California Business Bureau Inc 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 California Business Bureau?
California Business Bureau , Inc. or CBB is a third-party collection agency based in Monrovia, CA. CBB has received consumer complaints alleging violations of the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA), such as failing to provide written verification of debts and threatening to take actions that cannot legally be taken. If CBB has contacted you about delinquent collection items, make sure you understand your rights before taking action.
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Is California Business Bureau a scam?
They’re legit. According to the Better Business Bureau (BBB), California Business Bureau, Inc.was founded and incorporated in April 1976. The BBB lists California Business Bureau as a collection system with an estimated 101 employees that uses the alternate business names, Medical Billing Services (MBS) and Michael J. Sigal Company. Buzzfile estimates CBB’s annual revenue at $11.1 million and the size of its headquarters staff at 132 employees, with an estimated 152 total employees across all locations.
Who does California Business Bureau collect for?
California Business Bureau provides a broad assortment of collection services in health care, starting with pre-collection when one day after the invoice has dropped. The company says it uses specific wording in collection letters to accumulate the most quantity of money. Other services tailored to the health care field include staff that specializes in insurance company appeals and collections procedures.
CBB also offers its customers complimentary educational seminars and courses on subjects such as “Getting the Payment in Full” and “Successful Collection methods,” as well as one-on-one training. California Business Bureau’s motto is, “If you have not tried us, you won’t ever know the difference.” The business has over 170 employees and specializes in healthcare-related collection services. They boast of a management group whose members have been with the company an average of 20 years each.
CBB’s collection services include “manual and computerized services, ranging from account review and calls, to dispute resolution, third-party billing, skip tracing, credit reporting, and litigation. CBB’s bad debt collection services include first- and second-placement collections, personal injury/lien management, and litigation when necessary.” CBB also employs “dedicated workers’ compensation account specialists who have a thorough knowledge and understanding of the process and requirements for resolution of these accounts.” Finally, MBS “manages …healthcare accounts receivables that are either part of a pre-collect/early placement program or are referred for third-party medical billing, follow-up, and collection.”
California Business Bureau cites affiliation with several professional associations, including the American Association of Healthcare Administrative Management (AAHAM); the Healthcare Financial Management Association (HFMA); the California Association of Collectors (CAC); and the International Association of Credit and Collection Professionals (ACA International). CBB also offers training programs to healthcare industry professionals. However, their website does not provide 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 California Business Bureau?
As of December 2019, the BBB has given California Business Bureau a rating of F, citing CBB’s failure to respond to complaints and using a BBB trademark symbol without authorization. The BBB has closed 18 complaints against California Business Bureau in the preceding 3 years, with 9 complaints closed in the previous 12 months. Those complaints are fairly evenly split between those citing problems with billing and collections and those citing problems with customer service.As of September 2013, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) has closed 211 complaints involving CBB. Justia lists at least 5 cases of civil litigation involving CBB.
California Business Bureau, Inc. 1711 S Mountain Ave Monrovia, CA 91016 Phone Number: 800-755-1515 Website: https://cbbinc.com/
Can California Business Bureau 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 CBB 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 2016, a magistrate judge in U.S. District Court, Eastern District of California, granted a Customer’s motion for summary judgment against California Business Bureau for violations of the federal Fair Debt Collection Practices Act and California’s Rosenthal Fair Debt Collection Practices Act. According to the judge’s decision, the plaintiff had medical bills that California Business Bureau was trying to accumulate. California Business Bureau sued the customer for more than $2700, plus interest and fees. The customer, through his lawyer, agreed to a debt settlement of a little over $3,000, which included costs and lawyer fees. Both the customer and California Business Bureau agreed on a payment plan, and the customer adhered to that payment program. After he had paid $2,000, California Business Bureau sent a letter stating that the current balance was nearly $1,000 more than the amount that was agreed upon. The customer kept making payments, and California Business Bureau kept sending letters that he owed more money. The lawsuit alleged that California Business Bureau violated the FDCPA by communicating directly with the customer even though the debt collection agency knew he was being represented by a lawyer. Additionally, it alleged that the letters misrepresented the quantity of debt that the consumer owed. In her view, the judge ruled against California Business Bureau and set a date for a phone conference to find out the damages that would be given to the customer.
In July 2017, in United States District Court for the Eastern District of California, a judge issued an order in a case alleging California Business Bureau had violated both the federal and California state FDCPA laws. In this case, the plaintiff had incurred a debt that was eventually assigned to CBB for collection. At some point, CBB and the plaintiff had agreed to a settlement of the debt. However, “following a settlement agreement between CBB and the plaintiff…in a related state court action, CBB sent the plaintiff two separate payment reminders stating the remaining balance owed by the plaintiff on his debt obligation.” As a result, the “Court found that CBB’s payment reminders violated” both the federal and state FDCPAs in two ways. First, CBB “erred by contacting the plaintiff despite knowledge that he was represented by an attorney,” which is a violation of section 1692c(a)(2) of the federal law and that same provision in the state law. “Second, in viewing CBB’s payment reminders under the ‘least sophisticated consumer standard,’ the letters misrepresented the plaintiff’s debt obligation by stating an amount owed in excess of the negotiated settlement amount,” which constituted a violation of Section 1692e of the federal law.
The July 2017 hearing was held to determine the amount of damages to be awarded to the plaintiff. The Court stated that the violations found at trial “warrant an award of statutory damages, although not in the amounts the plaintiff” was seeking. Although California Business Bureau had contacted the plaintiff “twice, in writing, regarding the settled debt, this contact was not sufficiently frequent or egregious to suggest that CBB’s letters were intended to intimidate or harass the plaintiff. Rather, the Court found that CBB’s misconduct was largely based on its mistaken belief that the plaintiff was no longer represented by an attorney once the settlement agreement was signed.” CBB’s “monthly balance reminders” included a “representation that the plaintiff owed more than the agreed upon settlement amount that was… willfully and knowingly misleading…However, the plaintiff received only two of these payment reminders over a two-month period,” so the Court determined that this “conduct was therefore less serious than other harassing and threatening conduct that violates the FDCPA.”
As a result, the Court awarded the plaintiff $250.00 for each of the two letters sent by CBB that violated the FDCPA and an additional $500.00 each under both the state and federal FDCPAs for the second violation, for total damage award of $1,500.00. In addition, the Court awarded the plaintiff attorney’s fees in the amount of $47,000.00 and $1,950.00 in court costs, for total award of $50,450.00.
California Business Bureau 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).
Consumers have reported this agency harassing them from the following numbers:
Can I sue CBB 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.
“Joann was so professional and helpful every time I had a question or needed help. Thank you so much for caring!”
“I was struggling so hard and the collection calls were quite painful. Your specialist team sorted out all of these issues. My life is my own again. Thank you.”
“When my husband got sick and lost his job, I understood that paying all of the medical bills was going to be an issue. What I didn’t understand was that we’d be bombed with telephone calls day and night. I found your site and was contacted the same day that I submitted my advice. You did not charge me, you got cash from the collector, and we now have silent phones. Thank you for what you did for us!”
Can You Help Me Delete California Business Bureau from My Credit Report?
The answer is most likely yes. Contact us now to see how we can help.
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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.