Unifund CCR, LLC is a third-party collection agency based in Ohio. Unifund has received consumer complaints alleging violations of the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA), including making false statements and threatening to take actions that cannot legally be taken. If you have been contacted by this debt collector, make sure you understand your rights before taking action.
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According to the Better Business Bureau (BBB), Unifund CCR Partners is a legitimate collection agency founded in 2011. The BBB established a profile page for Unifund in 2013. Unifund is listed as a collection agency. Buzzfile has two listings for Unifund, which it identifies as a buyer of installment notes. Together, Buzzfile estimates Unifund’s annual revenue at $48 million and the size of its staff at 150 employees.
According to its website, Unifund “has been a leading manager and purchaser of distressed consumer receivables…[and] specializes in managing, servicing, purchasing and liquidation of non-performing judgments and defaulted consumer portfolios from major banks, creditors, originators, financial institutions, and owners of distressed receivables.”
Unifund purchases delinquent debts from a variety of industries, including charged-off or non-paying portfolios; credit cards; auto loans and deficiencies; consumer loans and credit lines; student loans and accounts receivable; secured and unsecured judgments or liens; government receivables; tax delinquencies; home equity lines of credit; mortgage deficiencies; and other consumer receivables.
The Unifund website does not provide a lot of detailed information about its business practices. Instead, Unifund’s website “was developed as a resource for individuals who may be in the midst of their own personal debt challenges.” The home page lists several of the consumer rights included in the FDCPA, including prohibitions against harassment; phone calls at inconvenient times or places; the use of threats of violence or of obscene or profane language; and the rights of consumers to dispute debts or to request that debt collectors cease communication.
Unifund’s Resources page includes a comprehensive list of links to many different types of consumer resources, including professional financial coaches; financial tools websites such as Credit Karma; the three national credit reporting agencies; consumer shopping sites intended for consumers trying to pay off debt; identity theft resources; books about “financial freedom”; and a link to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) website.
The BBB has closed 9 complaints against Unifund CCR Partners in the preceding 3 years, with 4 complaints closed in the past 12 months. All of those complaints alleged problems with billing and collections. The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) has closed 26 complaints. Justia lists at least 35 cases of civil litigation involving Unifund.
Unifund CCR Partners
10625 Techwoods Circle
Cincinnati, OH 45242
Telephone: (888) 384-8171
It is illegal for a debt collector to threaten to sue you or garnish your wages. It is also unlikely Unifund 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 February 2017, in the Supreme Court of Kentucky, a judge issued an Opinion in a case alleging Unifund CCR Partners had violated certain provisions of the FDCPA. Originally, the plaintiff in this case acquired credit card debt with Citibank at an interest rate of 27.24%. The plaintiff defaulted on the repayment terms and Citibank charged off the balance of $1,472.58. Citibank stopped charging interest on the debt once they charged it off and sold the debt to a collection agency that hired Unifund to collect the bill. During the 11 months between the time Citibank charged the debt off and the time Unifund was hired to collect the bill, no interest accrued on the debt. About five months later, Unifund filed a collection action against the plaintiff in which they attempted to collect the outstanding balance plus “pre-judgment interest” calculated at the rate of 8%. The plaintiff filed a complaint alleging Unifund had violated the FDCPA by “unlawfully claiming interest for the time period between Citibank’s decision to charge-off the debt and Unifund’s acquisition of the debt.” In response, Unifund claimed that Kentucky state law allowed them the “right to collect interest at Kentucky’s statutory rate, and that…seeking pre-judgement statutory interest did not violate the FDCPA.” Initially, the circuit court agreed that Unifund had not violated the FDCPA, granted their request to dismiss the plaintiff’s claim, and transferred the case back to district court. The plaintiff appealed this decision.
The Court of Appeals cited the Kentucky state law upon which Unifund had based its argument. This law states, in part:
“The legal rate of interest is eight percent (8%) per annum, but any party or parties may agree, in writing, for the payment of interest in excess of that rate . . . and any such party or parties, and any party or parties who may assume or guarantee any such contract or obligation, shall be bound for such rate of interest as is expressed in any such contract, obligation, assumption, or guaranty, and no law of this state prescribing or limiting interest rates shall apply to any such agreement or to any charges which pertain thereto or in connection therewith ….”
The court found that the Kentucky state law cited by Unifund only sets the amount of interest that may be charged; it does not give anyone the authority or right to charge interest where contractual agreements prevent such charges. The court also cited federal law that states, “A periodic statement need not be sent for an account … if the creditor has charged off the account in accordance with loan-loss provision and will not charge any additional fees or interest on the account.” Thus, “Citibank… waived its right to collect the agreed-to interest on the account” when they charged it off. In addition, the court, citing previous case law, determined that “Unifund acquired no greater right to collect interest on… [the charged-off] account than Citibank had at the time the debt was assigned.”
As a result, the appeals court reversed the earlier decision, and upheld the plaintiff’s claim that Unifund CCR had violated the FDCPA by using a “[f]alse representation of … the character, amount, or legal status of any debt,” and by threatening “to take any action that cannot legally be taken.” At the February 2017 hearing in the Supreme Court of Kentucky, Unifund CCR Partners appealed this decision, but the Supreme Court upheld the decision in favor of the plaintiff.
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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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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