Central Research Inc or CRI 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 Central Research Inc?
Central Research, Inc. (CRI) is a third-party collection agency based in Arkansas that specializes in collecting delinquent student loans. CRI has received consumer complaints alleging violations of the Fair Debt Collections Practices Act (FDCPA), such as using false or misleading language in an effort to collect a debt and misrepresenting the legal status or amount of any debt. If CRI has contacted you about past due financial obligations, make sure you understand your rights before you take action.
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Is Central Research a scam?
They’re legit. According to the Better Business Bureau (BBB), Central Research, Inc, is a “premier services provider” offering “specialized services and solutions across multiple disciplines.” CRI states that it “employ core values of integrity, loyalty, and excellence to deliver customized, quality services to clients.”
Who does Central Research collect for?
Central Research accepts accounts from federal and state governments and commercial markets. Their clients include the following federal government agencies: Department of Agriculture; Department of Commerce; Department of Defense; Department of Education; Department of Energy; Department of Health and Human Services; Department of Homeland Security; Department of the Navy; Department of Transportation; Department of the Treasury; Department of Veterans Affairs; General Services Administration; National Guard Bureau; National Science Foundation; Securities and Exchange Commission; State of Maryland; State of Oklahoma; U.S. Small Business Administration; Department of the Army; and Department of the Interior.
CRI offers services in the following areas: professional services; financial services and solutions; records and document management; and information technology. CRI’s call center and debt collection unit is located within the financial services and solutions division. CRI’s debt collection unit provides “successful recovery programs for the United States Department of Education. CRI assists borrowers with the best repayment options based on their current financial situation to resolve their defaulted student loans.” CRI also assists in “collecting the appropriate documentation if the borrower is deceased, disabled, incarcerated, or has a situation resulting in a programmatic cancellation.”CRI’s “resources, …personnel, and… experience deliver… exceptional collection programs.”
CRI’s consumer services help site provides extensive links and references to consumer protection resources, legal resources, and enforcement agencies in the following areas: students, healthcare, government, financial, retail, and telecom.
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 Central Research Inc?
As of May 2019, the BBB has closed 12 complaints against Central Research, Inc in the preceding 3 years, with 8 complaints closed in the previous 12 months. Most of those complaints alleged problems with billing and collections, although 3 complaints cited problems with customer service, and another cited problems with advertising or sales. The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) has not posted any complaint data involving CRI. Justia lists at least 2 cases of civil litigation involving CRI.
Can Central Research Inc 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 CRI 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!
Complaints against Central Research, Inc cite problems resulting from disputes about the validity of billing and collection procedures and allegations of harassment. In October 2018, a complainant stated that CRI had misrepresented themselves and harassed him. According to the complainant, he had acquired student loan debt but was unable to keep his payments current. He contacted CRI after “a garnishment was sent out to his employer for his wages.” He explained to a CRI representative “that he was attempting to get into a rehabilitation for his loans.” The CRI representative “explained that he had to make 9 months of payments, and then his loan would be sold to a lender.” In addition, the CRI representative “indicated that he would receive paperwork to complete and return.” The complainant stated that he had complied with CRI’s instructions “on multiple occasions.” Subsequently, he “received a notice that $232.00 would come out of his checking account on 9/28/2018.” In addition, a “garnishment came into his employer for 15% of his pay, and it was processed on 10/06/2018.” The complainant “called CRI on 10/12 and spoke to someone else who told him that he would be garnished 15% and that $232.00 would come out of his checking account, as well.” However, the complainant stated that “this was the first time he was told” about their intent to extract funds from his bank account. He stated that he “was never sent anything in writing, and that when he asked for that information, he was told no.” He complained that their aggressive collection tactics amounted to taking “over $1,000 a month,” which he “cannot afford.” He asked the supervisor “to pull the tapes of the calls to confirm what he had been told and asked for a letter or something to confirm,” but his request was refused. He stated that “not only is this a hardship, but being blatantly lied to is in violation of the” FDCPA. He requested that CRI send documentation regarding all of their accounting, billing, and collection practices, and that his loans be replaced back into “rehabilitation minus the garnishment.”
In response, Central Research, Inc stated that that they are a “contracted agency for the U.S. Department of Education…and provide assistance to consumers to resolve their federal defaulted student loans.” CRI “reviewed the call recordings and… determined that … a letter was sent to the consumer advising that unless they setup…a voluntary repayment program that their wages would be garnished.” CRI acknowledged that the complainant had called on several occasions requesting clarification, and that they had declined to provide copies of the call transcripts. CRI also stated that they had “advised the complainant that a form was sent that he was required… to complete and return. Once that was returned with the required documentation, an approved payment amount could be calculated and then the loan rehabilitation letter would be sent to the consumer. This letter would contain the program requirements and would require the consumer’s signature.” Ultimately, because the complainant “stated that he could not afford to make the $232.00 payments and did not wish to continue in the program, CRI …terminated the payment arrangement…Unfortunately, as a result of the….delay in responding to the…letter, CRI was unable to terminate the garnishment.” CRI offered to reinstate “the loan rehabilitation program again,” and told the complainant that he “could receive an approved payment amount as low as $5.00 a month.”
Central Credit Services did not post a response to any of these complaints.
Central Research Inc 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 CRI 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.
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Can You Help Me Delete Central Research Inc from My Credit Report?
Chances are good that we can help. Call us today and we’ll explain.
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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.