Grimm Collections Inc or GCI 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 Grimm Collections?
Grimm Collections, Inc. (GCI) is a third-party collection agency based in Washington state. GCI has received consumer complaints alleging violations of the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA), including using false or misleading information to collect a debt and attempting to collect debts not owed. If GCI has contacted you about past due financial obligations, make sure you understand your rights before taking action.
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Is Grimm Collections a scam?
They’re legit. According to the Better Business Bureau (BBB), Grimm Collections, Inc. is a legitimate collection agency originally founded in 1945 and incorporated in 1962. The BBB established a profile page for GCI in 1999; GCI has been accredited with the BBB since 2008. GCI is listed as a collection agency and uses the alternate business name, Account Managers, Inc. Buzzfile estimates GCI’s annual revenue at $3.3 million and the size of its headquarters staff at 22 employees.
According to its website, GCI is “the longest-running family-owned debt collection agency in Southwest Washington…and continues to revolutionize the industry.” GCI “not only… increases… recovery rates and lowers… bad debt expense; …GCI’s collection techniques will enhance…customer relationships as well.” GCI states that its “business philosophy is based upon…the fundamental belief that quality service comes from being sensitive to …clients’ needs”
Who does Grimm Collections collect for?
Grimm Collections collects debts from a variety of industries and businesses, including communications and telecom; dental practices; education lenders; financial services companies; freight and shipping companies; government agencies; health clubs; healthcare providers; judgement recovery firms; professional service providers; rental outlets; retail lenders; returned check services; utility service providers; and veterinary clinics. In addition, GCI provides commercial business-to-business collections.
GCI offers its collection services on a contingency basis, which means that they “do not charge…clients up-front fees for the ‘privilege’ of placing accounts” with them. In addition, at GCI, “all accounts are given equal time and attention… ‘Scoring’ accounts in order to only spend time on the ‘best’ accounts that are most likely to be collected” is not an approved GCI practice. GCI also employs “up-to-date hardware and software designed specifically for the debt recovery industry.”
As for compliance, “new debt collectors undergo a comprehensive training regimen, starting with two weeks of intensive training related to all applicable federal, state, and city laws, including the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA)…and receive ongoing coaching…including… reviews of phone calls, live monitoring and continuing education.” Their Consumer Help page provides general guidance and internal contact information, but no direct links or references to external 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 Grimm Collections?
As of January 2019, the BBB has closed 6 complaints against Grimm Collections, Inc in the preceding three years, none of them closed in the previous 12 months. Almost all of those complaints cited problems with billing and collections. Since March 2016, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) has closed 10 complaints against GCI. Justia lists at least 1 case of civil litigation involving GCI.
It is illegal for a debt collector to make empty threats to sue you or garnish your wages. It is also unlikely GCI 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 Grimm Collections commonly cite problems resulting from disputes about the validity of debts, the accuracy of information reported to the credit reporting agencies, and aggressive collection tactics. In June 2016, a complainant indicated that he had bought a home in an area that was within the vicinity of a private homeowners’ association (HOA). According to the complainant, at the time he had bought his home, “there was nothing he had signed agreeing to be part of or pay into an HOA.” He had not been approached about HOA membership fees for the first three years he lived there. However, after three years, he “had many different HOA members come to his door wanting him to pay his dues owing.” Although he said he had “asked for a signed copy of the agreement,” they only “brought him the rules and a blank contract saying he owed the HOA $1,000.” He refused to pay the fees, insisting he wanted to see a signed contractual agreement to support their claim. Subsequently, the request for payments stopped until 2015, “when he received a call from GCI saying that they were given the case from the HOA…and wanted him to pay $1,180.” He “asked the collection agency if they received any paperwork with his… signature on it…They told him they would …send…what they had … and about 2 weeks later he received another copy of the Rules with a blank signature area.” The complainant contacted GCI to tell them the paperwork they had sent did not contain a signature. The GCI representative allegedly gave the complainant an ultimatum, and the complainant declined to pay the bill for the outstanding fees. Subsequently, GCI reported the delinquent item to the credit reporting agencies, and in January 2016, the complainant received a notice that he was being sued by GCI. The complainant hired an attorney to contest the lawsuit, and in June 2016 GCI dismissed the lawsuit without any notice to the complainant or to his attorney.
GCI defended its actions, stating that they “rely on the creditors’ assertion that the monies are owed.” As for the lawsuit, the complainant’s objections “caused some concerns for GCI related to the HOA covenants and restrictions, so they dismissed the legal action without prejudice, …cancelled the matter back to …the HOA, and removed the account from the complainant’s credit file.” The complainant rejected GCI’s efforts to avoid responsibility, stating that as a professional collection agency the responsibility for ensuring their actions were in full compliance with all regulatory laws was theirs, not his. He also requested reimbursement for attorney fees. GCI declined to reply further and declined to reimburse the complainant for attorney fees. They advised the complainant that he could take up the matter for attorney fees in small claims court.
Grimm Collections 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 Grimm 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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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.