Client Services, Inc. is an established and large debt collection agency in the United States. They have been in business since 1987. They have more than 500 employees and do business across the United States. They act as agents and do not purchase or sell debt.
Just like dealing with any debt collector, be prepared. Verify that you owe the debt, that the company does not harass you, and that you have the right tools to settle your debt.
Client Services, Inc. is not a scam. It is a real debt collection agency. They act as agents for creditors and aggressively pursue collection and lawsuits. They represent banks, credit card companies, financial institutions, utility and telecommunication providers. They pursue collection accounts for original creditors (1st-party accounts), which are generally recently delinquent, and debt buyers (3rd-party accounts), which charged-off.
|Client Services, Inc. information|
|Address||3451 Harry S Truman Blvd
Saint Charles, MO 63301-4047
|Hours of Operation||Mon-Fri 7AM - 11PM (CT)
Sat-Sun 7AM - 5:30PM (CT)
CSI also has operations in Kansas and Costa Rica. They may use phone numbers, including (636)947-2321 and (636) 395-4009.
While Client Service, Inc. is a real debt collector they do have this warning on their website: "Client Services, Inc. has discovered a fraudulent business that is calling consumers offering mortgage modifications and credit card rate reductions representing themselves as “Client Services.” Please be assured our company does not partake in this business practice and is not affiliated with this company in any way. Client Services, Inc. encourages consumers to report the fraudulent “Client Services” to the proper authorities".
Client Services, Inc. represents many original and third-party creditors. Your credit may show the name of the original creditor or debt buyer. Because CSI does not own the debt, their name does not usually show up on the credit report.
However, there are various reasons that you may not owe the original creditor or the current owner of the debt money. For example, the debt may not belong to you, the statute of limitations expired, or you already paid off the debt.
Step 1 - Validate your debt.
If Client Services, Inc. contacts you to collect a debt - validate it. Once contacted, you have 30 days to validate the debt, so act quickly. The best method is to send a registered letter. Before you proceed with the collection agency, always validate the debt.
According to the law, CSI is obligated to validate the debt. If you don’t receive proper validation, then send a notice of insufficient validations. If the collection agency cannot validate the debt, it has no legal basis to collect it.
>>Learn more: Follow the steps described in the Bills.com debt validation article to preserve your rights under the FDCPA.
Step 2 - Check to see if the Statute of Limitations (SOL) is valid.
State laws set the time that a creditor can sue you and collect on the debt. However, they are complicated and not easy for the layman to understand. In the case that Client Services, Inc. is an agent for an original creditor, in most states, once the SOL expires, it can still pursue a lawsuit. However, if the debt belongs to a third party, then once the SOL expires, it cannot pursue a lawsuit.
Even if you think that the SOL expired, the creditor may have a different opinion on the expiration date and pursue a lawsuit against you. It is always wise to respond to a lawsuit. In the case of an expired SOL, you must answer any summons and claim an affirmative defense.
Even if they don't pursue a lawsuit, the debt collection agency has the right to contact and get you to pay or negotiate a settlement.
>> Learn more: Learn more about states' laws regarding statute of limitations.
Debt collectors often are extremely aggressive in their collection tactics. Client Services, Inc. is strictly regulated by The Fair Debt Collection Practices Act like other debt collection agencies.
Here are some of the actions that they are forbidden to do:
If you believe CSI violated your rights under the FDCPA, consult with a consumer rights attorney in your area. Discuss possibly filing a lawsuit against the collection agency; not only could a lawsuit result in the cancellation of your debt, but you could be awarded damages.
Client Services, Inc. will contact you, hoping to receive full payment. As agents for the debt, they are interested in closing the file as quickly as possible. They claim that
"CSI’s collection solutions offer world-class liquidation and roll-rate results, while at the same time maintaining and promoting a positive consumer experience.
It is possible to do negotiations on your own. However, dealing with an aggressive debt collector, especially with aggressive lawyers, is stressful. It takes a significant amount of time and effort. It is helpful if you convince them that you are in a hardship. Here are three tips: Be calm, clear, and convincing. Be persistent. Send a debt negotiation letter.
If you have a large debt and financial hardship, consider using a professional debt negotiation company. Reputable debt settlement companies have large teams of negotiators, vast databases, and sophisticated tools. They know what range original creditors and collection agencies have accepted for payments in the past. A professional can reach a negotiated settlement with your debt collection agency quickly.
CSI has complaints registered in the BBB and the Consumer Finance Protection Bureau (CFPB) like most collection agencies. The CFPB has complaints about collecting a debt that the consumer didn’t owe, harassment, and impersonating an attorney, law enforcement, or government official. The complaints themselves are not proof of illegal or improper activities, although an excellent source to learn about how consumers perceive the interactions and problems they have with the debt collection agencies.
Here is a couple of example of complaints:
"This company comes up on my phone as XXXX XXXX. I called the number back and asked the name of the business and where they are located. The lady said Client Services , Inc. in XXXX XXXX, MO. They call several times a day from different numbers, but it's most always from area code XXXX, with the exchange of XXXX. As soon as I block one number, they use another one. However, in the past week, they have began to call before 8 am. Repeatedly. I have lived in the state of Texas for over 12 years. I'm in the central time zone. If the caller is unaware of this, they are more than likely trying to collect stale debt. I have received no written communication for a company with the name of XXXX XXXX about any debt owed.".
False statements or representation
"Repeated phone calls from Client Services , Inc. from XXXX XXXX, Mo. Repeatedly call multiple times a day. When I answer to ask them to remove me from their list, they will not answer why they are calling, or will even hang up. The voicemails they leave are vague and leave no details as to debt they're trying to collect. Pair that with I have no debt in collections, this is getting to be a nuissance.".
Although, in some circumstances, CSI has the right to pursue a lawsuit, they cannot make empty threats to sue you when making a collection call. Depending on the events, they, or the debt owner, might start a lawsuit and pursue obtaining a public judgment leading to liens on personal property, wage garnishments, or bank levies.
If a lawsuit is filed against you, consult with a lawyer in your state with consumer law experience. You must file an answer to their summons and complaint or risk losing the lawsuit by default. Ignoring a summons will not make it go away, so take action to respond to the lawsuit.
Client Services, Inc. does not report the delinquent debt to the Consumer Reporting Agencies. It is possible that their name will appear as an inquiry on your credit report. Because they do not purchase debt, should not appear as the owner of any account identified on your credit report.
Most accurate negative tradelines remain on your credit report for seven years from the delinquency date. Bankruptcies remain for ten years, and judgments can remain for even longer if the creditor renews them.
However, you can remove inaccurate data pertaining to the original creditor or a third-party owner of the debt. In that case, it is possible to file a dispute with the Credit Reporting Agencies and have the negative items removed from your credit report.
>> Learn more: Learn how to dispute a credit report.