Arizona Consumer Sues Client Services, Inc. for Debt Collection Abuse
My office recently filed suit against the Missouri collection agency Client Services, Inc. for violations of the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act or FDCPA. The suit alleges that Client Services sent a letter demanding payment of over $147,000 for a Citibank credit card account which had a ending balance of less than $17,000 ten years earlier. When the debtor disputed the debt and demanded verification, Client Services sent copies of several old Citibank billing statements which showed less than $17,000 was owed.
Right To Dispute Debt
Under the FDCPA, a consumer has the right to challenge the debt by sending the collection agency a dispute letter and requesting verification the debt. If this is done within 30 days of the receipt of the initial letter from the collection agency, the agency is required to stop all collection activity until it provides validation and verification of the debt. That is what the debtor did in this case. He demanded that Client Services provide proof that he owed $147,000 as claimed in Client Services' initial letter. However, Client Services only provided statements showing $17,000 was owed, not $147,000.
FDCPA Prohibits Collection Agencies from Collecting Amounts Not Owed
A collection agency cannot collect or attempt to collect any amount which is not owed under the contract, or which is not provided for by law. Sometimes, agencies add extra fees, or interest which is not allowed by the underlying contract, and or not allowed by law. If an collection agency attempts to collect these "forbidden fees," they are in violation of the FDCPA and the consumer has a right to collect damages for the agency's illegal actions. The suit alleges Client Services, Inc. attempted to collect amounts which were not owed, thus violating the FDCPA.