This article was written by Lemberg Law staff, and reviewed by Sergei Lemberg, the managing attorney of Lemberg Law.
Convergent Outsourcing is a third-party debt collection agency based in Atlanta, Georgia. This collection agency has received consumer complaints alleging violations of the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA), including improper contact or sharing of information and threatening to take actions that cannot legally be taken. If you have been contacted by this debt collector, make sure you understand your rights before responding.
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They’re legit. According to the Better Business Bureau (BBB), Convergent Outsourcing, Inc. was founded and incorporated in 1950. The BBB established a profile page for COI in 1981. The BBB lists Convergent Outsourcing Inc as a collection agency. Buzzfile hosts 2 profile pages for COI, one under Convergent Outsourcing, Inc., the other under Convergent Resources, Inc. Altogether, Buzzfile estimates COI’s annual revenue at $79.3 million and size of its headquarters staff at 600 to 1,300 employees.
According to its website, COI provides “engagement programs… customized to align with client objectives and desired outcomes,” from “attracting new customers, to retaining existing customers, to managing challenging customer situations.” COI’s “contact centers… achieve these objectives …by marrying a culture of employee engagement and satisfaction with leading call center technologies…to deploy a dynamic and flexible business model designed to foster a partnership of collaboration… across the entire life-cycle of the customer journey.”
Convergent Outsourcing provides collection services for a wide variety of businesses and industries, including medical and healthcare service providers; utility service providers; telecommunication and mobile phone companies; e-commerce companies; consumer retail lenders; pharmaceutical companies; travel agents; financial services companies; automotive lenders; government agencies; technology service companies; and transportation companies.
Convergent Outsourcing’s first-party collection services offer “early intervention on delinquent accounts…to create an opportunity to uncover and resolve issues, cure a financial situation, and create a satisfied customer.” COI’s “global, networked, virtual contact center environment” allows clients to increase hours of availability, “or reach out when …analytics indicate it’s the best time to call, email, or text.” Third-party collection services at COI utilize “one of the largest databases of unique accounts in the US…to help… companies across many industries reduce their bad debt.”
COI also offers business process outsourcing and call center solutions that include customer acquisition and retention; customer service and technical support; account management; and high-traffic call center overflow crisis response. In addition to locations throughout the U.S., COI also has offices in Guatemala and the Philippines. They cite membership in the Society of Consumer Affairs Professionals (SOCAP); the Direct Marketing Fundraisers Association (DMFA); the Call Center Network Group (CCNG); and the International Customer Management Institute (ICMI). However, their website does not provide any clear statements about their regulatory compliance policies, and 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 726 complaints against Convergent Outsourcing Inc in the preceding 3 years, with 183 complaints closed in the previous 12 months. Most of those complaints alleged problems with billing and collections, although 60 complaints cited problems with customer service; advertising and sales; and delivery or warranty issues. As of March 2015, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) has closed 463 complaints involving COI. Justia lists at least 20 cases of civil litigation involving COI.
Convergent Outsourcing, Inc.
219 Perimeter Center Parkway NE, Suite 200
Atlanta, GA 30346
Phone Number: 800-444-8485
It is illegal for a debt collector to make empty threats to sue you or garnish your wages. It is also unlikely Convergent 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!
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Unlawful Debt Harassment? Learn the Law & Sue the Collector.
Absolutely. You can sue a debt collector. Here’s an example of a case filed in federal court.
In September 2016, in United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit, a judge issued a ruling in a case alleging Convergent Outsourcing Inc had violated certain provisions of the FDCPA prohibiting the use of false or misleading statements or using unfair or unconscionable means to attempt to collect a debt. In the original case, the plaintiff had “accumulated $13,000.00 in credit card debt. After the plaintiff defaulted on the debt,” a debt purchaser bought the debt form the original creditor, “then hired COI to collect the debt on its behalf. With an interest rate of 8%, the debt had increased to over $32,000.00 over the course of many years.” Eventually, COI“sent the plaintiff a letter… proposing that she make a payment of $3,200.00 to ‘settle’ a ‘past due balance of $32,000.00.’” Both the plaintiff and COI agreed that the statute of limitations on collection of the debt had expired. The letter that COI sent to the plaintiff contained language indicating she should send in the full settlement amount within 60 days, or the offer would be rescinded. The plaintiff filed a lawsuit against COI, stating that their letter violated Sections 1692a(6) and 1692e because it failed “to disclose that the debt was not judicially enforceable, that settling the debt through a 10% payment would trigger tax liability… and that a partial payment would revive the entire debt.” The trial court dismissed the complaint, stating that “the FDCPA permits a debt collector to seek voluntary repayment of a time-barred debt so long as the debt collector does not initiate or threaten legal action in connection with its debt collection efforts.”
At the appeals hearing in 2016, the court reviewed the previous decision. The court stated that in considering the facts of the case, it must “assume that the plaintiff… is neither shrewd nor experienced in dealing with creditors.” The court also stated that there is “an apparent conflict in the circuits as to whether a collection letter offering ‘settlement’ of a time-barred debt can violate the FDCPA if the debt collector does not disclose the debt’s unenforceability or expressly threaten litigation.” The appeals court agreed with findings that “a collection letter seeking payment on a time-barred debt (without disclosing its unenforceability) but offering a ‘settlement’ and inviting partial payment (without disclosing the possible pitfalls) could constitute a violation of the FDCPA.” Thus, “accepting as true the… facts alleged by the plaintiff and viewing these facts in the light most favorable to her,” the appeals court concluded that the plaintiff’s claim stated a valid cause of action and should have been allowed to continue at trial. As a result, the trial court’s decision in favor of Convergent Outsourcing was reversed, and the case was sent back to the trial court for further litigation.
Here are some past Press Releases of Lawsuits Brought On By Lemberg Law
March 31, 2017. On behalf of our client, Lemberg Law recently filed a complaint in U.S. District Court, Middle District of Florida. The case, against Convergent Outsourcing, charges the company with violating federal law and state law. It asks for $500 to $1,500 per call in Telephone Consumer Protection Act statutory damages, $1,000 in Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA) statutory damages, plus other relief.
Debt collection calls are anxiety provoking, even when they’re calls to the wrong number. Our client says that Convergent began calling him about a debt that he didn’t owe. In fact, he was getting calls to his cell phone for someone he’d never heard of. The calls coming in were robocalls. Our client knew they were robocalls because, when he answered the calls from Convergent , he heard silence followed by an automated click before the call would disconnect. This is one of the hallmarks of a predictive dialer, which is an automated telephone dialing system under the TCPA. On several occasions, our client called Convergent and told them that they were calling the wrong number. Nevertheless, the debt collection agency continued to repeatedly call our client cell number in an attempt to collect a debt that he didn’t owe.
The lawsuit charges that Convergent Outsourcing violated the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA) by using an ATDS and by using a prerecorded voice to call our client’s cell phone without his consent. The lawsuit also charges that Convergent Outsourcing violated the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA) by engaging in harassing behavior, and by using unfair and unconscionable means to collect a debt. It further charges that Convergent violated our client’s privacy.
September 21, 2015. On behalf of our client, Lemberg Law recently filed a complaint in Superior Court in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts against Convergent Outsourcing. Our client alleges that this debt collection agency called him up to four times a week in an attempt to collect a debt.
The lawsuit charges that Convergent violated the Massachusetts Consumer Protection Act and Massachusetts Debt Collection Regulations by employing unfair or deceptive acts to collect a debt; and by calling more than twice in each seven-day period. It also alleges invasion of privacy.
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).
Can I sue Convergent Outsourcing 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.
Consumers have reported this agency harassing them from the following numbers:
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
“As we discussed on the phone earlier today, this settlement is perfectly okay to me. I need to thank you and all of your cohorts at Lemberg Law to get a project handled so professionally. Please allow Amy, the first person who contacted me from Lemberg, know how much I appreciate her efforts, kindness, and professionalism.”
“I can’t even start to tell you how frustrated I was! I had been getting call after call after call and the majority of these were robocallers!! I contacted your company and you made the calls stop. I have not received my check yet but the calls have stopped for good and that makes me happy enough. Anything extra is simply icing on the cake!”
“I’m forever thankful for the help I received, and urge Lemberg Law to anybody who has ever had a doubt about what’s right or wrong when dealing with debt collectors. Attorney Jody Burton is wonderful. I was never led astray and she’s the utmost professionalism. Lemberg and its team are truly the light at the end of the tube”
“Thank you so much for handling my situation. Previously, I did not trust attorneys. I had bad experiences and did not think lawyers fought for you anymore. You’ve restored my faith. You took in my case, never asked for a retainer, and you won without ever having met me. Thank you.”
The brief answer is yes. We can help. Call us today.
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