Is The Bureaus Inc. calling you? Here's what you need to know.
Few many people intentionally get themselves into uncontrollable debt, but it can happen alarmingly fast, especially if you lose your job or become too ill to work. Arrears pile up quickly, and next thing you know, third-party debt collectors are calling to collect them. If they are less than civil and attempt to bully the payments out of you, know that the law is on your side and you have rights they disregard at their own professional risk.
Your Rights Under the FDCPA
The Fair Debt Collection Practices Act, or FDCPA, places restrictions what third-party debt collectors can say or do when communicating with consumers about a debt. Actions like the following are illegal and can lead to expensive fines and other consequences.
- Using profane or obscene language
- Calling you before 8:00 a.m. and after 9:00 p.m. your time
- Making legal threats they have no intention of following up on
- Sharing details of the debt with your neighbors and co-workers
- Ignoring a written cease communications request
- Calling you at work when your employer does not allow such calls
Company Profile: The Bureaus Inc.
The Bureaus Inc. is a collection agency located in Northbrook, Illinois. It was established in 1974, has 50 to 99 employees, and is managed by its President, Michael Slotky. According to records archived at the PACER (Public Access to Court Electronic Records) website, The Bureaus Inc. has been accused by some consumers of violating the FDCPA.
Alleged Violations against The Bureaus Inc.
Jack Kryzaniak, Individually and on Behalf of All Others Similarly Situated vs. The Bureaus Inc., et al
On or about May 11, 2012, The Bureaus Inc. mailed a collection letter to Wisconsin resident Jack Kryzaniak. It appeared to be a computer-generated form letter, with Mr. Kryzaniak’s name inserted where applicable. Three more letters followed over June and July, each one attempting to collect an alleged credit card debt that was originally owed to HSBC Card Services, Inc.
Each letter noted, “This collection agency is licensed by the Office of the Administrator of the Division of Banking. P.O. Box 7876, Madison, Wisconsin 53707”.
Mr. Kryzaniak claimed that investigation showed that The Bureaus was not licensed by any Wisconsin governmental agency at the time the letters were sent. When his attorney contacted the Division of Banking, a representative allegedly confirmed that The Bureaus did not currently hold a Wisconsin collection agency license.
Mr. Kryzaniak filed a class action lawsuit accusing The Bureaus Inc. of using false, deceptive, or misleading means in connection with the collection of the debt, in violation of the FDCPA.
The matter was later dismissed.
Hire an Attorney
The phone numbers for The Bureaus Inc. are 1-847-328-4300 and 1-877-887-4824. If either number shows up on your caller ID, be advised that a debt collector is trying to contact you. If The Bureaus Inc. claim to be licensed in your state but investigation proves otherwise, hire a consumer attorney who can help you fight the collection efforts in court. A judge could order the company to pay you $1,000 per FDCPA violation as well as attorney's fees, court costs, and any actual damages, compensating you for your negative experience.
*Case taken from PACER (www.pacer.gov). File number is 2:13-cv-00068-RTR from United States District Court, Eastern District of Wisconsin, Milwaukee Division
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 The Bureaus Inc., or any other third-party collection agency, you may not be entitled to any compensation.