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Associated Credit Services or ACS is an Accounts Receivable Management company based in Massachusetts that specializes in third-party debt collection. ACS has received consumer complaints alleging serious violations of the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA), including misrepresentation and threatening to take actions that cannot legally be taken. If you have been contacted by ACS, make sure you understand your rights before responding.
According to the Better Business Bureau (BBB), Associated Credit Services, Inc. was founded in 1969 and incorporated in 1971. The BBB established ACS’ profile page in 1973. The BBB lists ACS as a collection agency with 38 employees. Buzzfile estimates ACS’ annual revenue at $5.5 million.
According to its website, Associated Credit Services “provides assistance regarding consumers’ accounts, placement activity, interest calculations and adjustments, recovery performance, monthly reporting, remittance support, and so much more.” In addition, ACS “is dedicated to serving the very specific needs of…clients with an unparalleled commitment to customer service…and programs tailored to exceed…goals and requirements.”
Associated Credit Services “services a national client base across a wide verity of industries, including… commercial and non-commercial financial institutions (auto deficiencies, overdraft, consumer loans, DDA, etc.), consumer credit card servicers, credit unions, public utilities, healthcare and insurance providers, corporate business organizations, and higher education institutions.”
The Associated Credit Services website does not provide a lot of detailed information about its business practices. Instead, they indicate that their “technological capabilities…and dedication to advanced technology” are used to ensure their “staff of recovery specialists are professionally trained using the most up to date ACA training software available.” ACS employs an “approach to recovery though consumer education… to create a win-win situation for clients and consumers.”
As of December 2017, the Better Business Bureau (BBB) has closed 28 complaints against Associated Credit Services in the preceding 3 years, with 11 closed in the past 12 months. Most of those complaints allege problems with billing and collections. As of March 2015, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) has received 21 complaints about ACS. Justia lists at least 6 cases of civil litigation involving ACS.
Absolutely. Here are some Sample Cases against Associated Credit Services
In May 2017, in United States District Court, Eastern District of Washington, a judge issued an Order in a case alleging violations of the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA), the Washington Consumer Protection Act (WCPA), and the Washington Collection Agency Act (WCAA). In this case, the plaintiffs filed a complaint alleging that an attorney employed by Associated Credit Services had “misrepresented information in writs of garnishment, which allowed ACS to unlawfully garnish the plaintiffs’ exempt property in violation of the FDCPA.” The plaintiffs alleged that this misconduct also violated the WCAA and the WCPA. Specifically, ACS, through its attorney, garnished “all available funds…from the plaintiffs’ respective bank accounts to repay consumer debts, pursuant to a writ of garnishment filed by” ACS. The writs were executed based on “declarations on behalf of Associated Credit Services in support of each writ application and asserted that Associated Credit Services had ‘reason to believe’ that the plaintiffs’ property ‘was not exempt under Washington or federal law.’” The plaintiffs contended that ACS’ attorney was acting as a “‘robo-signer’ who signs numerous writ applications without any reason to believe the veracity of the statements he makes.” The plaintiffs cited “notices of exemption rights to the plaintiffs post-garnishment that contained materially false and misleading information concerning the plaintiffs’ respective cash exemption rights,” which resulted in the release of “their respective writs of garnishment and…some or all of the garnished money.”
The May 2017 hearing was held to determine whether the case brought by the plaintiffs met with the qualifications to qualify for certification as a class action lawsuit. Class action certification requires that the plaintiffs prove that there are enough members of the proposed class of injured parties to constitute cause for class action; that the injury in all the cases is common to each member; that the defenses against the claims are typical across the class; and that representation for the proposed class is adequate. Although the plaintiffs met the qualifications for class certification for the final three considerations, they had not submitted enough evidence to prove numerosity—that a sufficient number of residents of Washington state had suffered the same injury by Associated Credit Services—to qualify the case as a class action. As a result, although the charges themselves were not dismissed, and class certification was not granted at the hearing, the matter was dismissed without prejudice, allowing the plaintiffs another opportunity to provide evidence of numerosity at a later date.
Associated Credit Services, Inc.
PO Box 5171
Westborough, MA 01581
Telephone: (800) 962-9898
Understanding Your Debt Collection Rights
The Fair Debt Collections Practices Act (FDCPA) and the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) are enforced by the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) and the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB). The 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). The complaint above illustrates how these laws can be extremely effective tools to hold accountable collection agencies who fail to adhere to their provisions.
These laws also provide individuals 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.
Seek legal assistance to find the relief you may be entitled to if you are having difficulty resolving disputes with a debt collection agency.
Your debt harassment checklist:
- 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 recieving 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
If you’ve been harassed by debt collectors and even one of these has happened to you, we can help. We will fight for your rights.
The Lemberg Law legal team is committed to holding debt collectors accountable, so complete our form for a FREE case evaluation, or call 844-685-9200.
What Our Clients are Saying
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