First Federal Credit Control Inc or FFCC is a debt collection agency which receives a lot of consumer complaints to our law firm for debt harassment. Find out who they are, why they might be calling, and how you can stop them.
First Federal Credit Control , Inc. (FFCC) is a third-party collection agency based in Ohio that specializes in healthcare-related debt. FFCC has received consumer complaints alleging violations ofthe Fair Debt Collections Practices Act (FDCPA) such as making false statements and failing to provide verification of debts. If you have been contacted by FFCC, be sure you understand your rights before taking action.
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According to the Better Business Bureau (BBB), FFCC is a legitimate collection agency, founded and incorporated in Ohio in 1970. The BBB opened its file the same year. In 1997, an affiliate company, FFCC-Columbus, Inc. was established in Columbus, OH. These two companies are separate corporations, but both use the same website at www.ffcc.com. Complaints for FFCC are processed through BBB’s Cleveland office; complaints for FFCC-Columbus, Inc., are processed through BBB’s Columbus office. Buzzfile estimates FFCC’s annual revenue at $2.8 million and the size of its staff at 40 people.
According to its website, FFCC “is one of the nation’s leading collection agencies serving healthcare and commercial clients.” FFCC provides third-party collection services for “clients across a wide range of industries.” Although their clients are predominantly healthcare providers, they also accept collection accounts from consumer and retail credit lenders, business-to-business commercial accounts, and financial institutions.
FFCC employs an eight-step collection process. Trained staff receive accounts from clients; examine customer data; establish contact using outbound calls and letters; demand payment; offer payment options; provide account management; report to credit reporting agencies; and, when necessary, refer accounts to litigation.
FFCC’s website is entirely client-facing. FFCC employs a money-centric philosophy in which “every FFCC team member is moving in one direction – towards client, company and personal success.” In addition, the FFCC healthcare division believes the important aspect of patient-provider relationships is that they “are often long lasting and provide practices revenue over time.” They advertise membership in the American Collectors Association (ACA) and the Ohio Receivables Management Association (ORMA); however, there are no references or links to their compliance policies, consumer resources, or consumer protection laws.
The BBB has closed 80 consumer complaints against FFCC in the past three years, with 29 closed in the past 12 months. Most of these complaints allege problems with billing and collections. The BBB has given FFCC a rating of B. Since March 2015, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) has closed 47 complaints against FFCC. Justia lists at least 4 cases of civil litigation naming FFCC as a defendant.
First Federal Credit Control, Inc.
24700 Chagrin Blvd., Suite 205
Cleveland, Ohio, 44122-5662
Telephone: (800) 486-5500
It is illegal for a debt collector to threaten to sue you or garnish your wages. It is also unlikely FFCC 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
In August 2017, in United States District Court, Northern District of Ohio, a judge issued an Opinion and Order in a complaint alleging FFCC had violated the Fair Debt Collections Practices Act (FDCPA). In this case, the plaintiff alleged that FFCC violated the FDCPA’s provision requiring collection agencies to identify the name of the creditor in correspondence. Specifically, the creditor in this case was Physicians Associates, LLC. In its dunning letter to the plaintiff, the creditor was identified merely as, “Physicians Associates.” FFCC moved for a dismissal on the grounds that the difference was so slight that it did not constitute a violation.
However, an analysis of the case found that the plaintiff’s charge was valid. The plaintiff resided in Alabama, near the state line with Florida. FFCC’s letter “mentioned three locations[:] Cleveland, Ohio; Enterprise, Alabama; and a ‘North Carolina Permit Number.’” In addition, “[a]long with the amount of the debt, an account number, and several other statutorily mandated disclosures, FFCC listed ‘Physicians Associates’ as the creditor.” The plaintiff cited this identification as misleading enough to have caused a violation. In support of the plaintiff’s argument, the court cited evidence that a search of the Secretary of States’ websites for “Physicians Associates” in the states of Alabama, Ohio, and Florida “brings up dozens of unrelated entities with variations on the name ‘Physicians Associates.’” By contrast, the court rejected FFCC’s argument that in previous cases, “some courts have allowed debt collectors to satisfy the FDCPA by providing some portion of the creditor’s name,” because these cases usually involved creditors like Citibank USA, N.A. or American Express Centurion Bank, who were less likely to be confused if identified only as Citibank or American Express.
As a result, the court, using the “least sophisticated consumer standard,” in which decisions are based upon conclusions likely to be made by “‘consumers of below average sophistication or intelligence,’ or those who are ‘uninformed or naïve,’” found in favor of the plaintiff and denied FFCC’s motion for summary judgement.
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.
We can make them STOP!✋
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 NOW.
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