- Who is Cedar Financial?
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- How Can I Deal with Cedar Financial?
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Cedar Financial LLC or CF is a multinational third-party debt collection agency based in Southern California. CF has received complaints alleging violations of the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA), including threatening to take actions that cannot legally be taken and using false or misleading language in an effort to collect a debt. If you have been contacted by Cedar Financial, make sure you understand your rights before responding.
According to the BBB, Cedar Financial, LLC was started in 1991 and incorporated in 2009. CF is listed as a collection agency that uses the alternate business name, Cedar Business Services, LLC. Buzzfile has two listings for CF—one for Cedar Business Services, LLC that estimates CF’s annual revenue at $3.1 million and the size of its headquarters staff at 21 employees; and a second listing for Cedar Business Services, Inc., that estimates CF’s annual revenue at $1.5 million and the size of its staff at 10 employees.
According to its website, CF’s mission is “to be the leading international debt collection agency, by providing our clients with top-quality local debt collection representation around the globe, while preserving the integrity and professionalism of our clients and their own customers throughout the debt collection process.”
Cedar Financial website is wide-ranging and provides a lot of detailed information about its business practices. CF’s collection services are split between international and domestic collections. CF’s international division “conducts thousands of investigations in every country spanning Eastern and Western Europe, Latin America, Middle East, Africa, Australia, North and South America, Asia Pacific and India.” CF is“dedicated to providing clients the most up-to-date financial information to make informed decisions.”
CF’s domestic collections division offers consumer and commercial collections. CF’s consumer collections division employs “experts in the specific laws, regulations and unique file-handling requirements that govern the consumer collection landscape” to provide pre-collection account monitoring; 1st party collection for early delinquencies; traditional third-party collections; and litigation services. CF accepts delinquent accounts from lenders in education, healthcare, e-commerce, and government. CF’s commercial debt collection division services include demand notice service, collections, and litigation services, and also employs “state-of-the-art collection technology and skip-tracing tools to give…their team…an added advantage in the recovery process.”
Cedar Financial FAQ and Consumer Rights pages provide fairly detailed information about consumer protection laws, including external links to consumer resources and enforcement agencies such as the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) and the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB).
The BBB has closed 16 complaints against Cedar Financial in the preceding three years, with 7 complaints closed in the past 12 months. Most of those complaints allege problems with billing and collection services. As of April 2015, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) has closed 19 complaints against CF. Justia lists at least 5 cases of civil litigation involving Cedar Financial.
Absolutely. Here are some Sample Cases against Cedar Financial LLC
Complaints against Cedar Financial cite attempts to collect disputed debts, often on behalf of for-profit colleges and traffic fines for the government of Italy. In August 2016, a complainant indicated she had been contacted by CF for a delinquent tuition balance from Walden University. The complainant indicated the delinquent item was dated August 2013 in the amount of $7,440.00, but she claimed the amount and the date were inaccurate. She claimed she had begun dealing with the delinquent item in 2012 and that when she had left Walden University, she had had a balance owing of $0.00. She indicated she had documentation proving there was no balance due and that she had contacted Cedar Financial to discuss the error. The representative requested that she send the documentation, but after 4 to 6 months, she did not receive any further reply. Subsequently, she was informed that CF had not received any indication from Walden University that no debt was due, so she contacted Walden University herself. Walden University informed her that that the debt was in collections and that they were unwilling to discuss the matter, so she contacted CF again. At that point, CF had no record of the dispute or of her prior correspondence, so she re-sent the documentation to another representative. At the time of the complaint, she still had not received any reply from CF and had run out of options for resolving the dispute. CF responded by posting their documentation of her collection account. The complainant disputed its accuracy and proposed a settlement just to resolve the matter. No resolution appears to have been reached.
In October 2015, a complainant indicated she had been contacted by Cedar Financial regarding traffic tickets she had never received during a vacation in Italy. She had rented a car in 2016, to be picked up in Milan, but when she arrived, she had to pick up the car from a different rental agent. The car was not ready, but she signed the paperwork they gave her, which did not include information about necessary permits she may have been required to carry. She did not receive any notifications of any violations while on vacation. Upon her return, she began receiving notices of violations that were being charged to her credit card. Soon CF began contacting her to collect the past due amounts. At the time of the complaint, she had paid $1,000 in fines and had receive demands for $1,500 more. Also in October 2015, a complainant indicated she had received collection notices from Cedar Financial regarding $434.31 in alleged traffic violations during her vacation in Rome. She expressed her concern that does not have “any legal grounds to collect” these fines for which she had not been previously notified. In addition, she complained that “allowing private US debt collection firms to collect debt on behalf of notably less than perfect foreign governments, without due…process that is guaranteed… under the 14th Amendment and that is also guaranteed all those traveling to the EU under the European Convention on Human Rights, Article 6, is setting a dangerous precedent.” Cedar Financial posted a response stating that because the fines were the result of travel, they were not bound to adhere to the FDCPA.
Cedar Financial, LLC
5230 Las Virgenes Road, Suite 210
Calabasas, CA 91302
Telephone: (818) 224-3800
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 receiving calls at work from a debt collection agency
- Debt collectors are calling your 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
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.
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