Harassed by Alternative Recovery Management?

Letter to Debt Collector

From time to time, I will call out specific companies for particularly aggressive or illegal collection activities.  In the past, I have written about Navy Federal Credit Union and Bank of America.  Today’s target is a local collection agency called Alternative Recovery Management (“ARM”).

ARM is a collection agency located in La Mesa, CA.  Although ARM has an “A” rating with the Better Business Bureau, my recent experience indicates that this rating is undeserved.  ARM seems to specialize in collecting delinquent dues for homeowners associations.

A client recently came to me that was struggling with an overdue HOA bill from a property that they had lost to their bank via foreclosure.  The client shared a voice mail message with me that included a threat from ARM to call my client’s supervisor at work.  That threat was illegal under both federal and California laws prohibiting unfair debt collection practices.

Rather that sue ARM and the homeowners association, my client wanted to offer a settlement.  After waiting to hear from ARM for nearly 60 days, it appeared as if we had a fair settlement worked out.  The problem was that ARM then refused to provide any written documentation that the HOA board of directors had accepted the offer.  ARM also refused to provided any documentation that they were even authorized to collect on behalf of the HOA.  ARM even refused to say how my client should make out the settlement check.

At one point in time, ARM even admitted that they had recorded phone calls with me and my staff without consent.  California is a “two-party consent” state with respect to recording phone calls.  This type of activity is punishable by jail time and fine of up to $5000.  ARM declined my offer to settle and faces possible litigation now.

If you are in Southern California and Alternative Recovery Management has harassed you over an unpaid bill, I would love to hear from you.  Please call me at (619) 448-2129 for a free consultation.

Image credit:  Jacques

Carl Starrett

Carl Starrett is a consumer bankruptcy attorney in San Diego, California helping debtors file for protection under Chapter 13 and Chapter 7 of the Bankruptcy Code.

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  • Kate82480

    I have dealt with this company! They were so rude. I literally got phone calls constantly from one man. I had a dentist bill that I wasn’t able to finish paying off. I owed $600 more and had recently lost my job. I told him this and as I was still explaining he started saying “blah blah blah, I’ve heard it all before. What other sob stories do you have for me princess?” I immediately hung up and refused to answer his calls anymore. I literally felt like the girl from “Confessions of a Shopoholic”! When I did finally find a new job, he threatened to contact my employer. I was terrified of the embarrassment I thought I would eventually have to face at my job. The call eventually stopped and I have had to claim bankruptcy since then. The collection still shows as open on my credit 1 year since my bankruptcy was discharged and I can’t get ahold of anyone to close it!

  • Steve Gospe

    These bastards are harassing a older neighbor of mine. These guys suck. I tried to call them, first, then was “disconnected.” I called back, but they had a young man answer that told me I was a”third party” and that he couldn’t talk to me. I told him…”are you sure? You are being a fool and short sided, I’m only asking you to stop harassing my friend-and then I’ll leave. I can’t talk to you, you are a third party…”
    Would love to meet the owners of this fucking company. What bastards. Shame on you guys. Would love an o
    pportunity to see them shut down.

  • fogAM

    Same here. 133.00 dental bill (that I was disputing w/ dentist- Dr. Roman- by the way). Called my employer every day- asking for my bosses name, what I did for my company and my title. Then demanding my employer give them personal info. Then they called my land lady- same thing; asking personal information of me- very personal- telling them I was being sued and going to jail- and was beyond- verbally abusive to the point my landlady cried. Then called an ex- family member (by marriage- they must have googled) who is out of state- same story- verbally abusive, threatening and asking and telling of my personal information. Call stalking daily even after informing them they cant call my employer, I am taking action. I gave up disputing the dentist and paid bill so they would leave me alone and yet, they would not put it in writing to clear crediting report and it is still on my credit report. They are nasty and not legal.