Financial Credit Service, Inc., also known as “Asset Recovery Associates, Inc.” has been sued in Alabama for violating the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act and Fair Credit Reporting Act.
Our client is a recently retired docks worker. He has good credit, good income, and has made it a practice of paying his bills on time. So imagine his surprise when he got a telephone call from a debt collector called “Asset Recovery Associates, Inc.” He’d never dealt with them in this life, and had never even heard of them. But their collection agent was aggressive and convincing. She said that he owed a substantial debt to “Bank One,” and that it was very urgent for my client to pay them immediately. She said that if he didn’t pay them, they would initiate legal proceedings against him.
Not only did they sound sure of themselves and aggressive, their agent knew a lot of his personal information like his name, address, and date of birth. This was very disturbing, though, and made their threats sound more dangerous.
We aren’t sure if the account ever actually existed, but if it was a real account at some point, we believe that it was the result of identity theft. My client knows that he never opened an account with “Bank One,” and the debt collector hasn’t offered any proof that he actually opened the account or borrowed money from ARA, Financial Credit Service, or or Bank One.
We also aren’t sure where they got his personal information. It is possible that they got it from his credit report, or that it was purchased from data dealers or hackers. We do know that they obtained at least one of his credit reports, though he never provided them with any permission to do so.
We sued them in the case of Bradley v. Financial Credit Service, Inc., d.b.a. Asset Recovery Associates, Inc., Southern District of Alabama civil case number 17-cv-299-WS-MU. The lawsuit alleges that Asset Recovery Associates violated the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA) by :
- Trying to collect a debt that was not owed.
- Falsely threatening to sue my client.
- Falsely telling a credit reporting agency that they had a legitimate business purpose for obtaining his credit reports.
The lawsuit also alleges that Asset Recovery Associates violated the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) by digging into his credit history without his permission or a legitimate business purpose for doing so.
The lawsuit seeks $50,000 plus court costs and attorneys’ fees.
The lawsuit itself can be found on this link: