Is Credit Clearing House of America calling you? Here's what you need to know.
A 2014 study by the Urban Institute confirmed that 35% of Americans have unpaid bills that have been reported to collection agencies. Dealing with debt collectors is rarely a pleasant experience, but it becomes even worse when the agent is rude, insulting, and threatening.
According to the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA), third-party debt collectors are limited in what they may say or do when pursuing debt payments. This particular law was passed in 1977, after an increase in personal bankruptcies and marital breakdowns was attributed to unethical debt collectors.
In addition to granting you the right to dispute a debt, demand its validation and tell a collector to stop contacting you, the FDCPA makes it illegal to use methods like the following while collecting or attempting to collect a debt from you.
- Using profane or obscene language
- Threatening to have you arrested or imprisoned if you don’t pay
- Failing or refusing to properly validate the debt
- Talking about the debt to anyone except you, your spouse, or your attorney
- Calling nonstop or using an autodialer to leave a slew of pre-recorded messages
- Failing or refusing to identify themselves as debt collectors
- Calling you at work when your employer does not allow such calls
Credit Clearing House of America, Inc is a debt collection agency located in Louisville, Kentucky. It was established in 1951 and a staff of under 20. Records archived at the PACER (Public Access to Court Electronic Records) website confirms that Credit Clearing House of America, Inc has been sued for allegedly violating the FDCPA during its collection attempts.
Kathryn Murphy v. Credit Clearing House of America, Inc.
According to PACER**, on or about January 10, 2013, Kentucky resident Kathryn Murphy received a letter from Credit Clearing House of America, Inc regarding a debt she allegedly owed to the Physicians Group. She later complained that the letter conveyed a false sense of urgency, failed to reasonably notify her of her right to dispute the debt, and misidentified the original creditor. She also alleged that the letter failed to advise that Credit Clearing House of America, Inc was a debt collector.
Ms.Murphy retained a consumer attorney and filed a complaint that accused Credit Clearing House of America, Inc of the following FDCPA violations:
- Failing to disclose that it was a debt collector attempting to collect a debt and that any information obtained would be used for that purpose (15 U.S.C. § 1692e(11))
- Using deceptive means in connection with the collection the alleged debt (15 U.S.C. §1692e)
- Failing to state that if Ms. Murphy notified the agency that the debt was disputed within 30 days of its January 10, 2013 letter, Credit Clearing House of America, Inc would mail verification of the debt or a copy of the judgment to her (15 U.S.C. § 1692g(a)(4))
- Failing to accurately identify the creditor to whom the debt was owed (15 U.S.C. § 1692g(a)(2))
The matter was later dismissed.
The phone numbers for Credit Clearing House of America, Inc are 1-800-928-1666 and 1-502-583-1666. If either number appears on your caller ID, it means that a company representative is trying to contact you about a debt. if they send you correspondence that doesn’t explain your rights or make it clear who the original creditor is, see a consumer attorney.
The FDCPA requires debt collectors to be completely transparent in their communications regarding the debt, and failure to do so can result in Credit Clearing House of America, Inc being compelled to pay you statutory damages of $1,000 per FDCPA violation plus court costs and attorney fees. Never assume that you have to tolerate subversive behavior- see an attorney.
**Case taken from PACER (www.pacer.gov). File number is (Case 3:14-cv-00008-JGH, from United States District Court, Western District of Kentucky, Louisville 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 Credit Clearing House of America, Inc or any other third-party collection agency, you may not be entitled to any compensation.