Valley Empire Collection or VEC 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 Valley Empire Collection?
Valley Empire Collection, Inc. (VEC) is a third-party collection agency based in Washington. VEC has received consumer complaints alleging violations of the Fair Debt Collections Practices Act (FDCPA), such as failing to verify debts and using false or misleading information in an effort to collect a debt. If VEC has contacted you about delinquent collection items, make sure you understand your rights before responding.
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Is Valley Empire Collection a scam?
They’re legit. According to the Better Business Bureau (BBB), Valley Empire Collection, Inc. was founded in 1977 and incorporated in 1993. The BBB established a profile page for VEC in 1976. The BBB lists Valley Empire Collection as a collection agency that uses that alternate business name, Peterson Enterprises, Inc. Buzzfile estimates Valley Empire Collection’s annual revenue at $1.5 million and the size of its headquarters staff at 28 employees.
According to its website, VEC “is committed to providing quality service and guaranteed customer satisfaction to creditors throughout the Inland Northwest.” VEC has “over 30 years of” experience in collections, but their “goals remain the same: professional debt recovery, and better service with high returns to… clients at competitive prices.”
Who does Valley Empire Collection collect for?
Valley Empire Collection provides debt collection services to a wide variety of businesses and industries, including medical and dental service providers; government agencies; utility service providers; banks and other financial services companies; open contracts; and legal judgments.
In addition, VEC provides an array of services in three main areas: receivables management; check management services; and point-of sale equipment services. VEC’s receivables management division “works with clients to manage their accounts receivables prior to the collection process” by providing “consulting, debt aging analysis, collection training, and policy development.”
VEC’s check management division provides “a complete solution for merchants who accept checks at their businesses,” including point-of-sale check readers; verification/compliance reporting; access to a national database; and recovery.” VEC’s point-of sale services provide equipment sales, including credit card terminals, check readers, debit pin pads, and receipt printers.
The VEC website does not provide any information about its regulatory compliance polices. 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 Valley Empire Collection?
As of May 2019, the BBB has closed 10 complaints against Valley Empire Collection in the past 3 years, with 5 complaints closed in the previous 12 months. Almost all of those complaints alleged problems with billing and collections. Since December 2015, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) has closed 13 complaints involving VEC. Justia lists at least 4 cases of civil litigation involving VEC.
Valley Empire Collection, Inc. 8817 East Mission Ave., Suite 101 Spokane Valley, WA 99212 Telephone:(800) 669-8139 Website: http://www.debtintocash.com/
Can Valley Empire Collection 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 VEC 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 October 2018, in United States District Court for the Eastern District of Washington, a judge issued an order in a case alleging Valley Empire Collection violated certain provisions of the FDCPA. In this case, the plaintiff had incurred a debt as a result of having taken her child to a doctor for medical care. The plaintiff alleged that the treatment her child received should have been covered by medical insurance, but that neither of her medical plans billed the medical provider properly, which resulted in her defaulting on the account. The medical provider sent the bill to VEC for collection, and VEC reported the item to the credit reporting agencies as unpaid. Subsequently, VEC filed a debt collection lawsuit against the plaintiff. The plaintiff alleged further that she “filed and served an answer to VEC’s debt collection lawsuit…and that serving an answer and asserting cross claims and counterclaims constitutes ‘disputing’ the unpaid accounts.” She also stated that “she continued fighting VEC’s debt collection lawsuit by opposing summary judgment.”
Her argument at trial was that Valley Empire Collection “failed to report the medical accounts as disputed after her opposition to the debt collection lawsuit.” Furthermore, VEC’s “failure to report the credit accounts as disputed violates the FDCPA, … the Washington Collection Agency Act (WCAA), … and the Washington Consumer Protection Act (WCPA).” The plaintiff also claimed “that VEC has acted similarly to other people in her position” and asked the court “to proceed with her case against VEC as a class action.” Attorneys for VEC attempted to argue that the plaintiff “failed to allege any FDCPA violations within the one-year statute of limitations,” and that her complaint should be dismissed.
In making its decision, the court cited FDCPA Section 1692e, which prohibits collection agencies from making any “false or misleading representations in connection with the collection of a debt,” such as “communicating credit information which is known to be false, ‘including the failure to communicate that a disputed debt is disputed.’” The plaintiff’s dispute was the result of her answer to VEC’s lawsuit against her, rather than the more common dispute resulting from a request for validation; however, her actions fit within the legal definition of dispute, which “courts have interpreted…to mean ‘to call into question or cast doubt upon.’” The plaintiff “disputed the account by denying liability on the account in her answer to VEC’s debt collection lawsuit,” but VEC “failed to report her dispute of the amount due on the medical account to credit reporting agencies.” Because VEC “failed to report the credit account as disputed,” the court agreed that the plaintiff’s “complaint sufficiently states an FDCPA claim.” As for the statue of limitations, Valley Empire Collection had reported to the credit reporting agencies within the previous 12 months. As a result, the court denied VEC’s motion to dismiss, and the plaintiff was allowed to proceed with her complaint.
Valley Empire Collection 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 VEC 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.
“We were so impressed with how the attorney listened to us and understood the position we were in. Thank you for stopping the calls. The check was a nice bonus, but mostly we’re glad we’re not being hounded anymore.”
“Lemberg Law contacted me within a couple of hours of me submitting my info on their site. That same day Daniel emailed me instructions on what to do the next time the collection agency called. Within a week, the calls had stopped. Today marks week 2 and we’ve not had a call in three days. I can’t say thank you enough.”
“I can’t praise your service enough. I was lost and just really wanted my credit report cleaned up. You have gone beyond my expectations. Thanks again!”
Can You Help Me Delete Valley Empire Collection from My Credit Report?
There is a good chance we can. Contact us to find out more.
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