National Service Bureau or NSB, which also does business as Seattle Service Bureau, Inc. (SSB), is a third-party collection agency. NSB has received consumer complaints alleging violations of the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA), including improper sharing of information and attempting to collect debts not owed. If you have been contacted by this debt collector, understand your rights before responding.
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According to the Better Business Bureau (BBB), National Service Bureau is a legitimate collection agency founded and incorporated in 1987 as Seattle Service Bureau. The BBB established its profile page in 1991. SSB is listed as a collection agency and check verification and recovery service that uses the alternate business names, National Service Bureau and NSB. Buzzfile estimates NSB’s annual revenue at $7.2 million and the size of its headquarters staff at 70 people.
According to its website, which uses the business name National Service Bureau, Seattle Service Bureau “is presently headquartered in Seattle, Washington.” SSB has “roots as a family business, but has grown organically into a nationwide debt collection agency…and brings a breadth of experience and a range of services to the recovery of delinquent accounts receivable.”
NSB’s collection services occupy four divisions: pre-collections; letter services; third-party; and legal services. Their pre-collection, or early intervention, service agents send “a timely message to consumers, and often a slight nudge is all that is necessary to resolve past-due accounts prior to placing them in full collection.” Letter service agents introduce third parties into the client process with “last demand” letters urging consumers “to pay the client directly before the account is placed in full collection.”
NSB’s full-service third-party collection service employs automated messaging and “total call management services depending on the success of pre-collections, letter services, and the specific needs of” client organizations. NSB’s “in-house legal department offers services covering all phases of the recovery process nationwide…when it’s been determined that consumers are not cooperative in the repayment of the balance due.”
National Service Bureau collects consumer debt for education, finance, government, insurance, medical, and telecommunication providers. National Service Bureau also collects delinquent accounts for commercial clients. NSB ’s Compliance page hosts a very comprehensive outline of consumer protection laws and enforcement agencies, with links to resources and legal and regulatory information.
The BBB has closed 28 complaints against National Service Bureau in the past three years, with 6 closed in the past 12 months. Most of the complaints allege problems with billing and collections. Since April 2015, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) has received 39 complaints about NSB. Justia lists at least 7 cases of civil litigation naming National Service Bureau as a defendant.
It is illegal for a debt collector to threaten to sue you or garnish your wages. It is also unlikely NSB 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 filed in Federal Court
In December 2015, the Supreme Court of the State of Washington issued a decision indicating whether out-of-state residents can sue Washington state corporations for “allegedly deceptive acts.” In this case, the plaintiff was a Texas resident who claims to have received deceptive letters from National Service Bureau in an effort to resolve “unliquidated subrogation claims” on the part of an auto insurance company “with its principal place of business in Illinois.” Specifically, the plaintiff’s son was involved in a car accident with an insured motorist. The insurance company implicated in this case paid the insured motorist for damages and repairs to the vehicle. Subsequently, the insurance company attempted to pursue a subrogated claim from the plaintiff in the amount of $9,126.18. The plaintiff received three letters, which she claimed were deceptive because they suggested “the sum was the ‘balance due’ on a ‘debt’ rather than ‘a potential, unliquidated claim based on a subrogated interest from its insured.’” As result, she cited a violation of the Consumer Protection Act (CPA) and attempted unjust enrichment. The insurance company and SSB in United States District Court attempted to have the charges dismissed, “claiming the CPA does not apply to claims made by a plaintiff
who is not a Washington citizen.” The U.S. District Court dismissed the claim of unjust enrichment, but sent the case back to the Washington State Supreme Court to answer two questions:
- “Does the Washington Consumer Protection Act create a cause of action for a plaintiff residing outside Washington to sue a Washington corporate defendant for allegedly deceptive acts?”
- “Does the Washington Consumer Protection Act create a cause of action for an out-of-state plaintiff to sue an out-of-state defendant for the allegedly deceptive acts of its in-state agent?”
The Court answered yes to both questions, clearing the way for the plaintiff to pursue her claims that the collection activities in this case were a violation of state CPA laws.
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.
Consumers have reported this agency harassing them from the following numbers:
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, 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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