Is CTI Collection Services, Inc calling you? Here’s what you need to know.
When consumers are unable to maintain their financial obligations, such as payments on credit cards, student loans, and medical bills, their accounts usually end up turned over to third-party collection agencies. For the consumer, the situation rapidly escalates from bad to worse, as many debt collectors are persistent to the point of harassment when it comes to collecting payments.
It’s normal to be alarmed and afraid when debt collectors call. But you have rights and protections under the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act, or FDCPA, which was enacted in 1977 to stop the abusive behavior that third-party debt collection agencies had been exhibiting toward consumers who owed a debt. Under the FDCPA, a debt collector may not do any of the following:
- Call you repeatedly at work after you indicate that you are not permitted to take such calls.
- Call you before 8:00 a.m. and after 9:00 p.m. your time
- Discuss the debt with your co-workers, friends, neighbors, and other uninvolved parties
- Swear or use abusive language
- Threaten to have you arrested or imprisoned if you don’t pay
- Threaten to ruin your credit or damage your property
- Fail or refuse to provide verification of the debt
The FDCPA allows you to dispute the debt and request that the debt collector stop contacting you. A cease communications request will not stall an eventual lawsuit should they decide to sue, but the calls and letters should stop. Some third-party debt collectors, however, continue to break the law nearly 40 years after the FDCPA was passed.
Located in Chicago, CTI Collection Services, Inc was established in 1995 by William Leggett and Colby Smith, and has 10-20 employees. Although legally required to abide by FDCPA regulations when collecting debts, CTI Collection Services, Inc has been sued multiple times for allegedly crossing the line with consumers.
According to PACER**, sometime before 2010, a Pennsylvania resident incurred a financial obligation for personal, family, or household use. When the payments were not kept up, the account was turned over to CTI Collection Services, Inc.
She later complained that CTI representatives placed as many as four calls a day to her phone at work. She said that she asked them to stop calling her place of employment, but the communications allegedly continued.
The agency’s debt collectors also allegedly called her co-workers, supervisors, and neighbors and identified themselves as calling from a federal agency about a “federal issue.” When she did speak to CTI representatives, she alleged that they used rude and abusive language and threatened to garnish her wages, although they never did so. The company also allegedly failed to send her a 30-Day validation notice as required by law.
Her attorney accused the agency of the following violations of FDCPA, 15 U.S.C. §1692:
- Contacting her at a place and during a time known to be inconvenient (15 U.S.C. § 1692c(a)(1))
- Contacting her place of employment after being advised that such calls were not allowed (15 U.S.C. § 1692c(a)(3))
- Using profane and abusive language (15 U.S.C. § 1692d(2))
- Causing the phone to ring repeatedly and engaging Ms. Eckenrode in conversations with the intention of annoying and harassing her (15 U.S.C. § 1692d(5))
- Threatening her with garnishment if the debt was not paid (15 U.S.C. § 1692e(4))
- Using false and deceptive means to collect a debt (15 U.S.C. § 1692e(10))
- Failing to send a validation notice (15 U.S.C. § 1692g(a)(1)-(4))
The matter was later settled.
If a call from 1 -773-265-2600 shows up on your caller ID, CTI Collection Services, Inc is trying to collect a debt. Request verification of the debt and, if they refuse or fail to do so, you can request that they not contact you further. If they use abusive language, discuss the debt with your co-workers and friends, or call you at work without permission, contact a consumer attorney. Any debt collector who goes too far may have to pay you up to $1,000 per FDCPA violation, as well as cover attorney’s fees, court costs, and monetary damages if you win.
**Case taken from PACER (www.pacer.gov). File number is (Case 1:10-cv-02210-YK, from United States District Court, Middle District of Pennsylvania)
The content of this article serves only to provide information and should not be construed as legal advice. If you file a claim against CTI Collection Services, Inc or any other third-party collection agency, you may not be entitled to any compensation.