A recent article about a California collection agency in legal trouble caught the attention of our Fontana unfair debt collection lawyers. The Ventura County Star reported Sept. 12 that Forensic Case Management Services Inc., which has been headquartered in several Ventura County cities, has lost its license to collect debts in Minnesota. It is also facing $35,000 in fines and fees in that state, which alleges that the business has lied to and misled consumers in order to collect debts. The business, owned by David M. Hynes, has changed its name and location several times, the article said, and is currently known as Rumson, Bolling & Associates of Van Nuys. The legal action in Minnesota does not affect the company's ability to do business in California because our state does not regulate debt collectors.
Minnesota accuses the Hynes business of making false and misleading statements to consumers and threatening legal action in order to collect debts. When asked to comment on those accusations, the company responded through its attorney, who said it is the victim of a "long sustained Internet defamation campaign perpetrated by a handful of disgruntled individuals." Nonetheless, the Star reported, the company has been the subject of hundreds of complaints to the Better Business Bureau of Ventura, Santa Barbara and San Luis Obispo Counties. A spokesman for the BBB said the complaints tend to be the same even when the name of the business has changed. The Hynes companies have also been sued dozens of time, the newspaper noted, including six federal lawsuits in the last 11 months. Five of those lawsuits were based on the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act, the newspaper said, but a sixth was filed by a client that said the company never made the collections it was hired to make.
As Garden Grove debt collection harassment attorneys, we see plenty of stories about debt collectors that are sued by consumers, but not about lawsuits by clients. We suspect this shows that the state of Minnesota was correct to identify this business as dishonest. Unfortunately, in our experience, dishonest collection agencies are not at all unusual. Clients with Fair Debt Collection Practices Act claims come to us with stories about being lied to, harassed, threatened and more. All of these practices are outlawed by the FDCPA and its California cousin, the Rosenthal FDCPA, because they unfairly prey on consumers' fear and frequently, their ignorance of their rights. However, for the exact same reasons, these tactics work on most people -- which is why debt collectors continue to use them. In essence, they rely on consumers to remain too ignorant and scared to question a collection effort, even when they do not owe the money in question.
You can turn the tables with help from Howard Law PC. We represent clients who are fighting back against overreaching debt collection efforts that violate the FDCPA and the Rosenthal Act. Among the more common complaints our Bellflower deceptive debt collection lawyers receive are complaints about constant phone calls; calls at work even after a request to stop; mistaken identity and refusal to investigate; vulgar language; and threats, including threats the debt collector cannot legally act on. All of these violations and others can form the basis of a lawsuit by consumers who have had enough. In a lawsuit, you can claim up to $1,000 in damages from the debt collector responsible for the illegal behavior, plus court costs, attorney fees and any actual financial costs the misbehavior caused.
If you're tired of being harassed by debt collectors in violation of the law, you should call Howard Law to learn more about enforcing your rights. To learn more or set up a free consultation, please call us at 1-800-872-5925 or send us a message through our website.