Is Bureaus Investment Group LLC calling you? Here's what you need to know.
A lot of Americans carry some form of personal debt these days. If it begins to overwhelm them and they can’t keep up with the payments, debt collectors soon start calling. For many people, this is when the nightmare begins.
A collection agency is a company that works on behalf of a creditor to collect an unpaid debt. Typical examples are credit card and medical bills, student loans, and mortgages. Although the law prohibits such behavior, debt collectors are often aggressive, persistent, and rude when trying to get consumers to pay the full amount owing.
The Fair Debt Collection Practices Act, or FDCPA, was originally enacted to protect consumers from abusive debt collection practices. Under this law, third-party debt collectors may not legally do any of the following while trying to collect a debt:
- Use obscene or abusive language
- Call a debtor before 8:00 a.m. or after 9:00 p.m.
- Use the phone to annoy or harass a person: for example, calling and hanging up
- Failing to identify themselves as debt collectors in all communications
- Threaten a debtor with arrest, imprisonment, or physical harm
- Share details of the debt with anyone except the debtor’s spouse, attorney, or co-signers
- Call someone at work when they know that the employer does not permit such calls
- Claim to be a police officer, attorney, or government representative if they are not
Despite the FDCPA, a lot of collection agencies persist in using deceptive and unethical methods.
Bureaus Investment Group LLC is a debt collector located in Evanston, Illinois. Established in 1997, it operates a nationwide debt collection business and operates in virtually every state. Bureaus Investment Group LLC specializes in buying portfolios of defaulted consumer debts for pennies on the dollar, and then collecting the full debt amounts via its ‘bureaus’.
Records retained by the PACER (Public Access to Court Electronic Records) website confirm that this collection agency has been sued several times for allegedly violating the FDCPA.
Beverly Clausen v. The Bureaus, Inc.et al.
According to PACER**, Beverly Clausen, a senior residing in Illinois, fell behind on payments for a HSBC credit card. After the debt became delinquent, Bureaus Investment Group LLC bought it and attempted to collect. When she received an initial collection letter dated August 26, 2009, she obtained the assistance of legal aid attorneys who informed the collection agency, in writing, that Ms. Clausen represented by counsel. They also directed Bureaus Investment Group LLC to cease contacting her and stop all further collection activities because Ms. Clausen was forced, by her financial circumstances, to refuse to pay the debt.
Nonetheless, the collection agency sent Ms. Clausen two more collection letters, demanding payment of the HSBC debt. Her attorney had to send then an additional letter, directing them to cease communications and to cease collections. Finally a complaint was filed with the US District Court.
The complaint accused Bureaus Investment Group LLC of the following FDCPA violations:
- Communicating with Ms. Clausen after a direction to cease communications, and continuing to demand payment of a debt that she had indicated that she refused to pay (15 U.S.C. § 1692c(c))
- Communicating with Ms. Clausen when they knew she was represented by an attorney with respect to the debt (15 U.S.C. § 1692c(a)(2))
The matter was later resolved.
The phone number for Bureaus Investment Group LLC is 1-(847) 328-4300. If the number shows up on your caller ID, a debt collector is trying to contact you. If you are unable to pay the amount owed and the collector becomes persistent and / or abusive, contact a consumer attorney. Once you retain legal counsel, Bureaus Investment Group LLC is not allowed to contact you directly regarding the debt. Should they keep calling and sending you collection notices, you can sue them. If you win, you could receive statutory damages of $1000 per FDCPA violation, plus actual damages, court costs, and attorney fees.
The FDCPA supports remedies for consumers who have been harassed by debt collectors, so don’t hesitate to take advantage of them.
The size and nature of your debt have nothing to do with how you should be treated as a human being. If third-party collectors are subjecting you to the type of harassment outlined in the FDCPA, you should consider completing a free case evaluation and filing a claim with the help of an FDCPA attorney. Winning your claim could mean netting $1000 for each FDCPA violation, along with additional damages, and having an attorney increases the likelihood that you’ll have a successful claim. Your attorney can aid in gathering evidence, arguing on your behalf, and knowing exactly what is required at each point in the case. In other words, your attorney will be in the best position to help you navigate this complex process and finally get the peace of mind that you deserve.
**Case taken from PACER (www.pacer.gov). File number is (Case: 1:10-cv-00553, from United States District Court, Northern District of Illinois, Eastern Division)
The content of this article serves only to provide information and should not be construed as legal advice. If you file a claim against Bureaus Investment Group LLC or any other third-party collection agency, you may not be entitled to any compensation.