Professional Collection Consultants, Mid Valley Collection Bureau and the Law Offices of Clark Garen are on the receiving end of a proposed class action filed by a San Diego consumer who claims he was subject to abusive collection practices concerning a debt he did not owe.
According to the case, in October 2009, Professional Collection Consultants filed suit against the plaintiff and stated to the court that the contract between the consumer and his supposed creditor was “lost, stolen or destroyed.” Despite not having documentation to validate the alleged debt, the complaint says the defendant persisted with legal action in order to “confuse and intimidate” the plaintiff. The lawsuit further charges that the company routinely files “meritless” lawsuits against consumers without evidence in order to intimidate them into making payments.
Moreover, the case alleges the company failed to properly serve the plaintiff with the lawsuit, resulting in a default judgment against him. The suit claims the defendant strategically engages in so-called “sewer service” tactics to obtain judgments against consumers without their knowledge.
In February 2019, the plaintiff, the suit continues, discovered that his alleged debt was assigned to Mid Valley Collection Bureau, which allegedly engaged the Law Offices of Clark Garen in the process of levying the plaintiff’s bank accounts to collect on the default judgment. After receiving a notice of levy from his bank, the man says he was instructed to contact Mid Valley and spoke to an agent on the phone. During the call, the plaintiff reluctantly entered into a payment plan “under duress” and out of fear of what the defendants may do with his bank accounts, the suit alleges.
The consumer allegedly went on to send a fax to the defendants stating he was never properly served with the lawsuit. During a phone call following up on the letter, a representative of the defendants supposedly gave the man inaccurate legal advice, stated it was too late to do anything about the debt, and insisted that he was obligated to pay the amount, all of which constituted “unlawful collection activity,” according to the complaint.
All told, the case alleges the defendants operated “in cahoots” to file a meritless lawsuit against the plaintiff and coerce him into paying an unfounded debt.