Collection Information Bureau or CIB 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 Collection Information Bureau?
Collection Information Bureau , Inc. (CIB) is a third-party collection agency based in Florida. CIB has received consumer complaints alleging violations of the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA), such as attempting to collect debts not owed and threatening to take actions that cannot legally be taken. If CIB has contacted you about past due collection items, make you understand your rights before responding.
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Is Collection Information Bureau a scam?
They’re legit. According to the Better Business Bureau (BBB), Collection Information Bureau was founded in 1948 and incorporated in 1967. The BBB established a profile page for CIB in 1989. The BBB lists CIB as a collection agency that uses the alternate business names, Collection Service Bureau and Doctors Business Bureau. CIB has neither claimed nor authorized this page. Buzzfile estimates Collection Information Bureau’s annual revenue at $2.2 million and the size of its headquarters staff at 28 employees.
According to its website, CIB is “Florida’s premier medical collection agency.” CIB has “over 60 years’ experience as leaders in the collection industry and is dedicated to serving…clients and consumers in a courteous and professional manner… with a scale of service and results that are second to none.”
Who does Collection Information Bureau collect for?
Collection Information Bureau collects delinquent bills for healthcare and medical service providers and offers “a variety of services and programs custom tailored to the individual practice,” including first- and second-placement debt collection; early-out collection programs; extended business office (EBO) services; payment plan monitoring; insurance re-billing and appeals; probate claim filing and processing; clean-up projects; accounts receivable management (ARM) consulting; and full management reports.
CIB cites membership in several professional associations, including the International Association of Credit and Collection Professionals (ACA International); the Healthcare Financial Management Association (HFMA); and the American Association of Healthcare Administration Management (AAHAM). However, the CIB website does not include any information about its regulatory compliance policies, 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 Collection Information Bureau?
As of July 2019, the BBB has given Collection Information Bureau a rating of F, citing the large number of complaints received and CIB’s failure to respond to any of them. The BBB has closed 39 complaints against CIB in the past three years, with 16 complaints closed in the previous 12 months. Most of those complaints alleged problems with billing and collections, although 5 complaints also cited problems with customer service.As of April 2015, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) has closed 114 complaints against CIB. Justia lists at least 6 cases of civil litigation involving CIB.
Collection Information Bureau, Inc. 202 N. Federal Highway Lake Worth, FL 33460 Collection Information Bureau Phone Number: 800-841-3065
Can Collection Information 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 CIB 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 October 1996, in U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida, a judge issued an Order in case alleging Collection Information Bureau had violated certain provision of the FDCPA. In this case, the plaintiff had originally filed a complaint against CIB the year previously, stating they had “violated various provisions of the FDCPA in its communications” with her. She sought $1,000 in statutory damages, actual damages, costs, and attorney’s fees. CIB made an offer of judgment to settle the case in the amount of $6,000.00, and the plaintiff accepted the offer. However, this award did not include a payment for reasonable attorney’s fees, so the October 1996 hearing was held to determine the amount to be paid to her by CIB.
The plaintiff had previously submitted to a magistrate judge her petition for attorney’s fees, “supported by her attorney’s billing records and affidavit, which establish that he expended in this matter 172.3 hours at the hourly rate of $195.00.” Her attorney stated that “$195.00 per hour is the community market rate for the type of legal services rendered in this case.” As a result, she requested $33,598.50. Attorneys for Collection Information Bureau objected to the plaintiff’s petition, so she submitted an affidavit stating that “the reasonable and prevailing rate in cases similar to the present one…is within the range of $150.00 and $225.00 per hour…Additional documents…demonstrated that her attorney had received $175.00 per hour from other clients and in other attorney’s fee awards connected with litigation in nearby state courts.”Attorneys for CIB objected again, stating that “both the billing rate and total hours requested” were unreasonable and claimed that her attorney’s rate was excessive because “he is relatively inexperienced, and…has never been awarded such a rate in an FDCPA case.” Additionally, CIB “submitted an affidavit… asserting that… the prevailing market rate is between $85.00 and $100.00 per hour.” CIB also objected “to many of the billing items, arguing that the plaintiff’s attorney unreasonably billed for hours expended performing clerical duties, pursuing the case after CIB submitted its Offer of Judgment, engaging in excessive research, and resulting from the plaintiff’s failure to comply with discovery.”
The Magistrate Judge in the previous hearing “concluded that the hours requested were reasonable and that CIB’s objections were without merit. The Magistrate Judge specifically rejected CIB’s affidavit,… which suggested that a reasonable hourly rate should be between $85.00 and $100.00, …and concluded that the rate requested by the plaintiff was reasonable and that the hours billed fairly and reasonably reflected the work properly expended in the case.” Collection Information Bureau objected again that the “Magistrate Judge’s Report and Recommendation… improperly considered and weighed certain affidavits and other documents… regarding a reasonable rate…and erred in determining that the hours billed were reasonable, given the relative simplicity of the case and the limited settlement award.”
As a result, the case was sent to District Court. At the October 1996 hearing, the District Judge determined that the “Magistrate Judge’s calculus is altogether reasonable in this case and is fully consonant with the controlling case law.” The court determined that the plaintiff “is entitled to reasonable attorney’s fees pursuant to the relevant provision of the FDCPA… as determined by the court.” There was “sufficient evidence… to support both the hourly rate of $195.00 and the expenditure of 172.30 hours on the case.” The “court…examined the various affidavits submitted, and … reviewed… the nature of the case, the skill required to prosecute it, the customary fee in the community, the attorney’s experience, reputation, and ability, the amount of time billed, and the specific nature of the services rendered.” In its final decision, court stated that the plaintiff “shall recover from CIB $33,598.50 in attorney’s fees incurred in the litigation of her case.”
Collection Information 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).
Can I sue CIB 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.
“I have to admit, I was not sure of y’all initially but you proved me wrong. You not only got the calls to stop but you have the company to dismiss the accounts once and for all! It had been more than I anticipated.”
“Prior to contacting you, we had tried repeatedly to handle this matter without threatening litigation. In the end, not only were they unapologetic, but they were dismissive – even of an attorney friend who called on our behalf. Sincerest thanks for resolving this matter for us!”
“Lemberg Law has saved me from the endless calls, and harassing voicemails. They really do go to bat for you. I didn’t know that debt collection agencies can end up paying your legal bill. What a surprise, to receive free legal help. I’m very grateful for all the hard work they did to finally give me my life back.”
“Thank you and your team at Lemberg Law for the exceptional work you did on my behalf. I have never experienced the level of care, professionalism, timeliness in follow-through, and monetary compensation obtained through your firm.”
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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.