Federal Adjustment Bureau or FABCO is a rental property accounts receivable management company specializing in tenant screening and third-party debt collection. FABCO has received complaints alleging violations of the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA), including failure to verify debts and attempting to collect debts not owed. If you have been contacted by Federal Adjustment Bureau, make sure you understand your rights before responding.
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According to the BBB, Federal Adjustment Bureau, Inc. is a legitimate agency founded and incorporated in 1943. The BBB established FABCO’s profile page in 1970. FABCO is listed as a tenant screening and credit reporting agency. Buzzfile estimates FABCO’s annual revenue at $2.3 million and the size of its headquarters staff at 23 employees.
According to its website, FABCO is a “proven leader in tenant screenings and rental collections.” FABCO’s “specialization in rental debts and dedicated staff of collectors has helped them establish…themselves as an industry-leading debt collection agency, with a collection rate above the national average.” Beginning as a “small rental collection agency,” FABCO has “grown to provide landlords everywhere with nationwide information at the click of a button.”
Federal Adjustment Bureau operates two main divisions—a screenings division and a collections division. FABCO’s screening division provides a “combination of rental, credit, and criminal information” to landlords to help them “make the right decision about their applicants.” FABCO’s screening services include InstaRent reports and InstaHire reports. InstaRent reports provide landlords with a rental report, including eviction filings, rental collections, and notices to vacate; a credit report, including FICO score; and a criminal report, including arrests, pleas, and court records. InstaHire reports include a credit report; bureau of motor vehicles report; and criminal background check.
FABCO also provides third-party collection services for managers of rental properties. FABCO goes “above and beyond other agencies by reporting each and every account to one of the three national credit bureaus, as well as listing them on the individual’s FABCO Rental Report.” FABCO’s collections division focuses “exclusively on the multi-housing industry” and “has earned a respected reputation” with a staff of “collectors…professionally trained in the specific areas of landlord-tenant law, including but not limited to, leases, security deposits, and the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act.”
FABCO’s compliance policies are different from those of most collection agencies. FABCO’s clients must first register for membership before qualifying to receive credit reports. The 3-step registration process involves meeting certain minimum requirements, completing membership paperwork, and waiting for verification and approval. Their site is client-facing with resources designed for property managers. There are no references to consumer protection resources or enforcement agencies.
The BBB has closed 22 complaints against Federal Adjustment Bureau in the preceding three years, with 7 complaints closed in the past 12 months. Almost all of those complaints allege problems with billing and collection services. As of April 2015, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) has closed 20 complaints against FABCO. Justia lists at least 5 cases of civil litigation involving FABCO.
Federal Adjustment Bureau, Inc. – FABCO
P.O. Box 20850
Columbus, OH 43220
Telephone: (800) 669-5010
It is illegal for a debt collector to threaten to sue you or garnish your wages. It is also unlikely FABCO 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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Absolutely. Here are some Sample Cases against FABCO
Complaints against FABCO commonly cite a tendency to attempt to collect disputed debts. In July 2017, a complainant indicated that he had “received a call from Federal Adjustment Bureau in March of 2016 stating that he owed a debt to an apartment complex for cleaning charges.” The complainant disputed the debt and requested validation. Allegedly, the FABCO representative said he would note the dispute and then ended the call. The complainant did not hear anything further until July 2017, when the item appeared on his credit report. The complainant contacted FABCO, but the representative “hung up… several times and refused to answer …his calls until he called from a different phone.” On making contact, the receptionist allegedly insisted that she had answered the previous calls. The complainant spoke with a Federal Adjustment Bureau representative “who was rude and informed him that they… had sent the validation.” The complainant disputed the response and asked why they had waited for a year to take any action. In response, the representative allegedly stated that it “was due to a change in the collection bureaus.” When the complainant pressed him for details, the representative responded that he didn’t know; indicated that he would end the call if there was nothing further; then hung up.
In response, FABCO provided a chronology of the delinquency which indicated that the complainant had disputed the debt in March 2016. The reply indicated only that the representative had offered to send an itemization, but there was no indication of whether a validation had actually been mailed. The item was then reportedly placed in a disputed status. The next event according to FABCO took place in July 2017, when the account was reported to the credit reporting agencies. Subsequently, the complainant’s contact was documented, and the request for validation was noted. Federal Adjustment Bureau indicated that they are currently researching the disputed item and indicated that they will not send validation until they have completed their investigation. As a result of the complaint, they sent a request to delete the item from the complainant’s credit report until the dispute is resolved. They also indicated that their review of the phone calls with the complainant did not reveal any unprofessional conduct or hang-ups and that there was no indication that the complainant had made a verbal request for validation.
In his rebuttal, the complainant rejected the response, indicating their refusal to acknowledge his dispute over a year previously and subsequent decision to report the item to the credit reporting agencies were direct violations of the FDCPA and the FCRA.
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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