Is Credit International Corporation calling you? Here’s what you need to know.
If a collection agency is contacting you about a delinquent debt, understand that even if you do owe the money, you have rights that prohibit third-party debt collectors from using bullying tactics to get it from you. This fact comes as a surprise to many consumers, who have assumed that these methods are legal because they are so widespread.
The Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA) is a consumer protection law that regulates what debt collectors can say and do when collecting or attempting to collect a debt. Methods and deceptions like those listed below are strictly illegal:
- Calling you before 8:00 a.m. and after 9:00 p.m. your time
- Calling you at work when your employer has a policy against such calls
- Threatening you with arrest or imprisonment if you do not pay immediately
- Swearing and calling you names
- Ignoring a written cease communications request
- Talking to anyone except you, your spouse, or your attorney about the debt
- Failing or refusing to validate the debt when asked
Debt collectors must also stop contacting you if they know that an attorney is representing you with regards to the debt.
Not all debt collectors respect FDCPA guidelines. Some persist in doing whatever it takes to collect the money, seeing the gains as being well worth the potential risk of being reported to the Federal Trade Commission.
Credit International Corporation is a collection agency located in Bothell, Washington. It was established in 1987 and employs between 20 and 50 staff to collect both retail and commercial debt. According to the PACER (Public Access to Court Electronic Records) website, Credit International Corporation has been named as a defendant in several court cases involving alleged FDCPA violations.
Amanda Kruger v. Credit International Corporation
According to PACER**, in or around 2011, a Washington resident received a series of calls to her cell phone from Credit International Corporation, which was trying to collect a debt she allegedly owed. She later complained that an automatic telephone dialing system was used to make these calls, which she found harassing.
When she spoke with one collector, he allegedly identified himself as an attorney. During another conversation, a different collector allegedly refused to disclose his identity and told her that she was “a piece of s&*t” and that he “did not care if her children starved.” Another Credit International Corporation representative allegedly told her that she would be jailed for either failing to appear in court or failing to pay, and further threatened to garnish her bank accounts and wages, and seize her property prior to obtaining a judgment against her.
She hired a consumer attorney and filed a complaint accusing Credit International Corporation of violating the FDCPA in the following ways:
- Making calls that did not meaningfully disclose the caller’s identity (15 U.S.C. §§ 1692d(6)).
- Falsely identifying themselves as an attorney during one call (15 U.S.C. §§ 1692e(3))
- During another conversation, a different collector allegedly refused to disclose his identity and made abusive comments
- Threatening legal action it could not take or had no intention of taking (15 U.S.C. §§ 1692e(4))
- Using false and deceptive means to collect a debt (15 U.S.C. §§ 1692e(10))
The matter was later dismissed.
The phone numbers for Credit International Corporation are 1-800-875-0055 and 1-425-488-6600. If either number appears on your caller ID, a debt collector is trying to collect money from you. If they use abusive language, threaten legal action that they have no intention of taking, and use an autodialer to harass you by phone, contact a consumer attorney.
Such behavior is illegal under the FDCPA, and you could be awarded statutory damages of $1,000 per violation as well as court costs and attorney fees. Never assume that because you owe a debt, collectors are allowed to treat you poorly. The law states otherwise.
**Case taken from PACER (www.pacer.gov). File number is (Case 2:10-cv-01374-RSM, from United States District Court, Western District of Washington at Seattle)
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 International Corporation or any other third-party collection agency, you may not be entitled to any compensation.