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Creditors’ Discount & Audit Company (CDA) is a third-party collection agency based in Illinois. CDA has received consumer complaints alleging violations of the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA), including improper communication tactics and making false statements. If you have been contacted by CDA, understand your rights before responding.
According to the Better Business Bureau (BBB), Creditors’ Discount and Audit Company “is a collection agency which assists companies in receiving payment for accounts past due. CDA is licensed in Illinois, Indiana, and Michigan and retains a certificate of authority in Ohio and Missouri.” CDA was founded and incorporated in 1976. The BBB established CDA’s profile page in 1993. CDA is listed as a collection agency that uses the alternate business name, Unlimited Progress Corp. Buzzfile estimates CDA’s annual revenue at $1.6 million and the size of its headquarters staff at 20 people.
According to its website, Creditors’ Discount and Audit Company “provides collection assistance to more than 2,000 clients in health-care, utilities, banking, and retail.” CDA believes “in having the most knowledgeable, trained, and caring staff…with values that include teamwork, trust, resourcefulness, and commitment.”
As a full-service collection agency, CDA offers third-party collections; early-out programs to alleviate the workload of “in-house staff prior to accounts going to traditional collections”; pre-collect programs for self-pay customers; and collection litigation to ensure a full-range of “effective collection options.”
In addition, Creditors’ Discount and Audit Company “utilizes state-of-the-art equipment and software with in-house data processing operations for support in collections.” Their skip tracing division employs “electronic access to credit bureau reports and many Internet driven sites and sources with timely updates for locating consumers.” Finally, CDA “can make available training and education seminars for staff in collection laws, philosophy, skip tracing, telephone techniques, collection problems, and solutions.”
Creditors’ Discount and Audit Company has posted a statement that it “conducts its business operations in full compliance with the federal Fair Debt Collections Practices Act (FDCPA); … the Illinois Collection Act; …and…the Debt Collection Practices…of the Consumer Credit Protection Act, …all in accordance with all applicable laws, rules and regulations… of the Federal Trade Commission; the Illinois Commerce Commission; and the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB).” However, references to consumer protection resources are limited to a link to the Ask Doctor Debt page on the website of the International Association of Credit and Collection Professionals (ACA International).
The BBB has closed 20 complaints against Creditors’ Discount and Audit Company in the past three years, with 12 closed in the past 12 months. Most of those complaints allege problems with billing and collections. Since October 2013, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) has received 60 complaints about CDA. Justia lists at least 6 cases of civil litigation involving CDA.
Absolutely. Here are some Sample Cases against Creditors’ Discount and Audit Company – CDA.
In August 2012, in the United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit, a judge issued a Decision in a case alleging Creditors’ Discount and Audit Company had violated the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA) by sending letters that contained language that was false or misleading. In the initial case, the plaintiff had been injured, received medical treatment, then was unable to pay as a result of unemployment. He complained that the collection letters he had received from CDA regarding bills for the medical treatment contained false and misleading statements. Specifically, the letter from Creditors’ Discount and Audit Company stated, in part:
“You have the right to pay this claim now. To avoid further steps, respond within 48 hours. Consider our clients’ lawful alternatives closely. Our client may take legal steps against you and if the courts award judgement, the court could allow court costs and attorney fees.”
The central argument in the plaintiff’s case was that “the language concerning attorney fees …was false and misleading” because Creditors’ Discount and Audit Company had no legal authority to impose such conditions. The judge at the initial hearing found the use of conditional language (i.e., ‘our client may take legal steps’ and ‘the court could allow . . . attorney fees’) to be relevant, and ruled that no reasonable consumer could have believed that he owed more than the debt due upon receipt of the letter,” and thus found in favor of CDA.
On appeal, the court determined that the plaintiff had to prove three separate facets in order to win his claim: that the statement in the letter was false; that it was misleading; and that the violation was material. The court agreed that because “Creditors’ Discount and Audit Company admits… that the award of attorney fees was not a possible outcome… the statement… in the letter was false.” Furthermore, the court agreed it was also misleading because CDA’s letter would lead an unsophisticated consumer to believe “that one possible outcome of…failure to promptly pay the debt was the incurrence of the obligation to pay CDA’s attorney fees.” Finally, this language was determined to be a material violation because it was written with the specific intent to affect the reasoning and actions of the consumer who reads the letter.
As a result, the court on appeal found “that the attorney fees statements found in Creditors’ Discount and Audit Company’s dunning letters were materially false and misleading on their face…and therefore REVERSE both the grant of CDA’s summary judgment motion and the denial of the plaintiff’s summary judgment motion, and REMAND to the district court for proceedings.”
Creditors’ Discount & Audit Company
P.O. Box 213
415 E. Main Street
Streator, IL 61364
Telephone: (815) 672-3176
Understanding your Debt Collection Rights
The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) and the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) enforce consumer protection laws, including the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA) and the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA). These two federal laws help regulate the collections industry. The FDCPA prohibits actions such as the use of false or misleading statements in an effort to collect a debt.
The FCRA regulates how collection agencies report information to credit reporting agencies. Additional consumer protection laws include the Consumer Financial Protection Act (CFPA) and the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA).
These laws also provide individuals with a means to seek monetary damages in court. For example, the FDCPA allows consumers to recover damages of up to $1,000, plus attorney fees and court costs, in cases proving violations of the FDCPA.
The case above illustrates how understanding your rights and responsibilities under these laws can help you hold collection agencies legally accountable. Seek legal assistance if you need help resolving a dispute with a 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.
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