Dustin Kittle and I are looking at this collection agency CRB because it has sent out many collection letters to Alabama consumers threatening them over alleged unpaid bills to the notorious, and bankrupt, roofing company American Shingle.
Dustin mentioned this early on and it is a problem that has not gone away.
CRB sent out letters this time last year that say:
“We are representing both the Court and American Shingle . . . . You are legally obligated to pay the above amount but have chosen to ignore this balance.”
Several issues with this type of harassing letter.
The Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA) prohibits a number of illegal harassing collection tactics.
A collector cannot lie or misrepresent in order to collect a debt. CRB does not represent the Bankruptcy Court — it represents the Trustee who had to ask permission to hire CRB to collect debts.
The Bankruptcy Court in the Northern District of Georgia does not need a debt collector to represent it. In our opinion what CRB has done is to falsely represent it is connected with the Bankruptcy Court in order to bring pressure to bear on Alabama consumers.
The letter also states that the consumer is “legally obligated” to pay it. Who decided that? Oh, I see, the Bankruptcy Court that hired CRB.
You see how that works? First CRB lies about representing the court and then it says you are legally obligated to pay the debt.
The Bankruptcy Court in Georgia has not made any determinations on whether you owe this debt. Instead it simply is allowing the trustee of the bankrupt debtor, American Shingle, to attempt to collect debts that are supposedly owed. The Bankruptcy Court makes no determination of whether there are debts owed — it is just saying, “OK, trustee, you can hire a debt collector to collect debts.”
This comes up in the personal injury context. An injured person will file for bankruptcy. We represent the injured person. Now we have to get hired by the Trustee and approved by the court to pursue the lawsuit.
The Bankruptcy Court is certainly not saying the truck driver or insurance company or whoever we are suing is at fault. It is simply giving us permission to represent the trustee.
If you have received one of these letters or paid CRB, especially if you know you did not owe any money, we would like to talk with you.
American Shingle was notorious for lying about roofing jobs and promising there is nothing owed (outside of insurance) and then not completing the jobs. Now you have CRB coming along threatening people with false collection letters.
We need to gather our evidence quickly as at least some of these letters were sent out in mid October and there is a one year statute of limitation.
So if you have dealt with CRB, give me a call at 205-879-2447 or contact us through our website so we can continue to gather evidence to use in our cases we are looking at filing against CRB for violating Alabama state law and the FDCPA.
You can reach us at 205-879-2447 or through our contact form.