Credit Counsel Inc or CCI 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 Credit Counsel Inc?
Credit Counsel, Inc. (CCI) is a third-party collection agency based in Florida. CCI has received consumer complaints alleging violations of the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA), including attempting to collect debts not owed and using false or misleading information in an effort to collect a debt. If CCI has contacted you about past due financial obligations, make sure you know your rights before you take action.
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Is Credit Counsel a scam?
They’re legit. According to the Better Business Bureau (BBB), Credit Counsel, Inc. is a legitimate collection agency, founded and incorporated in 1996. The BBB established a profile page for CCI in 2001. The BBB lists CCI as a collection agency that operates domestically and internationally. Buzzfile estimates Credit Counsel’s annual revenue at Credit Counsel and size of its headquarters staff at 5 employees.
According to its website, CCI “is a national and international debt recovery firm…founded by professionals in the debt collection industry and bad check collection field.” CCI describes itself as “an extension of…clients’ credit and collection departments and… demands the highest standard of professionalism in handling every collection account.”
Who does Credit Counsel collect for?
Credit Counsel, Inc “has a wide range of clients in all states in the USA and many foreign countries.” CCI’s medical debt collection division “delivers customized accounts receivable management solutions, enabling providers to improve financial results while maintaining positive relationships with patients and payors.” Medical debt collection services include self-pay collections, insurance resolution, and a client web portal.
CCI’s international collections division provides “representation in many countries… to deliver fast, effective solutions to the complex challenges of… global debt recovery.” International collection services include “ethical and fair debt collection; domestic debt collection; fast delivery of clear and accurate reports; skip tracing and asset location; acounts receivable management; and cost-effective litigation.”
In addition, CCI provides occupational health collection services that include controverted claims, business claims, and insurance claims. They also have a commercial debt collection division that employs a “collection process with credit data analysis tools providing factual business intelligence that exposes hidden risks…and comprehensive research options, including asset and liability investigations…and background and financial investigations.”
CCI cites affiliation with several professional associations, including the International Association of Credit and Collection Professionals (ACA International) and the Florida Office of Financial Regulation. CCI states that it “operates and manages its daily activities based on a… strict code of ethics… to ensure…maximize collection potential while adhering to the highest professional work standards and legal guidelines.” However, their client-facing website does not provide any 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 Credit Counsel?
As of February 2019, the BBB has closed 7 complaints against Credit Counsel, Inc in the preceding three years, with 3 complaints closed in the previous 12 months. Most of those complaints cited problems with billing and collections. Since April 2016, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) has closed 19 complaints against CCI. Justia lists at least 3 cases of civil litigation involving CCI.
It is illegal for a debt collector to make empty threats to sue you or garnish your wages. It is also unlikely CCI 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 Credit Counsel, Inc frequently cite problems resulting from efforts to collect unverified debts and violations of information privacy laws. In July 2018, a complainant stated that she had been contacted by CCI regarding a medical bill that her “adult daughter incurred.” The complainant stated that her daughter had been covered by her “insurance but that does not make the complainant liable for the debt.” The complainant stated that she had “received a call at work…and was told it was an attempt to collect…a debt for a rehabilitation… center.” The complainant’s daughter had been a client there when she was covered by the complainant’s insurance policy. Shortly after discharge, she was removed from the complainant’s insurance policy. The complainant told the CCI representative that her daughter was 26 years old at the time of hospitalization; therefore, because her daughter was an adult, the complainant was not liable for her medical bills, whether or not she had been covered by insurance. She also told the CCI representative that he should have researched the account before making contact and that “it was a breach of HIPAA that she was being contacted on a medical bill that belongs to her daughter,” especially considering that she “was not even aware that her daughter had incurred the charge nor …of the fact that she was in a detox facility.” She also stated that she had asked to speak to a supervisor, but that there was no one above the representative for her to appeal to. She insisted that her “name and all of her contact information needs to be removed from this bill.” She concluded by stating that the“gentleman called her at… work… in order to collect a bill that does not belong to” her, and that she does “not want any bills sent to her address nor anymore phone calls to her cell phone or place of business.” Because the “debt belongs to her daughter, who does not live with her and hasn’t since she was 18,” the complainant requested that her name not be associated with the debt.
In response, Credit Counsel provided documentation to verify the debt, but the complainant rejected this attempted resolution. In her rebuttal, she stated that “at no time did she ever give permission for her name to be used as the guarantor,” and that if her “name was used as guarantor it was done so illegally.” She also stated that “having the insurance policy for a child over 18 does not make her responsible for the adult child’s debts.” The complainant again insisted that her “name needs to be taken off of this account immediately,” so it will not affect her credit score. She also stated that she was “never present for signing of any papers nor did she give permission to be listed as the guarantor.” CCI responded by stating that the complainant’s “information has been removed from the system, and she will no longer be contacted with the attempt to collect.”
Credit Counsel 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 CCI 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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“I just wanted to let you know we received the check from your office on now and I wanted to take some time to inform you that we really appreciate all of your efforts in this matter.”
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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.