Collection Professionals Inc or CPI 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 Professionals Inc – CPI?
Collection Professionals, Inc. (CPI) is a third-party collection agency based in Illinois. CPI has received consumer complaints alleging violations of the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA), such as threatening to take actions that cannot legally be taken and using false or misleading information in an effort to collect a debt. If CPI has contacted you about past due financial obligations, make sure you know your rights before taking action.
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Is Collection Professionals a scam?
They’re legit. The Better Business Bureau (BBB) established a profile page for Collection Professionals, Inc. in 2002. According to this unclaimed profile page, CPI is a collection agency with 2 additional locations in Illinois. Buzzfile estimates CPI’s annual revenue at $100,000 and the size of its headquarters staff at only 1 employee.
According to its website, Collection Professionals have been “specialists in debt recovery since 1947.” The current owners of CPI are the second generation of CPI management and “serve the needs of all creditors who refuse to accept less than the best when it comes to collection results.” CPI management “will take the time necessary to fully understand clients’ needs and office procedures, and their experience in collection management… can help… better manage accounts receivable.”
The CPI website does not provide any specific details about the types of businesses or industries for whom they collect debts except to say that “their interests are in serving all credit grantors, large or small, in a manner that will return the maximum amount possible on their bad debt dollar.” CPI offers services in five distinct areas: Insurance Follow-Up; Early Out Programs; NSF Check Collection; Litigation-By-Assignment; and Regular Collection.
Collection Professionals’ regular collection division is staffed by ACA-certified collectors. CPI collection staff give “individual attention… to each debtor contact, and the extra effort they devote…has enabled them to more than double the industry average recovery ratio.” Collection services are provided on a contingency fee basis.
CPI’s insurance follow-up division provides claim service to clients “frustrated with how long insurance companies take to remit, even on clean claims.” Their early-out program allows medical service providers to hire CPI as a first-party billing agent to “reduce …internal costs while maintaining the client-patient relationship.” CPI also states that they are “experts at the collection of NSF check collections and have a program that will suit any client’s needs.” Finally, CPI’s litigation division takes “legal action… in the name of CPI rather than in the name of the client.”
Collection Professionals cites affiliation with the American Collectors Association International; the Illinois Collectors Association; the American Association of Healthcare Administrative Management; the Illinois Association of Healthcare Administrative Management; and the Illinois Valley Chamber of Commerce. However, their website does not provide any information about their 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 Professionals?
As of September 2019, the BBB has given Collection Professionals Inc a rating of F, citing its failure to respond to complaints. The BBB has closed 2 complaints against CPI in the preceding 3 years, with neither of them closed in the previous 12 months. Both of those complaints cited problems with billing and collections. As of August 2013, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) has closed 16 complaints involving CPI. Justia lists at least 6 cases of civil litigation involving CPI.
Collection Professionals, Inc. 723 First Street LaSalle, IL 61301 Telephone: (800) 383-0024
Can Collection Professionals 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 CPI 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 July 2006, in the United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit, a judge issued a decision in a case alleging Collection Professionals Inc had violated certain provisions of the FDCPA. In the original case, the plaintiff had written a check and made a separate payment to one of her creditors for a total amount of about $250.00. Apparently, the check did not clear the plaintiff’s bank. The debt became delinquent, and her creditor sent the account to CPI for collection. CPI sent the plaintiff a collection letter that stated, in part:
“YOU ARE EITHER HONEST OR DISHONEST. YOU CANNOT BE BOTH.
“Your creditor believed you to be honest when credit was extended.
“The injustice of permitting this account to become past due and then ignoring all requests for payment, casts a doubt of good intentions.
“We would like to give you this final opportunity to prove your honesty and good intentions.
“Payment in full or satisfactory arrangements for payment must be made without further delay.
“Collection Professionals, Inc., is a debt collection agency. This is an attempt to collect a debt and any information will be used for that purpose.”
The plaintiff filed a complaint against Collection Professionals Inc, alleging the language in the letter used “false, deceptive, or misleading representations or means” in violation of Section 1692e, “and that the letter was an attempt to disgrace her in violation of” Section1692e(7). “She also alleged that the letter employed unfair or unconscionable means to collect a debt in violation of” Section1692f. CPI requested that the complaint be dismissed, arguing “that the language in the letter was true and accurate,” and that therefore the plaintiff “did not state a claim under” 1692e. CPI also argued that the letter “did not state or imply that the plaintiff had committed a crime or other fraud, so she had not stated a claim under…1692e(7)” and that “because the letter contained only true statements, it could not be considered ‘unfair or unconscionable’ within the meaning of” Section 1692f. The trial court decided that because the plaintiff had not cured the bounced check, that CPI’s letter was not intended to disgrace or shame her and dismissed the claim against CPI.
At the appeals hearing in 2006, the plaintiff argued that the trial court had erred and requested that the decision be reversed. The trial court reviewed the evidence and noted that the main determination they were to have made was whether the complaint could have been dismissed according to Rule 12(b)(6), which requires that the court accept “as true all well-pleaded factual allegations and drawing all reasonable inferences in favor of the plaintiff.” The question facing the court was whether the letter itself used language that—on its face—could be interpreted by an unsophisticated consumer as a violation of the FDCPA. Because the trial court based its decision instead on whether the statements could be viewed as accurate based on their interpretation of the plaintiff’s actions prior to her having received the letter, the appeals court determined that they had misapplied the law. As a result, the decision in favor of CPI was reversed, and the case was sent back to trial for further proceedings.
Collection Professionals 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).
But here’s the rub: If you want to enforce your rights, or recover money for violations — you need to sue. These 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 used to get up to 15 calls a week from several collection agencies. It got so bad I felt like I should just get a new phone number to make it quit. Happily, I discovered Lemberg Law. They immediately put an end to the calls. Now, when my phone rings I do not dread it.”
“I would recommend your company to anyone. You have the debt collectors off my back, and I will finally see the light at the end of the tunnel. Throughout the entire procedure your employees were courteous and professional. I was blown away by their efficacy also.
“I would recommend your company to anyone. You have the debt collectors off my back, and I will finally see the light at the end of the tunnel. Throughout the entire procedure your employees were courteous and professional. I was blown away by their efficacy also.”
“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!”
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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.