Forster & Garbus LLP or F&G 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 Forster & Garbus?
Forster & Garbus, LLP (F&G) is a New York law firm that specializes in debt collection. F&G has received consumer complaints alleging serious violations of the Fair Debt Collections Practices Act (FDCPA), including misrepresentation and threatening to take illegal actions. If you have been contacted by Forster & Garbus LLP, be sure you understand your rights before responding.
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Is Forster & Garbus a scam?
They’re legit. According to the Better Business Bureau (BBB), Forster & Garbus, LLP was founded in 1971 and incorporated in 2009. The BBB opened its file in 1997. Buzzfile estimates F&G’s annual revenue at $4.6 million.
According to its website, Forster & Garbus is “a full-service New York Law Firm concentrating on creditor’s rights law.” F&G is “committed to surpassing compliance in legal collections…[with a] consumer first approach…in which we endeavor to align the needs of our clients with the needs of the consumers.”
F&G’s website does not offer a lot of information about their debt collection practices. The Consumer tab offers a web-based form that allows debtors to make an offer to settle delinquencies. Their Client tab offers a web-based contact from that enables businesses to request legal services from F&G. Both pages include the mandated disclaimer, “This firm is a debt collector. This is an attempt to collect a debt and any information obtained will be used for that purpose.” However, there are no links or references or any detailed information about consumer protection laws, resources, or 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 Forster & Garbus LLP – F&G?
As of October 2017, the BBB has closed 19 complaints against Forster & Garbus in the preceding three years, with 5 closed in the past 12 months. Most of those complaints allege problems with billing and collections. Since May 2015, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) has closed 36 complaints against F&G. Justia lists at least 11 cases of civil litigation naming Forster & Garbus as a defendant.
It is illegal for a debt collector to make empty threats to sue you or garnish your wages. It is also unlikely Forster & Garbus 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!
Forster & Garbus has a reputation for representing the interests of creditors and debt buyers over consumers, including debt buyers who purchase “old debt from banks, credit card companies, hospitals, doctors, cell phone companies and car companies for pennies on the dollar.” Some of these debts may be time-barred from further collection efforts, but certain companies specialize in “zombie” loan collections in which these expired debts are litigated and consumers pay them out of fear of further prosecution.
In 2016, Forster & Garbus filed over 14,000 debt collection lawsuits against New York residents. In 2015, they filed over 20,000 debt collection lawsuits. F&G’s list of clients represents some of the most aggressive creditors and debt buyers in the financial industry, including Discover Bank, Capital One, Citibank, American Express, Medical Debt, and Navient. Although F&G is s law firm, they act primarily as a third-party collection agency. Their license to practice law is almost exclusively to obtain judgements against consumers, who are then subject to collection tactics such as freezing bank accounts, garnishing wages, and issuing subpoenas. Thus, for F&G the courts serve as a tool for overly aggressive and often illegal tactics
.Court records provide many examples of F&G’s having violated the Fair Debt Collections Practices Act (FDCPA). In one case, in October 2016, in United States District Court in the Western District of New York, a judge found in favor of a plaintiff’s complaint that F&G’s collection letters violated the FDCPA’s prohibition against using “false, deceptive, or misleading representation or means in connection with the collection of any debt.” Initially, the plaintiff had a delinquent balance on her Discover Bank credit card, with a balance owing of $8,586.13, according to initial collection efforts by F&G. In this case, F&G cited a judgment against the plaintiff obtained through a state court in the amount of $10,543.24. The plaintiff denied any knowledge of this judgement and cited that via wage garnishments, she had already paid F&G over $6,000, but F&G claimed the remaining balance after the garnishment was $8,643.00. The plaintiff cited F&G’s failure to notify her of its intention to continue to add interest to the balance as the specific violation of the FDCPA. Although Forster & Garbus tried to argue that this violation was not significant enough to warrant a judgment against them, the court disagreed, reversing earlier findings.
Forster & Garbus 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 Forster & Garbus 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.
“With your help the nagging collection calls have ceased! I was thrilled I was also able to get damages from the collection agency. I am unable to adequately express my joy. I am so thankful I made the call.”
“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.
“After speaking to one of the partners, and going over the plan of action, I felt I’d chose the perfect company to go to work for me. He was very accommodating in describing what was going to happen. I would strongly recommend Lemberg Law to anybody being hassled by debt collectors”
Can You Help Me Delete Forster & Garbus from My Credit Report?
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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.