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The TRAF Group, Inc. is an association of Accounts Receivable Management (ARM) companies offering third-party collection services. The TRAF Group has received consumer complaints alleging violations of the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA), including misrepresentation and attempting to collect debts not owed. If you have been contacted by The TRAF Group, understand your rights before responding.
According to the Better Business Bureau (BBB), The TRAF Group was originally founded in 1964 and later incorporated in New Jersey in 1985. The BBB established its profile page, under the name A-1 Collection Service, in 1993. The TRAF Group is listed as a collection agency that uses the alternate business names, American Trading and Credit America. Buzzfile estimates The TRAF Group’s annual revenue at $3.6 million, and the size of its headquarters staff at 28 people.
According to its website, The TRAF Group “provides a robust, flexible suite of accounts receivable management services to clients throughout the country in the healthcare, retail, and government markets that want to maximize their cash flow while maintaining customer and patient relationships.” The TRAF Group owns and operates two apparently independent collection agencies—A-1 Collection and Credit America.
A-1 Collection provides medical debt resolution services; consumer collection services; commercial collection services; one-time A/R clean up services; and litigation services for clients in the healthcare and other industries. A-1 Collection cites an employee training program that covers “all current debt resolution laws, including the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA), Uniform Commercial Code, Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPPA), Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA), and Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act (GLBA).”
Credit America cites an almost identical training program. However, its services are directed toward clients with “less than 70% of…accounts that are current…with DSO (Days Sales Outstanding) exceeding 40 days; and/or with high balances that are 60- to 90-days past due.”
The TRAF Group’s client base operates “throughout the country in the healthcare, retail, and government markets.” The TRAF Group’s site is client-facing. Although the laws it cites are linked to the government agencies responsible for enforcement, the site does not contain a consumer resources page.
The BBB has closed 13 complaints against The TRAF Group in the past three years, with 5 closed in the past 12 months. Most of the complaints allege problems with billing and collections. Since July 2015, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) has received 21 complaints about The TRAF Group. Justia lists at least 5 cases of civil litigation naming The TRAF Group as a defendant.
Absolutely. Here are some Sample Cases against The TRAF Group
Complaints against The TRAF Group commonly allege inaccuracies in reporting information to credit reporting agencies and unprofessional conduct. For example, in April 2016, a complainant indicated that he had agreed to a payment arrangement in return for keeping a delinquency from being reported to the credit reporting agencies (CRAs). Although the complainant insisted that he had made the payments as agreed, he reported that the item had appeared on his credit reports anyway. When the complainant’s wife called the collection agency for an explanation, she was told that because they had paid early, the payment was not received on the agreed-upon due date, resulting in the negative report to the credit reporting agency. The complainant was confused about having negative items reported on his credit for paying ahead of schedule, especially when he was in the process of trying to repair his credit. In response, The TRAF Group apologized and indicated that they had requested a removal of the negative information.
In February 2017, a complainant indicated he had been paying The TRAF Group according to a signed agreement. About six months prior to the complaint, they had received a letter “with a whole different feel and verbiage, and when we called TRAF to get a clarification, the Credit America employee… took it upon… himself to run all the account numbers Credit America had on file until he got one to clear.” The TRAF representative processed payments without authorization during the call, and when the complainant continued to protest, the representative hung up. The complainant called back and asked to speak to the representative’s supervisor, but the representative became antagonistic and increasingly less professional. The complainant reported the unauthorized charges to his bank, but they had already caused an overdraft that the complainant indicated he may address legally. The complainant also indicated he wanted the representative disciplined and trained in “customer service and professionalism. Further, Credit America needs to review their business policies and make necessary changes to be a better corporate… citizen.”
The TRAF Group, Inc.
2297 State Highway 33, Ste. 906
Hamilton Square, NJ 08690
Telephone: (800) 777-6201
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 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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