A 2014 study once estimated that over one-third of Americans have a debt in collections, so if a collection agency is pursuing you for an unpaid medical debt or credit card bill, you’re not alone. But no matter how much you owe, there are codes of conduct that these companies must follow when collecting it, or serious consequences can result--for them.
Your Rights Under the FDCPA
The Fair Debt Collection Practices Act, or FDCPA, regulates what third-party collectors can say or do while attempting to collect a debt. Any collection agency that uses pressure tactics like those below faces fines and possibly a loss of its license.
- Ignoring a formal request to cease communications
- Calling you before 8:00 a.m. and after 9:00 p.m. in your time zone
- Calling you at work if you’ve already told them that such calls are not permitted by your employer
- Claiming that you can be arrested, have your assets seized, or have your wages garnished
- Refusing or failing the validate the debt
- Demanding amounts not supported by law or the original creditor agreement
Company Profile: North Valley Collection Bureau
If you are being called by North Valley Collection Bureau, information about the company is below.
North Valley Collection Bureau, which also does business as Shasta-Cascade Credit Bureaus, Inc., is a debt collection company located in Red Bluff, California. It was established in 1962, has less than 10 employees, and is managed by Linda Benner. Its current rating with the Better Business Bureau is B-.
Records retained by the PACER (Public Access to Court Electronic Records) website indicate that consumers who felt they were being harassed by North Valley Collection Bureau challenged the company in federal court.
Alleged Violations Against North Valley Collection Bureau
According to PACER, beginning in or around January 2015, North Valley Collection Bureau began contacting a California couple in an attempt to collect an alleged outstanding debt.
In late January 2015, the the plaintiffs received a collection letter that allegedly threatened them with legal action and failed to identify the sender as a debt collector engaged in the attempt to collect a debt.
Feeling harassed by North Valley Collection Bureau and believing that other California consumers were being treated in this manner, the plaintiffs hired a consumer attorney and filed a class action lawsuit against the company for allegedly violating the FDCPA in the following ways:
- Threatening legal action it could not take
- Failing to identify itself as a debt collector seeking to collect a debt
The matter was later dismissed.
Hire an Attorney
The phone numbers for this collection agency are:
If either one appears on your caller ID when the phone rings, it means that you are being called by North Valley Collection Bureau. If they fail to identify themselves as debt collectors in all communications and threaten you with legal action they are not in a position to take, hire a consumer attorney.
Filing a claim against North Valley Collection Bureau could be helpful to you if you win—you could potentially be awarded $1,000 per violation as well as attorney's fees, court costs, and any actual damages. Don’t be bullied into inaction: fighting back can pay off.
*Disclaimer: The content of this article serves only to provide information and should not be constructed as legal advice. If you file a claim against North Valley Collection Bureau, or any other third-party collection agency, you may not be entitled to any compensation.
**Case taken from PACER (www.pacer.gov). File number is Case 2:15-cv-01419-KJM-KJN from the United States District Court for the Eastern District of California.