Debt Collector Collecting Dozens of Complaints at BBB

MAN WORRIED ABOUT MONEY 150x150 Debt Collector Collecting Dozens of Complaints at BBBBetter Business Bureau Serving Greater Cleveland is warning consumers about LRS Litigation Services (LRS). Complaints to BBB have grown dramatically since the company first surfaced in December, 2012, when consumers in Ohio and across the country reported receiving repeated threatening phone calls about payday loan debts. Sixty complaints and over 2,000 inquiries about LRS have been received at BBB to date.

Consumers claim LRS makes robocalls that state they have been named in a lawsuit and, if they do not call LRS within four hours, a restraining order will be issued against them.  LRS has used nearly a dozen different phone numbers, many of which are answered by messages indicating the mailbox is full. Some have been disconnected. Complainants have reported repeated calls to places of employment after notification to stop and the inability of the company to produce or describe any specific documentation of the debt they are trying to collect. In addition, the company reportedly keeps calling and harassing individuals even after being notified that LRS is calling the wrong person.

An Elyria woman told BBB, “This company began calling with an automated message that I was named in a lawsuit and an order of restraint has been filed against me. (They said) if I do not call them in 24 hours, they would contact my employer. They left a call back number of 216-644-1249 which the voicemail was full for days. I finally spoke to someone who would not give me his name, only that I had taken out a payday loan (wouldn’t say with who) and I never paid it – NOT TRUE. When I asked for his name and written verification he hung up on me… “

A Witchita Falls, TX woman reported that LRS threatened her son, who has been deceased for several years, with a restraining order and that she had been receiving the calls almost daily.

The details of dozens of other consumer complaints can be viewed online at: http://www.bbb.org/cleveland/business-reviews/collection-agencies/l-r-s-litigation-services-in-cleveland-oh-92010730

LRS has never provided an address for its offices.  BBB has referred this matter to the Federal Trade Commission for further action.

This company should not be confused with Louisiana Recovery Services dba LRS Debt Collection Group, a BBB Accredited Business located in Louisiana.

If you receive a call from LRS or any collection agency, BBB advises:

  • Collection agencies must comply with the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act, a federal regulation.

  • A debt collector cannot threaten you with arrest.

  • Your wages cannot be garnished unless you are sued and the court orders garnishment as a way to collect the judgment against you.

  • Debt collectors cannot contact you at work if you tell them you are not allowed to receive calls there.

  • Every collector must send you a written “validation notice” telling you how much money you owe within five days after they first contact you. This notice also must include the name of the creditor to whom you owe the money, and how to proceed if you don’t think you owe the money.

  • If you are getting calls from a collection agency and are current on all debts, you could be a victim of identity theft. Go to annualcreditreport.com and request a free copy of your credit report from each of the three major credit reporting agencies. Notify the agency if any information is inaccurate.

Do you still have a debt collector harassing you about a debt you know isn’t yours? File a complaint with Cleveland.BBB.org and the Federal Trade Commission (ftc.gov)

(Sara Jennings contributed to this post)

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About Sue McConnell

Sue is the senior vice president of BBB Serving Greater Cleveland. She began her BBB career in 1980 and has served on various national BBB committees. Sue has conducted peer trainings locally, regionally, and nationally and represents BBB in local print and broadcast media.