Chaplain Financial Services

Consumer complaint patterns found in a recent investigation by Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) detail an ongoing problem with Chaplain Financial Services. In some instances, the pattern identified involves repeated collection complaints. Consumer plaintiffs accuse Chaplain Financial Services of calling them repeatedly to collect on past debts.

When contacted by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB), Chaplain denied making any calls. The company also demanded that they pay the debt on the phone immediately following the call.

In other cases of consumer complaint, consumers have been instructed to contact the company’s attorney directly. Some complainants have asked for legal advice after being harassed by the debt collection firm. Even when the consumer has spoken with a lawyer, the CFPB found that the attorneys did not have the appropriate expertise or training to adequately advise or represent a client.

For instance, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau received a complaint about the company’s use of an attorney who represented itself as the lawyer of record for Chaplain Financial Services. The CFPB investigated the attorney’s qualifications and found that he failed to disclose that he did not have the appropriate licensing.

The CFPB further investigated several instances of improper collection of settlement payments by Chaplain. Consumer complaint investigations uncovered instances in which the debt collection firm threatened to seize a client’s vehicle if the client did not pay on a debt. This threat led to physical damage to a client’s vehicle.

According to the CFPB, this type of collection activity is unlawful under federal law. The attorney then attempted to avoid returning the clients’ car.

Despite Chaplain’s attempts to resolve these disputes through the courts, the CFPB found that the company continued to engage in questionable practices. These practices included:

When contacted, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau found that several members of the legal team working for Chaplain were not licensed to practice law. These professionals were unlicensed and did not have the proper training and experience to defend their clients. The agency has issued a notice of violation to the company. If the company does not respond to the notice of violation in a timely manner, the agency has the right to file suit against Chaplain.

The CFPB has also issued an investigation letter to the attorney general of Florida and the state attorney generals offices investigating the company’s collections practices. The agency is seeking information from the attorney general about the attorney’s knowledge regarding the complaints filed by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.

The company has not resolved the problems with the attorney general’s office. In fact, the state attorney general’s office is conducting an investigation into the matter. The attorney general’s office informed the company that the state attorney general will determine if the company was in compliance with the law. if the investigation is not resolved by the end of the year.

The Federal Trade Commission also has an investigation ongoing. In this investigation, the FTC is attempting to determine whether the company is in compliance with the rules, regulations, and laws governing collection practices. In addition to seeking answers to questions about the attorney’s qualifications, the FTC is seeking information about other complaints from consumers and the circumstances surrounding those complaints. In addition to the investigations into the attorney’s qualifications, the FTC is conducting an investigation concerning the use of collection agents to collect debt settlement payments.

In response to the Federal Trade Commission’s requests for information, the company has provided information to the Department of Justice about its collections practices. In fact, the company has produced over a dozen collection letters addressed to the attorney general of Florida and the state attorney generals offices. The letters contain false claims about the clients’ ability to repay their debts and are designed to scare the attorneys away from representing the consumers.

Chaplain is not the only company to receive complaints from the FTC. In September 2020, the Office of Thrift Supervision received over one hundred complaints against several other financial companies, including Equifax and Experian. While some of the complaints were legitimate complaints, many involved abusive practices that have caused financial harm to consumers.

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