I.C.Q. Search & Recovery 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.
I.C.Q. Search & Recovery, Inc. (ICQ) is a third-party collection agency based in California. ICQ has received consumer complaints alleging violations of the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA), including attempting to collect debts not owed and failing to verify debts. If ICQ has contacted you about past due financial obligations,make sure you understand your rights before you respond.
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Is I.C.Q. Search & Recovery a scam?
They’re legit. According to the Better Business Bureau (BBB), I.C.Q. Search & Recovery, Inc. is a legitimate collection agency, founded in 2004 and incorporated in 2011. The BBB established a profile page for ICQ in 2014. Buzzfile estimates ICQ’s annual revenue at $85,000 and the size of its headquarters staff at only 1 employee.
According to its website, ICQ has “dedicated itself to providing quality service with the latest technology and collection strategy.” ICQ states that its“services and understanding of client industries helps distinguish…them from other collection agencies.” ICQ “helps customers reduce costs associated with undeliverable mail and maximize… net return of delinquent dollars.” ICQ also “strives to earn… respect by truly becoming a long-term partner, delivering products and services today and tomorrow.”
As a full-service collection agency, ICQ accepts delinquent accounts from a variety of businesses and industries, including medical and healthcare providers, such as laboratories, professional and technical offices, and specialized providers of dermatology, emergency medicine, and pathology, orthopedic, and radiology services; dental service providers, including general, cosmetic, pediatric, orthodontics, and surgery; hospital small balance accounts, including in-patient and self-pay; banking, credit card, and secured and unsecured loan providers; dishonored check balances; city and county utility service providers; rental car providers; education lenders; and commercial business-to-business debts.
Collection services at ICQ include telephone contacts and collection letters for early recovery efforts; and collection letters that “complement telephone campaigns in which phone contact is not possible.” ICQ states that its collectors are “trained to conduct themselves as an extension of the clients’ collection effort… in a tactful, ethical, and courteous manner.” In addition, ICQ’s skip tracing department can help locate consumers “when mail is returned or no response is received after many attempts; when the phone is disconnected; or when consumers stray or relocate and leave debts behind.”
ICQ states that all collectors undergo certification in the Association of Credit and Collection Professionals’ Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA), Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA), and Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPPA) training programs. They also state that all ICQ “collection policies and procedures… adhere to all federal, state, and local laws regulating collection agencies.” However, the ICQ website is client-facing and does not include a consumer resources page with links and references to laws and 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 I.C.Q. Search & Recovery?
As of January 2019, the BBB has closed 11 complaints against I.C.Q. Search & Recovery in the preceding three years, with 6 complaints closed in the previous 12 months. All of those complaints cited problems with billing and collections. Since July 2017, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) has closed 1 complaint against ICQ. Justia lists at least 1 case of civil litigation involving ICQ.
Can I.C.Q. Search & Recovery 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 ICQ 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!
Unlawful Debt Harassment? Learn the Law & Sue the Collector.
Can you help me file a No Fee Lawsuit against I.C.Q. Search & Recovery?
Absolutely. Here are some Sample Complaints
Complaints against I.C.Q. Search & Recovery frequently cite problems resulting from ICQ’s partnership with a pathology lab that routinely makes billing and credit reporting errors. In December 2018, a complainant stated that in May 2015, he had had some lab work done at the request of his doctor. At that time, the complainant had two insurance plans and claims that the medical provider had made an insurance billing error. He stated that he had made an effort to rectify the error, but the pathology lab had closed “by the time he received any communication about the error.” His December 2018 complaint alleged that he was “being harassed by ICQ for a balance of $192.05.” He claimed to have spoken “to a representative more than a year ago who had …told him there was a billing error.” The complainant “contacted both… insurance companies and confirmed that the lab had never billed his primary insurance first.” After over a year without contact, the complainant alleged that the insurance company was “in breach of billing contract.” The complainant stated that “the bill should have been paid 100% between the two insurance companies,” and that as a result, he should not be held “responsible for any amount of this bill.” He appealed to the BBB for help with his concerns, including questions about “who protects the consumer from companies like I.C.Q.” In addition, he was concerned that they may “ruin his credit for a bill … he was not supposed to pay for in the first place.” Third, he had not “even heard from ICQ in more than a year, yet…the letter says he had failed to respond to numerous attempts at contacting” him, nor had he “received any contact from them by phone/mail or otherwise.” ICQ responded to this complaint by stating that they had “reviewed the file based on the notes, and the administration cancelled this account.”
The 10 additional consumer complaints on the BBB website against ICQ—dating back to March 2017—also cite problems stemming from billing disputes with the same client. In each case, complainants alleged that they had received collection notices from ICQ for delinquent amounts ranging from $15 to $300. Complainants all alleged some variation of the same pattern in the complaint above—that the client had made a billing error they were not able to resolve; that the client was now out of business; and that ICQ had begun collection efforts after what seemed an inappropriate length of time. ICQ’s responses included extremely detailed and lengthy treatment and billing histories.In most cases, the complainants either rejected ICQ’s efforts to resolve the complaint or failed to respond further.
I.C.Q. Search & Recovery 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.
Stop Debt Collection Harassment
You may have a case, if…
You are receiving multiple calls per week from third party collection agencies
You are receiving early morning or late night calls from debt collectors
You are receiving calls at work from a debt collection agency
Debt collectors are calling your friends, neighbors, or coworkers
Collectors are threatening you with violence, a lawsuit, or arrest
A debt collector attempts to collect more than you owe
You are being threatened with negative credit reporting
A debt collector attempts to intimidate you
Criminal accusations are being made towards you
Use of obscene language during an attempt to collect
Automated robocalls are being made to your phone in an attempt to collect
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“After a few months of frustration with a debt collector, I eventually called Lemberg Law. It was among the best financial decisions I have ever made. Jody and her staff were comprehensive, useful, and above all else powerful. I highly recommend their services and thank them for their continual efforts.”
“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.”
Can You Help Me Delete I.C.Q. Search & Recovery from My Credit Report?
We can absolutely help. Call us today.
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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.