California Business Bureau Debt Settlement Attorney

California Business Bureau (CBB) is a debt collection company that has received numerous complaints regarding its business practices. If you owe debt, especially medical bills, you may have already been contacted by CBB. Or perhaps the company has threatened or initiated legal action against you. Before responding to CBB, you need to know about your rights as a debtor. You also need to know how debt settlement can help you save money and stress while ridding your life of collectors such as CBB. The Fullman Firm is ready to get to work for you.

Who is California Business Bureau?

Based in Monrovia, California, this company goes by a variety of names. You may see them listed in correspondence or court papers as California Business Bureau, Medical Billing Services, or Michael J. Sigal Company. CBB has been in business for decades and collects primarily medical debts. It is a rather aggressive company that will attempt to collect on accounts relatively early. If necessary, CBB will take legal action against the debtor.

CBB has been accused of violating the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA) by using a number of unethical and/or illegal tactics. Numerous complaints have been registered with the Better Business Bureau that accuse CBB of:

  • Trying to collect certain fees that are not permitted by law
  • Trying to collect debts from the wrong individuals
  • Trying to collect on accounts that were paid off or discharged through bankruptcy
  • Refusing to send debt verification information (see below) to debtors
  • Using abusive, obscene, and profane language in communications with debtors
  • Repeatedly calling and harassing debtors
  • Threatening debtors with arrest for not paying what they allegedly owe

How Does The FDCPA Protect Me?

As mentioned above, CBB has allegedly attempted to collect debts in ways that run afoul of the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act. This law is designed to prevent companies from engaging in harassment, intimidation, and other predatory behavior. It is illegal for businesses like CBB to do the following:

  • Call debtors at unreasonable times of the day and night
  • Call debtors at work after being told not to do so
  • Use profanity or obscenities over the phone
  • Discuss a debtor’s account with his or her co-workers
  • Fail or refuse to identify themselves as debt collectors
  • Threaten to have a debtor arrested over a debt

Debtors have the right to verify information about the debts they allegedly owe, such as:

  • The identity of the original creditor
  • The balance on the account
  • A statement that the debtor has the right to dispute the debt within 30 days

What To Know If CBB Sues You

A debt collector like CBB may decide to sue you if you don’t pay, which means you will be served with a summons and complaint. The summons orders you to respond to the lawsuit, and you will typically have 30 days after being served to do so. The complaint is the document that contains factual allegations against you about the debt, such as your identity and how much you owe.

You should read the contents of the summons and complaint closely and notify an attorney if you see any errors. Each year, many debtors pay on accounts they don’t even owe. And CBB in particular has been accused of trying to collect from the wrong person. This could be an issue for you if you have a common name, such as John Smith.

How CBB Will Use A Judgment Against You

Once you’ve been served with court papers, a court date will be set. An attorney can help you assert any legal rights or defenses you may have. But if you owe the debt, CBB will likely obtain a judgment against you. The judgment is more than a mere piece of paper. It allows CBB to take additional steps to collect what the court says you owe. For example, the judgment can be used to garnish your wages, place a lien on your property, and take money out of your bank account.

Not showing up to court will just make this process easier for CBB, because the company can obtain what’s called a default judgment.

The Debt Settlement Option

All of this may sound like CBB has you backed into a corner. But there’s an option you need to consider that could help you save significant amounts of money and anxiety: debt settlement.

This process allows a debtor to negotiate a payoff amount that is less than what is actually owed. With most debt settlements, the debtor proposes a lump sum payment in exchange for the collector agreeing to waive the remaining balance. Even if a judgment has already been entered against you, debt settlement can work in your favor. However, the earlier you begin the process, the better.

It is critical that you have an experienced attorney help with your debt settlement. For one reason, collectors often use dishonest tactics when negotiating with debtors. Here’s an example: some debtors, wanting to get rid of the collection agency as soon as they can, will call the company and negotiate a settlement over the phone. The company pretends to accept the deal (and takes the debtor’s payment), promising not to collect the rest. Then, later, the collector breaks its promise and demands the balance. The debtor has no proof of the settlement because it was worked out over the phone, so he or she is stuck owing the collector.

We’re Here To Advocate For You

The Fullman Firm knows how to negotiate effective debt settlements that get rid of collection agencies once and for all. Our seasoned legal team has saved countless debtors time, money, and stress. If you’re tired of hearing from CBB or other debt collectors, call us today to schedule your consultation.