Is Creative Recovery Concepts, Inc calling you? Here’s what you need to know.
When a call comes in and your caller ID identifies it as being a debt collector, chances are that your heart sinks and your mind begins to race.
The rude and hostile way that the collector speaks to you every time is upsetting and leaves you stressed-out for the rest of the day. They call you everywhere: home, work, and on your cell phone. Can they legally treat you like this?
In 1977 Congress enacted the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act, or FDCPA, to put a stop to the abusive collection tactics commonly practiced by third-party debt collectors. Examples of illegal behaviors include:
- Calling at inconvenient times, such as before 8:00 a.m. and after 9:00 p.m. in your time zone
- Harassing you by phone (for example, using an autodialer to call repeatedly)
- Threatening lawsuits, property seizure, and other legal actions that they have no intention of taking
- Contacting you at work after being informed that the employer does not permit such calls
- Telling you that you can be arrested for nonpayment of a debt
A search of consumer complaint reports confirms that these tactics are still in use among debt collection agencies, because they achieve the intended result: scaring you into paying what the collector is demanding.
Creative Recovery Concept is a collection agency located in Rancho Cucamonga, California. It was established in 2002, and has a small staff of less than 10 employees. Records on file at the PACER (Public Access to Court Electronic Records) website indicate that Creative Recovery Concept has been sued by frustrated consumers who felt that their rights were violated during debt collection attempts.
According to PACER**, in 2009 a California resident received a series of communications from Creative Recovery Concepts about an alleged debt. These communications included letters that threatened a lawsuit if he did not pay, although no lawsuit was ever filed. The letters, which he later submitted as part of a lawsuit against Creative Recovery Concepts, also warned that his wages could be garnished and negative information placed on his credit report.
The plaintiff responded by hiring a consumer attorney and filing a complaint that accused the agency of violating the FDCPA in the following ways:
- Engaging in abusive and harassing behavior (15 U.S.C. § 1692d)
- Threatening to seize Mr. Sobel’s assets (15 U.S.C. §1692e(4))
- Threatening to file a lawsuit (15 U.S.C. §1692e(4))
- Communicating or threatening to communicate credit information known to be false (15 U.S.C. § 1692e(8))
- Stating that the plaintiff’s file was being forwarded for legal action when it actually was not (15 U.S.C. §1692e(13))
The matter was later dismissed.
The phone numbers for Creative Recovery Concepts are 1-800-500-4345 and 1-909-373-2010. If you see either number on your caller ID, a collector from the agency is trying to collect a debt from you. Should they send letters threatening consequences such as legal action and a negative credit report, contact a consumer attorney.
Debt collection tactics such as these are prohibited by the FDCPA, and if you take the company to court, you could win statutory damages of $1,000 per FDCPA violation plus court costs and attorney fees. When debt collectors cross the line, the law is on your side.
**Case taken from PACER (www.pacer.gov). File number is (Case 2:09-cv-09111-CAS-DTB, from United States District Court, Central District of California, 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 Collection Bureau or any other third-party collection agency, you may not be entitled to any compensation.