CII or Commercial Investigations Inc. had called our company and wanted to know if we had any collections that we would want to turn over to them. They said just give them anything to give them a chance. The man we talked to was named Joe Striker. So we did, we turned over to them a company that owed us over $13, 000. So we decided hey what can it hurt. Let this collection agency take a crack at it. If they do a good job, then maybe we can use them. They had it for a couple of weeks, and called to say that they would need to a lawyer and that they would bring litigation up against this company and get it all collected - offered 18% for collection fees. It was going to cost us upfront $3, 800 to get the ball rolling. That was all our upfront costs were going to be!! We thought great, that sounded about right. They had given us a lot of information on this company that owed us money. So we cut them a check and sent it to them - we cut the check 2/26/09. Well, we didn't hear from them for awhile - 2 maybe 3 weeks. I called them because I was getting suspicious and they sent me over to the lawyer's office - talked to Felicia, the attorney's rep there and she said that the lawyer was still reviewing the files. They would call us back when the lawyer was done reviewing everything. Sounded good. Well, about a week later they called and said that they wanted to do a "Fast Track" litigation because they said that company we had turned over to them had over $100, 000 in their bank account, and they wanted to put a freeze on their account so that we could get our money, all said and down we would get $25, 000. They lawyer was requesting an additional $4, 400 to proceed with this. They were saying it had to be done that day, we had to act fast and immediately. Calling every 30 min…..we finally told them "No, we did not have the money." They said that we wouldn't get as much and it was going to take a lot longer to get our money. We said that was fine, we just wanted what was owed to us and it has been this long, we can wait longer. We decided to contact our lawyer and see if they were a legitimate collection agency and if they had actually brought litigation up against that company…..he e-mailed us back and told us not to give them anymore money, they were in fact a collection agency, but warned us not to give them anymore money. He also said that they had not brought litigation up against that company that we had turned over to them. As of Mar 31st they had not brought any litigation against that company. Then about a week to two weeks later, they called and said that the lawyers were requesting an additional $2, 400 or $2, 800, something like that, to continue with the litigation. I told them they needed to call back and talk to the owner. So they did. She said to them that she wanted to know exactly where all the $3, 800 had gone to - she wanted a breakdown and proof of what they had been doing. She also said that she wanted a receipt for the money that she sent to them. She explained to them that she worked for a lawyer and that the $3, 800 was plenty of money to do what they needed to collect the money. He told her he would have his secretary get that to us right away. Well, they called again last night around 5 pm and said that the lawyer is requesting an additional $4, 200. I told them no, and that the owner wanted to speak to them. The owner spoke to them again. She explained that she has never received a receipt and that she has never received a breakdown where all the money has gone to that she has sent them already. He said that he would have to look into that and call her back. She requested his name, he only gave her his first name. When she requested his last name, he hung up on her. She called back later, and requested to talk to someone. The receptionist said that everyone had left for the day. The owner said "No they didn't, it is only 4 pm your time, and I know for a fact that they are still working." The receptionist said that she didn't know anything that she was just a receptionist and that she would leave a note for that person to call her.
I know this is a bit long but it can provide lots of useful information if you are being hassled by Commercial Investigations or any other Collection agency. Be informed, and know what it takes to protect yourself if you have to go that far.
Our personal experience with Commercial Investigations of Van Nuys California is much the like all the complaints found on /link removed/ http://www.complaintsboard.com, and http://800notes.com with regards to CII. If you are having issues with this company you may need to take the following actions and file complaints with the proper organizations.
FILE A COMPLAINT
https://www.ftccomplaintassistant.gov/ File a complaint with the FTC.
http://www.la.bbb.org/Home.aspx File a complaint with the Better Business Bureau in LA.
156 complaints as of 5/9/2009
Then contact your HOME state attorney general's office and file a complaint in their office.
SEE ALSO from the BBB site:
BECOME VERSED ON SOME LAWS
You may also wish to become versed in the Fair Debt Collections Protection Act as well as the Fair Credit Reporting act. Wikipedia has some good links for this.
Some states might have additional requirements such as the agency must be licensed in the state in order to collect. So check your state web site or find an attorney.
CONTACT AN ATTORNEY.
Yellow pages or google would work as well.
CONSIDER A TAP on your line.
ONLY AFTER YOU CHECK THE LAW FOR YOUR LOCATION. Again you might want to consult with an attorney. But Radio Shack sells a phone tap for about 70$
FOR LAUGHS OR to JUST FEEL a bit BETTER:
GOOGLE CAN BE YOUR FRIEND!
See what other sites you can find.
Dealing with Debt Collectors – How to Take Away Their Power
http://www.fivemilliondots.com/archive/2008/12/09/9.aspx This is a great site. Good information!
Commercial Investigations, Inc.
David M. Hynes, President
Gloria Moreno, Ethics Contact
6311 Van Nuys Blvd. Ste. 441
Van Nuys, CA 91401
A simple google of 6311 Van Nuys Blvd. Ste.
Van Nuys Copy Centers in Business Services on Citysearch
6311 Van Nuys Blvd, Van Nuys, CA (Map).
Printing Facilities in Van Nuys, CA on Yahoo! Local
The UPS Store-Shipping and Packaging [protected] Van Nuys Blvd, Van Nuys, ...
OK, a UPS STORE?
Google these terms: ups store locations van nuys
UPS Store The
6311 Van Nuys Blvd, Van Nuys, CA - [protected]
Then for more fun. go to maps.google.com and type in: 6311 Van Nuys Blvd, Van Nuys, Los Angeles, California 91411
You will get:
IF you cut and pasted the above link you might have to click on the link under did you mean? Then click on the street view. GUESS WHAT!!! You see a two story building and it is a UPS STORE.
In my part of the country a suite of 441 would mean that you are on the 4th floor. That is impossible in a two story building.
Have fun! as much as they investigate you, with google or other search engines you can investigate them!
Mysery loves company! However if there is enough of us that Commercial Investigations have stung, then let's band together and get them. Mariah of Commercial Investigations would tell me one thing and then another. This caused my suspicion in the beginning. Telling me that one of my past due clients was bragging on himself for getting over on me. I thought that seemed a bit of a stretch. I think they do this to get an emotional call to action out of us. They were successful in getting 3 of my past due receipts paid which I found out later they also attached a fee to. They are not only collection the 25%, but also a fee they charge to the debtor. I also paid them $750.00 to start litigation on three other cases. They string this litigation deal out like a nice carrot. That's when I was more convinced this might be a scam. Any Lawyer working for $750.00 for any case is not believable, but since they had collected quite a bit I felt I was ahead of the game. Again 2nd con here. They have (Maryanne) repeatedly come up with one excuse after another why they have not paid the money to us. Our clients have paid them plus a fee.They have collected or scammed our past due clients for $10, 000 plus. They also took the money from us to produce what they said would be litigation to chase other accounts.
I have also two former past due clients that will testify against them about the harassment and also paying the extra fee. I will be contacting Greg Askay of the Ventura County DA and also the FBI since Commercial Investigations appears to be working outside from state to state. FBI will be very interested in this case.
The worst part about this is, that I did not want to chase down all my clients. We are in difficult times. However having Commercial Investigations calling us repeatedly helped the situation along. They made up lies about rudeness about our clients behavior to them. I was lucky enough to engage some of my clients with their story about them. I was so surprised to find out that they were hit with other fees.
If anyone else has similar stories we can not only file criminal charges of fraud against the company, which will bring about jail time for employees as well as the owners who actively engage in the criminal behavior. That includes you Mariah! and also you Maryanne! The criminal complaint will also list you both since I did deal with you.
Anyone else who has names of employees from Commercial Investigations save them!