Is Creditors Specialty Service calling you? Here's what you need to know.
If your credit card, mortgage, or medical debt payments go into arrears, sooner or later a debt collector will be calling and sending you letters. These companies are usually third-party debt collection agencies, ‘junk debt’ buyers who purchase charged-off debts and then try to collect them, and attorneys who regularly collect debts owed to others.
The Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA) prohibits third-party debt collectors from being abusive and unethical when collecting or attempting to collect money from you. This means that they may not do any of the following to harass you into paying:
- Use abusive and / or obscene language
- Fail to identify themselves as debt collectors seeking to collect a debt
- Keep contacting you even after you dispute a debt
- Call you at work if your boss won’t let you take such calls
- Call you before 8:00 a.m. and after 9:00 p.m. in your time zone
- Discuss the debt with uninvolved third parties
Certain debt collectors circumvent the FDCPA as best they can, hoping you will feel too frightened or embarrassed to report or sue them.
Creditors Specialty Service, Inc is a debt collection agency headquartered in Acton, California. It was established in 1994, has offices in Sacramento and Eugene, Oregon, and employs an in-house collections attorney. A review of court cases archived at the Public Access to Court Electronic Records website (pacer.gov) show that Creditors Specialty Service, Inc has allegedly violated the FDCPA while attempting to collect from consumers.
Andrew Serrato v. Creditors Specialty Service, Inc
According to PACER**, on or about August 2013, Creditors Specialty Service, Inc allegedly left the following voicemail on California resident Andrew Serrato’s cell phone:
Andrew, I am giving you a call, sir. We have given you every opportunity process to take care of this arrangement voluntary (sic) for the fraudulent check. You have actually contacted this office, offered to set an arrangement up, and then.defaulted on that arrangement and we haven't heard from you since. So at this time, sir, our timeframe has elapsed that we need to give you as far as a demand. The first demand was given on June the 6th 2013, uh, the 45 day period has elapsed for that time so that we can continue with the previous action that was set forth.
So at this time we do intend to have you charged with a fraudulent check with the intent to defraud a financial institution and theft by deception in an amount over $500 and a fictitious obligation. Prior to service of process being completed at your place of employment through your director that we have already spoken with, you can still contact this office and set an alternate location or to make good on your arrangement. My direct number is (877) 789-0653 ext 363. Failure to comply will be taken as a submission of that right and [unintelligible] further action will be taken without any notification.
Mr. Serrato hired a consumer attorney and filed a complaint accusing Creditors Specialty Service, Inc of the following FDCPA breaches:
- Engaging in harassing and abusive conduct (15 U.S.C. §§ 1692d)
- Using false and misleading means to collect a debt (15 U.S.C. §§ 1692e)
- Threatening action that could not legally be taken ((15 U.S.C. §§ 1692e(5))
- Using false representations and deceptive means to collect a debt ((15 U.S.C. §§ 1692e(10))
- Leaving a voicemail that failed to identify the caller as a debt collector seeking to collect a debt (15 U.S.C. §§ 1692b(1))
- Speaking to Mr. Serrato’s employer about the debt (15 U.S.C. §§ 1692c(b))
- Failing to send a written validation notice within five days of the first communication (15 U.S.C. §§ 1692g)
The matter was later dismissed.
Creditors Specialty Service, Inc has the following phone numbers associated with them:
If any of them appear on your caller ID, a debt collector from Creditors Specialty Service, Inc is attempting to collect a debt from you. If they accuse you of committing a crime, threaten a lawsuit, and discuss your alleged debt with your employer, contact a consumer attorney. The FDCPA prohibits such conduct, and your attorney can help you sue the agency for both statutory and actual damages as well as court costs and attorney fees. Collecting a debt is legal, but bullying and threatening you is not.
**Case taken from PACER (www.pacer.gov). File number is (Case 8:13-cv-01524-SVW-VBK from United States District Court, Central 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 Creditors Specialty Service, Inc or any other third-party collection agency, you may not be entitled to any compensation.