This article was written by Lemberg Law staff, and reviewed by Sergei Lemberg, the managing attorney of Lemberg Law.
CBE Group is one of the largest and most profitable debt collection agencies in the country, as they utilize both first and third party collections. Founded in 1933 in Cedar Falls, Iowa, CBE group has nearly 1,3000 employees, and collects debts of all kinds: healthcare, credit card, telecommunications, and many others. CBE has even partnered with the IRS to collect past due federal taxes, and has a lucrative existing relationship with the U.S. Department of Education to collect from thousands of individuals nationwide who are drowning in student loan debt.
Despite claiming to want to help those struggling with mounting debt, CBE group has been known to harass, bully, and intimidate customers into making payments with dozens of daily phone calls and other aggressive tactics. In addition, our research shows that they have also harassed customers by attempting to collect non-existent debt, refusing to acknowledge debt that has already been paid off, and calling people by mistake in order to seek payment.
In hundreds of complaints filed with the Better Business Bureau, many customers have complained that CBE group has also wreaked havoc on their credit reports, despite all debts having been paid, or because of CBE reporting non-existent debt to creditors. Several people complained that the action CBE took against their credit history, took years to be removed from their report, making it difficult for them to qualify for mortgages, car loans, personal loans, and more.
Have questions? Call us now at 475-277-1600 for a Free Case Evaluation.
Our services are absolutely FREE to you.
The harassing company pays our fees.
They’re legit. According to the Better Business Bureau (BBB), The CBE Group, Inc. was founded in 1933 and incorporated in 1985.The BBB established a profile page for CBE in 1993, and CBE has been a BBB-accredited business since 1992. The BBB lists CBE as a collection agency. Buzzfile estimates CBE’s annual revenue at $98.4 million and the size of its headquarters staff at 900 employees.
According to its website, CBE “delivers first- and third-party debt collection, fraud, and customer care services for organizations in dozens of specialized markets.” CBE states that its “ability to constantly adapt, evolve, and stay ahead of the regulatory environment sets them apart from other providers.”
CBE Group provides collection services for a wide range of businesses and industries, including medical and healthcare service providers; cable and satellite telecommunications companies; telephone service providers; utility service providers; retail credit card lenders; private and government-backed education lenders; and government agencies, including delinquent tax bills.
CBE’s services are structured into four divisions: third-party collection; first-party collection; fraud detection services; and batch skip tracing. Third-party debt collection services include primary and secondary collection of delinquent debts using “advanced technology, intelligent work strategies, … advanced skip tracing resources, and …analytics resources to ensure CBE’s workforce contacts …borrowers efficiently and effectively to help them resolve their obligations and shorten the…recovery timeline.” First-party collection services focus on default aversion by helping consumers repay loans “while avoiding the pitfalls of default.” CBE also provides outsourced call center services throughout its 5 locations.
CBE maintains both a consumer website and a corporate website. Neither site provides any detailed information about their regulatory compliance policies. 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.
As of September 2019, the BBB has closed 252 complaints against CBE in the preceding 3 years, with 71 complaints closed in the previous 12 months. Most of those complaints alleged problems with billing and collections, although 43 complaints cited problems with customer service, and an additional 28 complaints cited problems with advertising and sales. As of July 2013, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) has closed 1,298 complaints involving CBE. Justia lists at least 6 cases of civil litigation involving CBE.
1309 Technology Parkway
Cedar Falls, IA 50613
Phone Number: 800-925-6686
It is illegal for a debt collector to make empty threats to sue you or garnish your wages. It is also unlikely CBE 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!
Get Free BBB A+ Attorney. Call 475-277-1600 NOW
Unlawful Debt Harassment? Learn the Law & Sue the Collector.
Absolutely. You can sue a debt collector. Here are some Sample Cases filed in Federal Court
In May 2013, in United States District Court for the Southern District of California, a judge issued a decision in a case alleging CBE had violated two provisions of the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA). In this case, the plaintiff alleged that beginning the year previous to the court case, she had begun receiving “without her consent, numerous ‘autodialed’ telephone calls to her cellular telephone for which she alleged she incurred charges.” She stated further that CBE used an automated telephone dialing system (ATDS) to make the calls, which the TCPA defines as an “automatic dialing system which has the capacity to produce or store and dial numbers randomly or sequentially.” She also stated that CBE used the ATDS “to place telephone calls to her cellular telephone and/orused an artificial or pre-recorded voice message system, to place telephone calls toher cellular telephone.” The TCPA prohibits the placement of commercial calls to mobile telephone numbers without the consent of the account holder, or using an ATDS, or leaving pre-recorded or artificial voice messages on cellular telephones. As a result, she charged CBE with negligent violations of the TCPA and knowing or willful violations of the TCPA.
Attorneys for CBE attempted to convince the court to dismiss the case based on 6 arguments. First, CBE argued that the plaintiff had brought the case in a court that did not have the proper jurisdiction or authority to make a decision. Although the plaintiff did not reside in Southern California, she argued that because CBE does business in Southern California, the court had the authority to hear cases brought against them. The court asked the plaintiff to conduct a further investigation to determine the extent to which CBE has business dealings in its district. CBE also attempted to argue that the TCPA does not apply to debt collection agencies. Although the court acknowledged that there may be exceptions in which some collection agencies may not be regulated by this law, neither of them applied to CBE, so this objection was dismissed. CBE also tried to argue that the plaintiff had not stated a valid claim against them, but the court disagreed. Because the plaintiff’s complaint included a clear statement of the alleged violation, the court dismissed CBE’s objection on this count. CBE also tried to argue that the plaintiff failed to allege any injury as a result of the violation, but the court stated that the law does not require her to show proof that she was charged for any of the calls, so the court again dismissed CBE’s objection. CBE also requested that the court prevent the plaintiff from filing a class action lawsuit, but the court denied the request.
As a result, the court denied CBE’s request to dismiss the claim in every respect except the jurisdiction of the court. With regard to that objection, the court instructed the plaintiff to refile the complaint with evidence supporting her claim that the Southern District of California was an appropriate venue.
Here are some past Press Releases of Lawsuits Brought On By Lemberg Law
November 23, 2015. There is a student loan epidemic in this country. Student loan debt exceeds credit card debt. And more students are getting into more debt than ever before.
Our client has student loan debt. CBE Group collects on behalf of federal student loans. There are rules about when a student loan debt has to be paid off, and rules about when a borrower’s wages can be garnished. One of those rules is that a borrower has to be continuously employed for 12 months in order to have their wages garnished.
This collection agency threatened to garnish our client’s wages if the student loan debt was not paid. However, our client hadn’t been continuously employed for 12 months, so CBE Group wasn’t legally allowed to garnish his wages.
The case, which was recently filed in U.S. District Court, Eastern District of Texas, charges CBE Group with violating the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act by engaging in harassing behavior; by using false, deceptive, or misleading representation in connection with the collection of a debt; by threatening to take legal action that could not be legally taken; by employing false and deceptive means to collect a debt; and by using unfair and unconscionable means to collect a debt. It asks for statutory damages of $1,000, plus other relief.
November 14, 2015. On behalf of our client, Lemberg Law recently filed a complaint in U.S. District Court, Southern District of Indiana. The case, against CBE Group, charges the debt collection agency with violating federal law and asks for $1,000 in statutory damages, plus other relief.
Wrong numbers are bothersome. A steady stream of wrong number calls can really disrupt your life. Our clients, a married couple, say that CBE Group started calling their landline in May. After receiving several calls, our clients called CBE to figure out why they were calling. The debt collector the spoke to said that he was trying to reach a woman that the couple did know. Our clients told the debt collector that they didn’t know the woman and asked them to stop calling. This debt collector told our clients that their number would be removed from the collection agency’s system. That didn’t happen, though, as they called more than 20 more times.
This lawsuit charges that CBE Group violated the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA) by engaging in harassing behavior; by contacting our clients for purposes other than to confirm or correct location information; for contacting our clients without being asked to do so; and by using unfair and unconscionable means to collect a debt.
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).
Consumers have reported this agency harassing them from the following numbers:
Can I sue CBE Group 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.
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 family, friends, neighbors, or coworkers
- Collectors are threatening you with violence, 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
What Our Clients Are Saying
“Thank you so very much! I’m still so grateful for the blessing of finding you on the internet. I know it’s early, but I wish to wish EVERYONE in Lemberg Law a amazing holiday season!”
“Just a brief message to let you know I got my settlement and also to thank you for your help. I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend you to anybody who’s on the receiving end of the sort of harassment that collection agencies participate in.”
“Seriously! Thank you a thousand times over! The debt collector kept phoning me but would not give me any information regarding the debt that I owed except the sum. They threatened me over and over again and would not stop calling. I hunted on Google for ways to make the calls stop and discovered Lemberg Law. They took my case and found that the debt was too old to accumulate. This firm had ‘bought’ my accounts and expected for me to pay! Guess what? They ended up paying me for each of the harassment they put me through! I was SHOCKED when I received my check.
There is a good chance we can. Contact us to find out more.
Share your story
Have you had a bad experience with this agency’s debt collectors? Sound off and share your experience with other visitors in the comment box below.