Consumer Debt

At Cedar Financial we understand that having a debt fall into collections can be scary. This is why we use a human-centered-approach, focusing on creating payment solutions that work for both consumers and our clients.

According to a study conducted by the Urban Institute in 2014, “77 million Americans—35 percent of adults with credit files—have debt in collections.”

For such a common problem, there has to be a better way to work with it. Ignoring the debt won’t make it go away, but you can learn how to effectively and responsibly work with debt collectors. For this reason we have compiled a list questions our account managers are frequently asked.

Help for Consumers

Question

Answer

Cedar Financial is not a scam. We are a third party debt collections agency with over sixty years of experience and a longtime member of ACA International.

Unfortunately, there are some agencies that do not follow the FDCPA’s guidelines and hurt the reputation of debt collections agencies that do. We pride ourselves on being professional, courteous, and helpful. If you believe that one of our representatives has acted against the FDCPA, either through contacting you inappropriately or in another way, please let us know immediately.

Cedar Financial is a licensed third party collection agency and member of ACA International. If you have been contacted by one of our representatives, it is because we have received information that potentially links you to a debt we have been charged to collect.

If you believe we are contacting you in error or you would like to stop receiving phone calls, please let us know via our online contact form.

If you have questions or would like to speak about your debt further, you may call us directly at 800-804-3353800-804-3353 on Monday-Friday from 7:00am to 6:00pm PST.

Cameras record the license plates of cars driving in Italy that require a permit and other traffic violations like driving in excess of the speed limit. Italian law prohibits the photography of a person while operating a vehicle. Violators are not pulled over or stopped, and there is no personal contact with an officer. Citations are mailed to the responsible party’s home address. A similar system of automated traffic control cameras are in use in many parts of the U.S.

In Italy, traffic violations follow the car and not the driver. When a rental car is cited, the rental company supplies the most current information, with regard to the responsible party, to the municipality (Article 196 of the Italian Highway Code). The rental car company often charges a processing fee to the renter’s credit card for providing this information to the local authorities. Some people mistake this processing fee as payment for the violation. Car rental companies are prohibited from using a customer’s credit card to pay traffic citations.

Information which clarifies the requirements of U.S. citizens who drive in Italy can be found on this US Embassy website

Sometimes, the debt may be legitimate but you do not recognize it because the company you owe the debt to has gone through a name change or has been acquired by a larger company. In these cases, the debt is still legitimate.

However, if you still believe the debt we have contacted you about is not yours, our representatives can help. If you have questions or would like to dispute your debt, please contact us online or call 800-804-3353800-804-3353 for help. It may help to send us any documentation you have by email or mail.

We seek to help you with your debt and take a step toward having more control of your financial future.

We do not require that you pay off the debt you owe all at once, and we do not want you to pay more than you are able to at any one time.

At your request, one of our representatives can create a reasonable, automated custom payment plan for you. You can also make partial payments to your account online at your convenience here.

If you owe money to a Creditor, it is your responsibility to pay it. There are many negative consequences for choosing not to pay a debt that’s fallen into collections.

Ignoring a debt may impact your credit score, make your debt liable to change hands with different agencies and potentially accrue more interest and fees.

If you refuse to pay your debts long enough, it may leave the Creditor with no other choice than to take legal action, leading to even more costs.

At Cedar Financial, we try to make paying your debt as easy as possible. We offer multiple ways to pay online or via phone at 800-804-3353800-804-3353. If you are in financial trouble and need help managing your payments, give us a call today to speak with a representative about your options.

There are clear laws and regulations on what Debt Collectors are allowed to do and how they are supposed to do this. These laws and regulations are aimed at keeping the impact of a debt to your everyday life as low as possible.

The laws and regulations on what Debt Collectors are allowed to do vary per country, which is why in this section we will answer a number of questions related to laws and regulations that are valid in the United States.

For a number of countries we have answered some questions related to the debt collection process in these countries specifically. The countries in which we have local coverage can be found here

The Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA) says that a debt collector is not allowed to use unfair practices in trying to collect a debt.
For example, a debt collector may not:

  • Try to collect charges in addition to the debt unless they are allowed by the contract or state law
  • Deposit a post-dated check early
  • Contact you by postcard
  • Use any language or symbol on an envelope for correspondence with you (other than its address) that indicates it is a debt collector
  • The FDCPA also prohibits debt collectors from using false, deceptive, or misleading practices. This includes misrepresentations about the debt, including the amount owed. It also includes falsely claiming that the person is an attorney. Other prohibited practices include threats to have you arrested, threats to do things that cannot legally be done, or threats to do things that the debt collector has no intention of doing. A debt collector is also not allowed to harass you. In addition, there are state and other federal laws that generally prohibit practices that might be considered unfair, deceptive, or abusive acts or practices.

If you believe a debt collector is being unfair to you, contact the CFFB, the FTC, or your state’s attorney general

Receiving calls from a collections agency on an old debt can be a confusing and scary process. Depending on how old the debt is and the information that the collections agency provides, you may not recall the debt or the particular amount. Even if you do remember the debt, you may have certain legal rights based on the statute of limitations on debts in your state.

The Statute of Limitations on Debt

Unfortunately, there’s no one hard and fast rule on when a debt can no longer be collected. Depending on where you live, your state will have laws that limit how long a debt can be pursued by collections. These time limits may also vary based on the type of debt.

Most of the time, the statute of limitations falls between three and six years, but in some regions and with some debts, it may be collectable up to 10 years. Under certain circumstances, especially if you pay a portion of your debt, the statute of limitations can restart at that date, extending the period of time where your debt can be collected.

If your debt is still within the statute of limitations

If you have checked with your local and state regulations, and your debt is still collectable within that statute of limitations, you have several options as you proceed.

If your debt is past the statute of limitations

If your debt is outside the time limit, but a debt collector is still pursuing you for payment, you may be wondering about your rights. Except in a handful of states, a debt collector can continue to contact you about payment, but they can no longer sue you for the debt.

Here are a few warning signs that could signal a debt collection scam:

  • The debt collector threatens you with criminal charges. Legitimate debt collectors should not claim that they’ll have you arrested.
  • The debt collector refuses to give you information about your debt or is trying to collect a debt you do not recognize. You have certain rights to ask a debt collector about the debt, including when you don’t believe you owe the debt. Ask for an explanation in writing before you pay.
  • The debt collector refuses to give you a mailing address or phone number.
  • The debt collector asks you for sensitive personal financial information. You should never provide anyone with your personal financial information unless you are sure they’re legitimate.

If you think that a call may be a scam or a fake debt collector:

  • Ask the caller for a name, company, street address, and telephone number. Many states require debt collectors to be licensed. Check the information the caller provides you with your state’s attorney general . Your state regulator may be of assistance if your state licenses debt collectors. If the caller refuses or is unable to provide you with information about the company, or if you can’t verify the information provided, do not give information or money to the caller or company.
  • Do not give the caller personal financial or other sensitive information. Never give out or confirm personal financial or other sensitive information like your bank account, credit card, or Social Security number unless you know the company or person you are talking with is a real debt collector
  • Stop speaking with the caller. If nothing else works and you believe the calls are fraudulent, send a letter demanding that the caller stop contacting you, and keep a copy for your files.
Is Cedar Financial a scam?

Cedar Financial is not a scam. We are a third party debt collections agency with over sixty years of experience and a longtime member of ACA International.

Unfortunately, there are some agencies that do not follow the FDCPA’s guidelines and hurt the reputation of debt collections agencies that do. We pride ourselves on being professional, courteous, and helpful. If you believe that one of our representatives has acted against the FDCPA, either through contacting you inappropriately or in another way, please let us know immediately.

Why is Cedar Financial contacting me?

Cedar Financial is a licensed third party collection agency and member of ACA International. If you have been contacted by one of our representatives, it is because we have received information that potentially links you to a debt we have been charged to collect.

If you believe we are contacting you in error or you would like to stop receiving phone calls, please let us know via our online contact form.

If you have questions or would like to speak about your debt further, you may call us directly at 800-804-3353800-804-3353 on Monday-Friday from 7:00am to 6:00pm PST.

How can I receive a traffic citation in Italy when I wasn’t pulled over by the police?

Cameras record the license plates of cars driving in Italy that require a permit and other traffic violations like driving in excess of the speed limit. Italian law prohibits the photography of a person while operating a vehicle. Violators are not pulled over or stopped, and there is no personal contact with an officer. Citations are mailed to the responsible party’s home address. A similar system of automated traffic control cameras are in use in many parts of the U.S.

In Italy, traffic violations follow the car and not the driver. When a rental car is cited, the rental company supplies the most current information, with regard to the responsible party, to the municipality (Article 196 of the Italian Highway Code). The rental car company often charges a processing fee to the renter’s credit card for providing this information to the local authorities. Some people mistake this processing fee as payment for the violation. Car rental companies are prohibited from using a customer’s credit card to pay traffic citations.

Information which clarifies the requirements of U.S. citizens who drive in Italy can be found on this US Embassy website

I do not recognize this debt as mine. What should I do?

Sometimes, the debt may be legitimate but you do not recognize it because the company you owe the debt to has gone through a name change or has been acquired by a larger company. In these cases, the debt is still legitimate.

However, if you still believe the debt we have contacted you about is not yours, our representatives can help. If you have questions or would like to dispute your debt, please contact us online or call 800-804-3353800-804-3353 for help. It may help to send us any documentation you have by email or mail.

I cannot afford to pay this debt. What can I do?

We seek to help you with your debt and take a step toward having more control of your financial future.

We do not require that you pay off the debt you owe all at once, and we do not want you to pay more than you are able to at any one time.

At your request, one of our representatives can create a reasonable, automated custom payment plan for you. You can also make partial payments to your account online at your convenience here.

Do I have to pay debt collectors?

If you owe money to a Creditor, it is your responsibility to pay it. There are many negative consequences for choosing not to pay a debt that’s fallen into collections.

Ignoring a debt may impact your credit score, make your debt liable to change hands with different agencies and potentially accrue more interest and fees.

If you refuse to pay your debts long enough, it may leave the Creditor with no other choice than to take legal action, leading to even more costs.

At Cedar Financial, we try to make paying your debt as easy as possible. We offer multiple ways to pay online or via phone at 800-804-3353800-804-3353. If you are in financial trouble and need help managing your payments, give us a call today to speak with a representative about your options.

What regulations govern debt collectors?

There are clear laws and regulations on what Debt Collectors are allowed to do and how they are supposed to do this. These laws and regulations are aimed at keeping the impact of a debt to your everyday life as low as possible.

The laws and regulations on what Debt Collectors are allowed to do vary per country, which is why in this section we will answer a number of questions related to laws and regulations that are valid in the United States.

For a number of countries we have answered some questions related to the debt collection process in these countries specifically. The countries in which we have local coverage can be found here

What is the FDCPA?

The Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA) says that a debt collector is not allowed to use unfair practices in trying to collect a debt.
For example, a debt collector may not:

  • Try to collect charges in addition to the debt unless they are allowed by the contract or state law
  • Deposit a post-dated check early
  • Contact you by postcard
  • Use any language or symbol on an envelope for correspondence with you (other than its address) that indicates it is a debt collector
  • The FDCPA also prohibits debt collectors from using false, deceptive, or misleading practices. This includes misrepresentations about the debt, including the amount owed. It also includes falsely claiming that the person is an attorney. Other prohibited practices include threats to have you arrested, threats to do things that cannot legally be done, or threats to do things that the debt collector has no intention of doing. A debt collector is also not allowed to harass you. In addition, there are state and other federal laws that generally prohibit practices that might be considered unfair, deceptive, or abusive acts or practices.

If you believe a debt collector is being unfair to you, contact the CFFB, the FTC, or your state’s attorney general

What is the Statute of Limitations?

Receiving calls from a collections agency on an old debt can be a confusing and scary process. Depending on how old the debt is and the information that the collections agency provides, you may not recall the debt or the particular amount. Even if you do remember the debt, you may have certain legal rights based on the statute of limitations on debts in your state.

The Statute of Limitations on Debt

Unfortunately, there’s no one hard and fast rule on when a debt can no longer be collected. Depending on where you live, your state will have laws that limit how long a debt can be pursued by collections. These time limits may also vary based on the type of debt.

Most of the time, the statute of limitations falls between three and six years, but in some regions and with some debts, it may be collectable up to 10 years. Under certain circumstances, especially if you pay a portion of your debt, the statute of limitations can restart at that date, extending the period of time where your debt can be collected.

If your debt is still within the statute of limitations

If you have checked with your local and state regulations, and your debt is still collectable within that statute of limitations, you have several options as you proceed.

If your debt is past the statute of limitations

If your debt is outside the time limit, but a debt collector is still pursuing you for payment, you may be wondering about your rights. Except in a handful of states, a debt collector can continue to contact you about payment, but they can no longer sue you for the debt.

How do I recognize Debt Collection Scams?

Here are a few warning signs that could signal a debt collection scam:

  • The debt collector threatens you with criminal charges. Legitimate debt collectors should not claim that they’ll have you arrested.
  • The debt collector refuses to give you information about your debt or is trying to collect a debt you do not recognize. You have certain rights to ask a debt collector about the debt, including when you don’t believe you owe the debt. Ask for an explanation in writing before you pay.
  • The debt collector refuses to give you a mailing address or phone number.
  • The debt collector asks you for sensitive personal financial information. You should never provide anyone with your personal financial information unless you are sure they’re legitimate.

If you think that a call may be a scam or a fake debt collector:

  • Ask the caller for a name, company, street address, and telephone number. Many states require debt collectors to be licensed. Check the information the caller provides you with your state’s attorney general . Your state regulator may be of assistance if your state licenses debt collectors. If the caller refuses or is unable to provide you with information about the company, or if you can’t verify the information provided, do not give information or money to the caller or company.
  • Do not give the caller personal financial or other sensitive information. Never give out or confirm personal financial or other sensitive information like your bank account, credit card, or Social Security number unless you know the company or person you are talking with is a real debt collector
  • Stop speaking with the caller. If nothing else works and you believe the calls are fraudulent, send a letter demanding that the caller stop contacting you, and keep a copy for your files.

“I want to thank Oscar and your company for your professionalism. Especially in this industry, it is not something I experience, and you all have been very respectful and understanding throughout this whole process.”

“This is one of the better collection agencies I’ve dealt with. When they first called they were polite but firm. When I called and asked for a statement of my account, I received one promptly. The only thing I don’t like is that they don’t send statements unless you ask for them.”

“Thank you again for all of your kindness and for following up with me. I’m not sure if that’s in your scope of responsibility, but I can tell you that you are one of the nicest debt collectors I’ve ever worked with. I know this isn’t an easy job, and it’s pretty thankless, but you always have a smile in your voice and you really make everything smooth and easy. Other companies in the same industry could really take a page out of CFI’s book.”

“Thanks for your patience, understanding and your ability to NOT be an overzealous bill collector. It really helped.”

Contact Preferences

.
Update Preferences

Consumer Rights

Make sure to know your rights as a consumer in debt.
Read More

Did We Contact You?

Its all about communication

Talk to Us

“I want to thank Oscar and your company for your professionalism. Especially in this industry, it is not something I experience, and you all have been very respectful and understanding throughout this whole process.”

“This is one of the better collection agencies I’ve dealt with. When they first called they were polite but firm. When I called and asked for a statement of my account, I received one promptly. The only thing I don’t like is that they don’t send statements unless you ask for them.”

“Thank you again for all of your kindness and for following up with me. I’m not sure if that’s in your scope of responsibility, but I can tell you that you are one of the nicest debt collectors I’ve ever worked with. I know this isn’t an easy job, and it’s pretty thankless, but you always have a smile in your voice and you really make everything smooth and easy. Other companies in the same industry could really take a page out of CFI’s book.”

“Thanks for your patience, understanding and your ability to NOT be an overzealous bill collector. It really helped.”

Contact Preferences

.
Update Preferences

Consumer Rights

Make sure to know your rights as a consumer in debt.
Read More

Did We Contact You?

Its all about communication

Talk to Us