Is City Check Recovery calling you? Here’s what you need to know.
When you’re in debt, your credit score isn’t the only thing that’s affected. The stress that results has an impact on other aspects of your life. Even when you are managing to make the monthly payments, there’s an overwhelming sense of owing more money than you can repay in a timely manner. If you lose your job or incur more unexpected debt (e.g. medical emergency), the minimum payments may become more than you can handle, and debt collectors start calling.
The Fair Debt Collection Practices Act, or FDCPA, was enacted in 1977 to provide consumers with protection against unethical debt collection practices. Under this law, actions like the following are illegal when committed during a debt collection attempt.
- Failing or refusing to validate the debt
- Threatening to have you arrested or imprisoned if you don’t pay
- Using the phone to harass you by calling nonstop or using an autodialer
- Failing or refusing to identify themselves as debt collectors
- Calling you at work when your employer does not allow such calls
- Using profane or obscene language
- Talking about the debt to anyone except you, your spouse, or your attorney
Although prohibited to do so, debt collectors still use these tactics to bully you into paying. They count on you being too intimidated or unfamiliar with your rights to fight back.
City Check Recovery (CCR) is a collection agency located in Columbus, Ohio. It was established in 2001, has a small staff of under 10 employees, and collects consumer debt all over the country. A search of the records on file at the PACER (Public Access to Court Electronic Records) website confirm that City Check Recovery has been accused of violating the FDCPA during its attempts to collect a debt.
According to PACER**, during or about January 15, 2013 City Check Recovery allegedly reported an invalid debt on the credit report of an Ohio resident. He subsequently reviewed his credit file, discovered the agency’s report, and and contacted them by telephone to dispute the alleged debt.
During two separate conversations, a City Check Recovery employee who identified himself as “Justin” allegedly told the Ohio resident that they would not provide proof of how the alleged debt was incurred, and further, threatened to turn the matter over to their attorneys.
City Check Recovery subsequently failed to update its report on his credit file as disputed to the national credit bureaus.
Frustrated, the Ohio resident hired a consumer attorney and accused City Check Recovery of the following FDCPA violations:
- Failing to send him notice regarding the alleged debt (15 U.S.C. § 1692g(a))
- Falsely representing or implying that City Check Recovery’s employee was an attorney or was communicating on behalf of an attorney (15 U.S.C. § 1692e(3))
- Threatening to take action that could not legally be taken and/or that was not intended to be taken (15 U.S.C. § 1692e(5))
- Communicating credit information which was known or which should have been known to be false, including failing to communicate that the alleged debt was disputed (15 U.S.C. § 1692e(8))
- Using a false, deceptive or misleading representation or means in connection with the collection of the alleged debt (15 U.S.C. § 1692e(10))
The matter was later dismissed.
The phone number for City Check Recovery is 1-614-577-0932. If this number appears on your caller ID, a debt collector is trying to contact you. Should they report inaccurate information to the national credit bureaus and imply that legal action will be taken against you if you don’t pay, contact a consumer attorney.
The law requires debt collectors to be ethical and professional when dealing with consumers, and if City Check Recovery does not comply, they could be compelled to pay you statutory damages of $1,000 per FDCPA violation plus court costs and attorney fees. Owing money does not make you a target of abuse, so see an attorney and assert your rights.
**Case taken from PACER (www.pacer.gov). File number is (Case: 3:13-cv-01851-DAK, from United States District Court, Northern District of Ohio, Western 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 City Check Recovery or any other third-party collection agency, you may not be entitled to any compensation.