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Credco in Court: Debt Collector Relief and Legal Defenses

Dealing with Aggressive Debt Collectors? You Have Rights

Debt collectors can be relentless – calling at all hours, threatening legal action, even going after the wrong person entirely. If you’re being harassed by Credco or another debt collector, know that you have rights under the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA). There are legal defenses and potential remedies available.This article covers common issues with debt collectors like Credco, your rights under the FDCPA, potential defenses if sued, and how to fight back against abusive collection practices. We‘ll provide an overview from an empathetic perspective, linking to additional resources along the way.

What is Credco?

Credco is a debt collection agency based in Illinois. They purchase defaulted debts from original creditors and then attempt to collect the full balance, plus fees and interest. Credco has been the subject of many consumer complaints regarding aggressive tactics and violations of debt collection laws.

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Understanding the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act

The Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA) is a federal law that prohibits debt collectors from using abusive, deceptive or unfair practices when attempting to collect a debt. Some key prohibited practices include:

  • Contacting the consumer before 8am or after 9pm
  • Contacting the consumer at work if they know the employer disapproves
  • Failing to identify themselves as debt collectors
  • Using profane or abusive language
  • Threatening violence or illegal acts
  • Falsely implying they are attorneys or law enforcement
  • Discussing the debt with unauthorized third parties
  • Continuing to contact after receiving written debt validation request
  • Misrepresenting the amount or legal status of the debt

If a debt collector violates the FDCPA, the consumer can potentially sue them in federal court within one year of the violation. Damages can include actual damages, plus up to $1,000 in additional statutory damages per violation. Hiring an FDCPA attorney may be advisable.

Common Credco Complaints and Potential Defenses

Consumers report a variety of complaints against Credco, including harassment, failing to validate debts, and attempting to collect on time-barred debts. Let’s look at some potential legal defenses:

Debt Validation Issues

Under the FDCPA, debt collectors must provide validation information for the alleged debt, including the creditor name, account number, and an accurate balance. If Credco cannot validate the debt after a written request, they may be violating the law by continuing collection efforts.Many consumers claim Credco has failed to properly validate debts. This could be a defense if sued, or grounds for an FDCPA counterclaim.

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Statute of Limitations Defense

Each state has a statute of limitations that limits how long a creditor can legally sue for an unpaid debt. In most states it’s between 3-6 years from the date of default or last payment. If Credco is attempting to collect on a time-barred debt, that could potentially violate the FDCPA.However, the statute of limitations can be “revived” if the consumer makes a payment or acknowledges the debt in writing. So be very careful about restarting that clock accidentally. An FDCPA lawyer can evaluate the age of the debt.

Lack of Proof or Ownership of Debt

Credco is a debt buyer, meaning they purchase defaulted debts from original creditors for pennies on the dollar. To collect, they must be able to prove they actually own the debt and that the amount is accurate.Many consumers claim Credco lacks documentation to prove the debt, or that the amount demanded is incorrect due to fees, interest, or applying payments incorrectly. Challenging the proof and amount could be a viable defense.

Harassment and Abusive Practices

As mentioned, the FDCPA prohibits debt collectors from using harassment tactics like repeated calls, profanity, or threats of violence or arrest. If Credco has engaged in this type of behavior, it could open them up to an FDCPA lawsuit or counterclaim.The key is documenting all communications and keeping a log of any abusive calls or letters. Save any voicemails or written communications as potential evidence.

Dealing with a Credco Lawsuit

If Credco does file a debt collection lawsuit, do not ignore it! Failing to respond can result in a default judgment, which allows garnishment of wages or bank accounts.Some potential defenses in a Credco lawsuit:

  • Lack of proper service (they didn’t serve you correctly)
  • Statute of limitations has expired
  • Credco lacks standing to sue (they can’t prove debt ownership)
  • The amount is incorrect or unsubstantiated
  • You already paid the debt or settled
  • You filed bankruptcy and the debt was discharged

An experienced consumer law attorney can evaluate your specific situation and potential defenses. They may also be able to negotiate a settlement or payment plan.In some cases, you may be able to file counterclaims against Credco for FDCPA violations and potentially recover damages. But don’t delay – there are strict time limits to respond to a debt lawsuit.

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How to Stop Credco Harassment

Even if you don’t owe the debt or plan to dispute it, you can demand that Credco stop contacting you by sending a “cease and desist” letter via certified mail. This invokes your FDCPA rights.The letter should state you are refusing to pay or discuss the debt, and demand they stop all further communication, except to confirm the debt has been terminated. Be sure to keep a copy of the letter for your records.Credco must then stop all contact, except for one last notification that they are terminating collection efforts or intend to pursue specific remedies like a lawsuit. If they violate this and continue harassing you, it strengthens any potential FDCPA case against them.

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