Works & Lentz, Inc. (W&L) is a third-party collection agency based in Oklahoma. W&L has received consumer complaints alleging violations of the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA), including failing to verify debts and threatening to take actions that cannot legally be taken. If you have been contacted by W&L, make sure you understand your rights before responding.
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According to the Better Business Bureau (BBB), Works & Lentz, Inc.’s Tulsa office is listed as a law firm and legal clinic. The BBB established their profile page in 2001. A second BBB profile page was established for W&L’s Oklahoma City office in 2012. Buzzfile also has two listings for W&L. Together, Buzzfile estimates W&L’s annual revenue at $13 million and the size of its staff at 110 employees.
The main W&L website includes two links—one link leads to a site for its Tulsa, OK location; the other link leads to a site for its Oklahoma City location. According to its Tulsa website, W&L “has become an Oklahoma institution known for offering a variety of legal services to the community.” W&L “is a leader in the field of commercial and collection law…and also offers comprehensive legal services.” Areas of practice include commercial law and collections; creditors’ rights in bankruptcy; general practice; landlord-tenant; real estate transactions; and wills, probate, and estate planning.
According to its Oklahoma City website, W&L is “a continually evolving company that offers its customers a valuable service that gets results.” W&L employs “a highly trained and motivated collection staff that have completed an intense two-week training program for new collectors.” W&L’s “collection services typically include… skip tracing, collections, payment monitoring, and pre-litigation investigation.” In addition, “post-judgment activities may include garnishments, attachments of assets, and other legal recovery methods.” W&L also offers insurance follow-up; personal injury litigation; and workers’ compensation, probate, and bankruptcy claim servicing.
W&L provides its employees with “a comprehensive training program that encompasses all of the day to day functions of the account manager position as well as…state and federal regulations, including the … Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA), HIPPA, FCRA, FTC, and office policy.” Neither website provides a consumer page with links or references to resources, laws, and enforcement agencies.
The BBB has closed 10 complaints against Works & Lentz in the preceding 3 years, with 3 complaints closed in the past 12 months. Most of those complaints alleged problems with billing and collections, with a few complaints also alleging problems with customer service. The BBB has also posted a Notice of Government Action taken against W&L. Since June 2015, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) has closed 19 complaints against W&L. Justia lists at least 3 cases of civil litigation involving W&L.
Works & Lentz, Inc.
1437 S Boulder Ave., Ste. 900
Tulsa, OK 74119-3618
3030 N.W. Expressway, Ste. 1300
Oklahoma City, OK 73112
It is illegal for a debt collector to threaten to sue you or garnish your wages. It is also unlikely W&L 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 Complaints
The BBB has posted a Notice of Government Action on the Alerts & Actions page of W&L’s BBB profile. The Notice reads, in part:
“The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) conducted an investigation on Works & Lentz…and found that the firms engaged in illegal debt collection practices. Their standard practices implied lawyers were reviewing the veracity of a consumer’s medical debt when no lawyer had, in fact, reviewed the file. The CFPB order charges the company with violating the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act and the Fair Credit Reporting Act from January 2012 to August 2016. Specifically, the CFPB found that collectively Works and Lentz:
- “Sent collection letters implying they were from a lawyer: Works and Lentz sent letters on formal law firm letterhead containing a signature block with the computerized signature of an individual attorney, underneath which the words ‘Attorney at Law’ were printed. Some demand letters threatened to sue consumers who did not make payments. Despite these representations, no attorneys had reviewed consumer accounts or made any determination as to whether a lawsuit was appropriate before these letters were sent.
- “Called consumers and implied a lawyer was involved: Debt collectors told consumers during collection calls that they were calling from a law firm. This gave consumers the impression that attorneys participated in the decision to make collection calls, but no attorney had reviewed consumer accounts before debt collectors called consumers.
- “Falsified notarization of affidavits in lawsuits against consumers: Before filing a lawsuit against a consumer, Works and Lentz solicited signed and notarized affidavits from its clients with information about the client and the debt. In some instances, clients returned signed affidavits with a nonnotarized signature. When that happened, employees of Works and Lentz notarized the affidavit without verifying the truth of the signature and used the affidavit in a lawsuit against a consumer.
- “Furnished information to a credit reporting company without policies to ensure accuracy: Works and Lentz furnished consumer information for more than 1 million consumers to a credit reporting company. Until July 2016, Works and Lentz lacked any written policies or procedures regarding its transmission of information to a credit reporting company or any protocols to ensure the accuracy and integrity of this information.
“Enforcement Action: Under the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act, the CFPB has the authority to take action against institutions violating federal consumer financial laws. Works and Lentz violated the Fair Debt Collections Practices Act and the Fair Credit Reporting Act. Today the CFPB is ordering the two firms and their president to…provide $577,135 in refunds to harmed consumers;…stop using deceptive language in letters and collection calls;…accurately identify the identity or job title of the individual responsible for sending the letter or making the call;…omit the name of any attorney and the phrase ‘Attorney at Law’ from the signature block of any collection letter;…prohibit the unlawful notarization of affidavits;…revise and enhance consumer credit reporting protections;…and pay a civil money penalty of $78,800.”
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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