a debt
- Trying to collect an amount not permitted by law
- Using false, deceptive, and misleading means to collect a debt
The matter was later settled.
Hire a Consumer Lawyer
The phone numbers for this debt collection agency are:
If you ever see either one on your caller ID, it means that you are being called by CB Merchant Services. If they report a discharged debt to the credit bureaus as still valid, hire a consumer lawyer and file a claim against CB Merchant Services. A debt collector who ignores consumer rights can be ordered to compensate you and pay your legal costs, so taking them the court is the best way to protect your rights.
*Case taken from PACER (pacer.gov). File number is Case 5:16-cv-00460-MTT from the United States District Court for the Eastern District of California.
Disclaimer: The content of this article serves only to provide information and should not be constructed as legal advice. If you file a claim against CB Merchant Services or any other third-party collection agency, you may not be entitled to any compensation.