Choice Recovery 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 Choice Recovery?
Choice Recovery, Inc. or CRI is a third-party collection agency based in Ohio. CRI has received consumer complaints alleging violations of the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA), such as using false or misleading information in an effort to collect a debt and attempting to collect debts not owed. If CRI has contacted you about delinquent financial obligations, be sure you understand your rights before you take action.
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Is Choice Recovery a scam?
They’re legit. According to the Better Business Bureau (BBB), Choice Recovery, Inc. was founded and incorporated in 1997. The BBB established a profile page for CRI in 1999, and CRI has been a BBB-accredited business since 2011. The BBB lists Choice Recovery as a collection agency. Buzzfile estimates Choice Recovery, Inc’s annual revenue at $15 million and the size of its headquarters staff at 65 employees.
The Choice Recovery website features several videos about their philosophy and approach to debt collection. However, the website does not include any written content with detailed information about the types of industries or businesses for whom they collect debts.
Who does Choice Recovery collect for?
Choice Recovery collects on behalf of health care, higher education, government and industrial clients. The company proudly reports that it has a program called “restart,” which tries to aid consumers upgrade their resumes and find jobs. The tagline of this application is “We find them jobs. They pay their bills.” Choice Recovery is licensed to operate in 40 countries and promises “the best kind” of outcomes. Given the number and wide range of customer complaints against the debt collection agency, an individual can not help but wonder about their definition of “best.”
According to its website, CRI’s collection staff helps people who cannot find employment as a result of having accumulated debt. CRI states that it “feels a responsibility to do more than just collect money, so they… offer those in debt an opportunity to work with their restart team.” CRI states that they “have found that the best solution to helping people pay their bills is to help them get out of debt.” CRI’s “specialists…help people in collections build a new resume, secure a new job, and offer them support throughout the entire process.”
Although CRI does not provide any written detail about its business practices, they have posted the four-step process they use to establish collection contracts with clients. Step One is the initial meeting, during which the collector “gets to know the situation and needs” of the client and the client learns what makes CRI unique. Next, during the “Customize Our Relationship” step, CRI executes an agreement and establishes communication preferences. During the “Go Live” step, the client submits accounts for collection, and CRI “starts sending…checks.” Finally, in the “Continuous Client Support” step, CRI keeps the client informed with a variety of automatically generated computer reports.
The CRI website cites several business-related awards, such as the CEO Magazine Top Places to Work Award. There is also no information about their regulatory compliance polices, and there are no 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 Choice Recovery?
As of November 2019, the BBB has closed 110 complaints against Choice Recovery, Inc in the preceding three years, with 30 complaints closed in the previous 12 months. Almost all of those complaints alleged problems with billing and collections. Since August 2013, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) has closed 428 complaints involving CRI. Justia lists at least 3 cases of civil litigation involving CRI.
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!
In 2015, in United States District Court for the Southern District of Ohio, Eastern Division, a judge issued an opinion order in a case alleging Choice Recovery Inc had violated provisions of the FDCPA regulating the furnishing of credit information to the credit reporting agencies. In this case, the plaintiff alleged that CRI had failed to update his credit report to show a debt had been disputed after the plaintiff had challenged the debt’s validity. After the initial complaint was filed, the plaintiff and CRI were able to arrange a settlement out of court. However, before the settlement was finalized, attorneys for CRI served the plaintiff with a Motion to Compel Plaintiff to Respond to Discovery and for Appropriate Sanctions. Allegedly, during the process of settling the complaint, attorneys for CRI had requested the plaintiff to send them copies of his credit report. The plaintiff objected, stating that his “entire credit report is not relevant and need not be produced to determine the merits of the… case.” The plaintiff’s response also stated that CRI’s “requests are intended to harass, oppress, and annoy the plaintiff. But even so, the plaintiff has requested his credit reports from the credit reporting agencies, Transunion, Equifax, and Experian, and will be able to produce the credit reports once they are received.” The plaintiff also requested that the court dismiss CRI’s request for sanctions and attorney fees for the inconvenience caused by objecting to the production of credit reports.
In making its decision, the court noted that the settlement agreement included payments to the plaintiff for “statutory damages, actual damages, and all costs and reasonable attorney’s fees pursuant to the relevant provisions of the FDCPA,” because, as alleged, Choice Recovery Inc had “‘left its wrongful and incomplete information on the plaintiff’s credit report despite its knowledge’ that the debt was disputed, and that ‘this significantly harmed the plaintiff and his credit reputation.’” Damages included an award for suffering “personal humiliation, embarrassment, mental anguish, and emotional distress.” The court also acknowledged that the plaintiff had “produced the two pages of his credit report containing the disputed debt, but objected to producing the entire credit report on the basis that it is not relevant to any claim or defense.” CRI argued that they cannot ascertain the extent of damage to the plaintiff’s credit without assessing the entirety of his credit profile. The court acknowledged that CRI would be better able to assess the extent of damages by viewing the entire credit report, so ordered the plaintiff to produce the documents. However, the court denied CRI’s request for attorney fees, stating that CRI had not provided sufficient leeway to the plaintiff’s attorney when responding to their requests for credit report documentation, and that CRI had not incurred any additional expenses as a result of the delay.
Choice Recovery 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 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.
“My mom and I want to say thanks to the team of Lemberg Law for all the hard work and effort that was taken to take care of the debt collector and the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act. Because of this, the phones do not ring off the hook anymore.”
“Thank you for all the work you’ve done on my behalf. I genuinely appreciate the blessing you have bestowed upon me. I didn’t realize I’d be getting any money from this wretched affair. I’m taken aback by what you have achieved in my behalf. This has proven better than I could have expected. I’m appreciative of your services and feel blessed.
“After you chose my case, the calls stopped entirely. After you registered against two bureaus, you settled our situation and obtained compensation for me. I want all to understand that, if a collection agency harasses you, your friend, or your loved ones, put a stop to it by calling Lemberg Law. They’ll find the calls to stop, and they get results quickly.”
Can You Help Me Delete Choice Recovery from My Credit Report?
We will do our best to help. Contact us today and let us discuss it.
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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.