Columbus Finance or CFI is a third-party auto loan agency based in Ohio. CFI has received consumer complaints alleging violations such as improper communication tactics and sharing of information. If you have been contacted by Columbus Finance, make sure you understand your rights before taking action.
According to the Better Business Bureau (BBB), Columbus Finance Inc. was founded and incorporated in 1960 in Ohio. The BBB established its file on the company in 1962. The BBB lists CFI as a consumer finance and loan company.
According to its website, Columbus Finance offers indirect, direct and clear title auto loans and “works with over 200 dealers”, many with inventory online. CFI is a “better finance source” for dealers.For car buyers, CFI keeps things “simple” by treating its “customers exactly how CFI would want to be treated. . . While other lenders are saying ‘no’, Columbus Finance is doing its best to make ‘Auto Loans Easy.’”
Columbus Finance’s website provides information primarily for car buyers. The website invites car buyers with “less than perfect credit” to put “the winning team” at CFI to work for them and proclaims that CFI representatives “are experts at putting the car buyer in the drivers sic seat.” The FAQ page indicates that CFI is “dedicated to providing car buyers with prompt, courteous and professional customer service” and answers “common” questions about loans, payments and payoffs, insurance and credit qualifications. The website also allows car buyers to “browse” Columbus Finance dealer partners, to apply for a loan online, and to calculate payments using an online payment calculator tool.
The website’s content for dealers is limited to inviting dealers to contact Columbus Finance for more information, contact and service areas information, and a portal for existing dealer partners. The CFI website does not provide a lot of detailed information about its business practices or compliance policies. It does include standard, legally mandated information about information privacy and security.
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The BBB has closed 8 complaints against Columbus Finance in the past three years, with 2 closed in the past 12 months. Most of those complaints allege problems with billing, collections. Many complaints also allege problems with customer service. In July 2016, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) received complaints about CFI’s “rude and disrespectful” collection communications. Justia lists at least 1 federal civil lawsuit involving Columbus Finance.
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According to information available on the BBB’s profile page, complaints against Columbus Finance largely relate to billing, collection and customer service issues. Specifically, consumers allege that CFI is “rude and disrespectful” and complain about harassing collection tactics. The uniformly negative reviews on CFI’s BBB profile support these allegations.
In June 2017, a complainant, a co-signor on her fiancé’s car loan, alleged that Columbus Finance representatives were “rude” and “unprofessional” to her and to her fiancé when her fiancé fell behind on his loan payments. The complainant alleged that her fiancé “always made payment arrangements” with a CFI representative, but even after doing so, the same CFI representative called before the promised pay date and threatened to repossess the car. For example, the Columbus Finance representative agreed to accept a payment five days after its due date, but then he called two days before the agreed-upon payment date and told the complainant’s fiancé “never mind”, that he had “changed his mind”, that he was “not putting up with this” for the remainder of the loan period, and that he was sending “a repo out.” According to the complainant, the CFI representative also made collections calls to her directly at work. When she explained that she was at work and could not discuss the matter at that time, the CFI representative threatened to “sell the car” and take her to court for the balance due. The same CFI representative called her six hours later and asked for her fiancé but hung up when the complainant began to speak. Ins subsequent calls, the Columbus Finance representative yelled at the complainant, and cursed at and hung up on her fiancé.
In June 2016, a complainant indicated that a Columbus Finance representative engaged in “nasty, very personal and unprofessional” collection communications when her loan account became past due even after she made a payment online, and then made it impossible for her to make payments through the payment portal on the company’s website. The complainant alleged that when she received a call that her account was 21 days past due, she called the company and explained that she had made a payment online through the company’s website “as promised” and “with the late fee attached” and that she had confirmation of the payment. The CFI representative was “very unprofessional”, told the complainant that he had “blocked” her on the website to prevent her from making payments online, claimed she could not have made an online payment, demanded the confirmation number, and threatened that he was “repossessing” her car. According to the complainant, the Columbus Finance representative was “screaming and yelling into the phone like he was outraged and she was lying about making her car payment as promised” and then hung up on her. He then called the complainant again minutes later, conceded that he had confirmed the web payment, but threatened her by stating, “I’m telling you right now your sic due on the 1st and on the 2nd I’m repossessing your vehicle every month on that day if I don’t have your money!” and hung up again. The complainant indicated this was “completely upsetting” to her and that she felt as if she was being harassed, threatened, and called a liar.
Columbus Finance Inc.
3050 E Main St
Columbus, OH 43209-2619
Telephone: (614) 236-8541
Understanding Your Debt Collection Rights
Consumers are protected from abusive debt collectors from the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA). By way of instance, the debt collector must identify himself or herself, who they’re working for, and what debt they’re collecting. The FDCPA claims that debt collectors can’t use any deceptive or misleading representation, like implying the debt is secured by the USA or any particular state. Additionally, they can’t use a badge or uniform to pretend they’re a government employee collecting a debt. Misrepresentation is a violation of the FDCPA and could be reported as such.
In case you’ve been a victim of a debt collector’s wrongdoing, then you can search for justice under the FDCPA. You have the right to pursue a claim against the debt collector; if you prevail, you can collect up to $1,000, plus attorney fees and court costs.
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.
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