Action Financial Services or AFS is a debt collection agency, which receives a lot of consumer complaints to our law firm for debt harassment. Find out who they are, why they might be calling, and how you can stop them.
What is Action Financial Services?
Action Financial Services, LLC (AFS) is a third-party collection agency based in Oregon that specializes in collecting delinquent debts for education lenders. AFS has received consumer complaints alleging violations of the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA), including threatening to take actions that cannot legally be taken and attempting to collect debts not owed. If AFS has contacted you about past due financial obligations, make sure you understand your rights before you take action.
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Is Action Financial Services a scam?
They’re legit. According to the Better Business Bureau (BBB), Action Financial Services, LLC is a legitimate collection agency founded in 2009. The BBB established a profile page for AFS in 2012, and AFS has been accredited by the BBB since 2014.The BBB lists AFS as a collection agency that services the areas of Alaska, American Samoa, Guam, Hawaii, Idaho, Montana, Oregon, Washington, and Wyoming.
According to its website, AFS is a contractor to the U.S. Department of Education and is “dedicated to recouping money” lost from non-payment of student loans. AFS states that they “make every effort to implement best practices, enhance the lives of borrowers, and elevate the practice of debt collection in the community.”
Who does Action Financial Services collect for?
The Action Financial Services website does not provide a lot of detailed information about its collection practices or client lenders. Instead, they have posted a general description stating that AFS “makes every effort to help borrowers transfer into an affordable repayment plan where they can rehabilitate their student loan(s) through the Federal Student Loan Rehabilitation Program or consolidate their student loan(s) through the Federal Direct Consolidation Program.” In addition, AFS employs “passionate personnel who are thoughtful listeners, artful negotiators, and patiently communicate the importance of resolving debt and offer clear viable options.”
Their website also includes a Documents page with links to several loan rehabilitation forms, including a Loan Rehabilitation Income and Expense form; a Rehabilitation Agreement Letter form; a Permission to Fax form; a Third-Party Authorization form; a Financial Disclosure Statement; and a Recurring Payment Authorization form. Most of these forms are available in both English and Spanish.
The AFS website does not offer any information about its regulatory compliance polices. Their Legal page includes statements about its information privacy policies, but their website does not provide any links or references to consumer protection resources, laws, or enforcement agencies.
Who are we? We are Lemberg Law, a Consumer Law Firm
Lemberg Law is a consumer law firm helping victims of collection harassment and abuse. We are ranked A+ by the BBB. We’ve helped more than 15,000 consumers stop harassment and recover money from debt collectors. Harassed? Abused? Misled by a collector? Call our Helpline today! There is no charge unless we win.
How many complaints are there against Action Financial Services?
As of February 2019, the BBB has closed 15 complaints against Action Financial Services, LLC in the preceding three years, with 9 complaints closed in the previous 12 months. Most of those complaints cited problems with billing and collections. Since November 2015, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) has closed 21 complaints involving AFS. Justia lists at least 1 case of civil litigation involving AFS.
Can Action Financial Services Sue Me or Garnish My Wages?
It is illegal for a debt collector to make empty threats to sue you or garnish your wages. It is also unlikely AFS would sue you for a debt you may not owe or they cannot validate. However, debt collection agencies are known to have summoned debtors to court and garnish wages after a default judgement. Contacting an attorney BEFORE this could possibly happen would be a smart move. We’ve helped thousands of consumers fight back against unscrupulous debt collection harassers. Find out if we can help you too today!
In September 2018, in the United States Court of Federal Claims, a judge issued a memorandum opinion and final order in a case alleging Action Financial Services had violated federal laws in their effort to collect a delinquent student loan. In this case, the plaintiff had submitted an Income-Driven Repayment (IDR) plan request to the U.S. Department of Education (DOE). IDR plans “are designed to make a borrower’s student loan debt more manageable by reducing the monthly payment amount.” When filling out her form, the plaintiff checked a box indicating her income had not changed significantly over the course of the preceding year. The form indicated that a negative answer to this question requires the applicant to submit a tax return, but the plaintiff had not submitted the requested information. As a result, she received a notice indicating her loans were in default. Subsequently, AFS sent her a letter stating they had “commenced collection efforts” and that “the entire unpaid balance of her loan is due and payable.” The plaintiff filed a complaint about the processing of her IDR request with DOE’s Inspector General, who replied that “Fedloan Servicing was ‘working with the appropriate experts to research this issue’; consequently, the plaintiff’s ‘loanswere requested for reinstatement back to good standing.’” The plaintiff then received another notification from DOE stating that they “could not restore her defaulted loans to good standing, because her IDR Request was incomplete.”
As a result, the plaintiff filed a complaint in court without the assistance of an attorney to seek relief from collection efforts. Her complaint stated that “her federal student loan account ‘was wrongly defaulted, closed, and given to a collection agency for collection.’” The complaint also requested “relief of the student loan through the Student Loan Forgiveness Program and …monetary relief at the judge’s discretion for unnecessary
harassment, because the plaintiff is not able to pay, is being ignored, and has suffered stress for having to continue to revisit this hard issue.” The complaint also sought compensation for any court cost and legal fees. AFS and DOE filed a Motion to Dismiss; the plaintiff “filed a Notice… stating that a payment in that account was due …and that the Government’s Counsel informed the plaintiff…that her account was ‘placed on indefinite hold and that all interest and late fees had been removed.’”
In deciding the case, the court considered the Tucker Act, which allows jurisdiction to decide “any claim against the United States founded either upon the Constitution, or any Act of Congress or any regulation of an executive department, or upon any express or implied contract with the United States, or for liquidated or unliquidated damages in cases not sounding in tort.” Attorneys for AFS argued that the plaintiff’s requests—specifically, monetary relief for “unnecessary harassment, …for being ignored, …for stress for having to continue to revisit this hard issue, …and for an order to DOE employees to ‘do their job’”—did not fall under the jurisdiction of the Tucker Act and did not cite violations governing the Public Service Loan Forgiveness (PSLF)Program.The plaintiff insisted that the “court has full authority and the power to entertain tort claims,” citing federal statute 42 U.S.C. Section 1983, which states that “every person who, under color of any law of any state . . . subjects. . . any citizen of the United states . . . to the deprivation of any rights, privileges, or immunities secured by the Constitution and laws, shall be liable to the Party injured… for redress.”
Ultimately, the court found that “not every claim invoking the Constitution, a federal statute, or a regulation is cognizable under the Tucker Act. The claim must be one for money damages against the United States.” Because the plaintiff had not cited violations of the FDCPA or the PSLF, the court found that it did not have “jurisdiction to adjudicate the claims alleged” in the complaint, and therefore granted AFS’s motion to dismiss.
Action Financial Services Calling You?
Federal laws protect you. The Fair Debt Collections Practices Act (FDCPA) regulates the behavior of collection agencies by prohibiting actions such as the use of abusive or threatening language; harassment; or the use of false or misleading information to collect a debt. The FCRA regulates how collection agencies and creditors report delinquent debts to credit reporting agencies. Additional consumer protection laws include the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA) and the Consumer Financial Protection Act (CFPA).
Can I sue AFS for harassment?
Yes. If you want to enforce your rights, or recover money for violations — you need to sue. Federal laws provide individuals like you with a means to seek monetary damages in court. For example, the FDCPA allows consumers who have been violated to recover damages of up to $1,000, plus attorney fees and court costs.
“With your help the nagging collection calls have finally ceased! I was thrilled I was also able to get damages from the collection agency. I am unable to adequately express my joy. I am so thankful I made the call.”
“When I first emailed the office, I was not exactly sure what they could do for me. I had an idea, but they responded back with everything I could expect to take place. I never believed I would be receiving a check, it was definitely a silver lining. I highly recommend them to anyone seeking customer legal services.”
“I just wanted to let you know we received the check from your office on now and I wanted to take some time to inform you that we really appreciate all of your efforts in this matter.”
Can You Help Me Delete Action Financial Services from My Credit Report?
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About the Author:
Sergei Lemberg is a lawyer whose practice focuses on consumer law, class actions and personal injury litigation. He has been repeatedly recognized as the “most active consumer attorney” in the country. In 2020, Mr. Lemberg represented Noah Duguid in the United States Supreme Court in the case entitled Duguid v. Facebook. He is the author of Defanging Debt Collectors, a book that teaches consumers how to battle debt collectors and win.