Is Cooperative Adjustment Bureau calling you? Here’s what you need to know.
Being in debt is a difficult experience on several levels, especially if you are experiencing financial difficulties through no fault of your own. Maybe you lost your job, became too sick to work, or experienced a personal crisis that set you back financially, such as divorce. Whatever the reason, it never helps when debt collectors start hounding you for payment in ways that make personal bankruptcy seem like the only way to make it stop.
You might be surprised to know that debt collectors are not legally allowed to push you to that point. The Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA) prohibits activities like the following when used to collect or attempt to collect a debt.
- Failing or refusing to identify themselves as debt collectors in all communications with you
- Using profane or obscene language
- Calling you before 8:00 a.m. and after 9:00 p.m. in your time zone
- Threatening to have you arrested or garnish your wages if you don’t pay at once
- Calling your friends, family, and coworkers and telling them about the debt
- Failing or refusing to validate the debt
- Ignoring a written request to stop contacting you
- Contacting you at work after you’ve told them that your boss won’t let you take such calls
Cooperative Adjustment Bureau is a collection agency located in Pleasant Hill, California. Originally established in 1934, it employs a small staff of 10 to 20 people and advertises itself as one of the oldest continuously operating collection agencies in the state. According to court records on file at the PACER (Public Access to Court Electronic Records) website, Cooperative Adjustment Bureau has been accused of violating the FDCPA on a number of occasions while attempting to collect a consumer debt.
According to PACER**, sometime before March 1, 2012, California resident incurred a financial obligation with Park Regency Apartments, LLC. This debt was subsequently turned over to Cooperative Adjustment Bureau for collection.
When Cooperative Adjustment Bureau contacted the California resident in an attempt to collect the alleged debt, he sent the agency a notice in writing requesting that they cease contacting him on his home and cell phones. Despite this written notice, Cooperative Adjustment Bureau representatives allegedly continued to contact Mr. Silverman by phone. In April and May 2012 he sent them a second and third notice in writing requesting that these calls cease, but they allegedly continued to call.
On or about May 25, 2012, the plaintiff spoke with a Cooperative Adjustment Bureau representative. During this conversation, the representative allegedly informed him that Cooperative Adjustment Bureau would no longer contact his cell phone or home phone, but another call was received on or about September 2014.
Mr Silverman hired a consumer attorney and sued Cooperative Adjustment Bureau for violating his rights in the following ways.
- Engaging in behavior the natural consequence of which was to harass, oppress, or abuse her connection with the collection of a debt
- Ignoring a cease communications request
- Causing the plaintiff’s phone to ring repeatedly and engaging him in telephone conversations, with the intent to annoy and harass
- Failing to disclose in its initial written communication with the consumer that Cooperative Adjustment Bureau was attempting to collect a debt and that any information obtained would be used for that purpose, or failed to disclose in subsequent communications that the communication from a debt collector
- Failing to send him an initial letter within five days of its initial contact with him as required by law
The phone numbers for Cooperative Adjustment Bureau are 1-800-331-0009 and 1-925-305-2667. If you see either number on your caller ID, be aware that a debt collector is trying to contact you about a debt you allegedly owe. If they ignore a cease communications request and keeping calling you, see a consumer attorney.
The FDCPA mandates that once you sent a written cease communications request, Cooperative Adjustment Bureau must refrain from contacting you unless it is to advise that the matter is being dropped or legal proceedings are commencing. If you take the agency to court, you could win statutory damages of $1,000 per FDCPA violation plus court costs and attorney fees. You have rights, even if you owe a debt, so never hesitate to exercise them.
**Case taken from PACER (www.pacer.gov). File number is (Case 3:15-cv-01298-JSC, from United States District Court, Northern District of California)
The content of this article serves only to provide information and should not be construed as legal advice. If you file a claim against Cooperative Adjustment Bureau or any other third-party collection agency, you may not be entitled to any compensation.