Is Commercial Collection Consultants, Inc calling you? Here's what you need to know.
Dealing with a debt collector on the phone can be an exercise in stress management and self-control, especially if they are rude and refuse to work out a realistic repayment arrangement with you. As far as they’re concerned, losing your job or being too sick to work is no excuse for inability to pay what they’re demanding, and they let you know it.
Legally, this is not supposed to be the case. The Fair Debt Collection Practices Act, or FDCPA, requires debt collectors to be professional and treat you with respect. This consumer protection law also prohibits them from actions like the following when collecting or attempting to collect a debt:
- Using profane and obscene language
- Yelling and calling you names
- Hiding the fact that they are a debt collector
- Calling outside of the hours of 8:00 a.m. and 9:00 p.m. in your time zone
- Contacting you at work after being advised that you are not allowed to talk to them there
- Talking to uninvolved parties such as your friends, family, and co-workers about the debt
- Telling you that you have committed a crime and could go to jail
Not all debt collector abide by FDCPA guidelines, especially when being rude and deceptive gets them the money they’re after.
Commercial Collection Consultants, Inc is a collection agency with offices in Dallas, Los Angeles, New York, and Seattle. It was established in 1981, employs over 100 staff, and pursues debtors on a nationwide basis. Records on file at the PACER (Public Access to Court Electronic Records) website confirm that Commercial Collection Consultants, Inc has appeared in US district court several times to defend allegations of improper debt collection practices.
Matthew Fiel v. Commercial Collection Consultants, Inc et al (Case 2:15-cv-04689-SJF-SIL, from United States District Court, Eastern District of New York)
According to PACER**, in or around 2014, a New York resident received a collection notice from Commercial Collection Consultants, Inc about an alleged debt. This letter stated, “Unless you notify us within 30 days, we will assume this debt to be valid”, without indicating that the 30-day period ran from Plaintiff’s receipt of the letter, not the date of the letter. It also did not explicitly state that he had to notify them of a dispute, or how to do so.
Another statement, “If you request verification on this debt, we will mail verification to you," did not specify that the request had to be in writing. There was also no indication that if he wanted to know the name of the original creditor, the request had to be in writing. A demand for immediate payment appeared to his right to dispute the debt. The letter was signed by Marc Skop, and immediately under this name was the title “Legal Account Executive”, which could lead some consumers to assume that the letter came from an attorney.
The plaintiff retained a consumer attorney and filed a complaint accusing Commercial Collection Consultants, Inc. of the following FDCPA violations:
- Failing to advise him that the 30-day period ran from his receipt of the letter, not the date of the letter (15 U.S.C. § 1692g(a)(3))
- Failing to advise Mr. Fiel that his notification to the debt collector had to be in writing (15 U.S.C. § 1692g(a)(4))
- Failing to indicate that he had to request the name of the original creditor (15 U.S.C. § 1692g(a)(5))
- Demanding immediate payment, which appeared to override his right to dispute the debt (15 U.S.C. § 1692g)
- Representing that the letter was from an attorney (15 U.S.C. § 1692e(3))
- Using false and misleading means to collect a debt (15 U.S.C. § 1692e(5))
The matter was later settled.
The phone numbers associated with Commercial Collection Consultants, Inc are:
If any of these numbers appear on your caller ID, the company is trying to collect a debt from you. Should they send you a letter that makes your rights unclear or implies in any way that the communication is from an attorney, contact a consumer attorney.
Using deceptive means to collect a debt is prohibited by the FDCPA, and the matter escalates to court, you could be awarded statutory damages of $1,000 per FDCPA violation. You have rights as a consumer, and disregarding them is an expensive risk for any debt collector.
**Case taken from PACER (www.pacer.gov). File number is (Case 2:15-cv-04689-SJF-SIL, from United States District Court, Eastern District of New York)
The content of this article serves only to provide information and should not be construed as legal advice. If you file a claim against Commercial Collection Consultants, Inc or any other third-party collection agency, you may not be entitled to any compensation.