Please excuse this question if I've overlooked obvious options, but I'm not an American citizen and I live outside of the USA, so I'm not familiar with American legal system, or agencies who might be of assistance.
I hired a debt collection agency based in New York to collect a debt owed to me (just over $2k) by an American citizen in California in January 2017. Initially they seemed professional enough but I noticed at first I never received statements – the only way I received updates on the status of the account was if I phoned them or emailed them to request a statement. However, they were slowly recovering the money so I didn't think too much of it.
The last time I called them was in June 2018 and was told around $230 was still outstanding. A little while later the debtor contacted me privately to let me know he had the funds. I'm not sure if he settled the account with them or wanted to pay me privately – I ignored his mail because the debt collectors told me not to communicate privately with him.
However, as of the last two months the agency are not responding to my emails or voice mails. Their website's domain is expired, there are 8 complaints against them at the Better Business Bureau about them not paying their clients back. There are also two google reviews and comments on their Facebook page where former clients complain about exactly what I'm experiencing right now – being ignored after their debts were settled and not receiving their money back.
It's starting to look like this agency may be scamming people.
- Are there any law enforcement agencies or government bodies in the USA I could contact to report them to? If nothing else, these people need to be stopped – debt collectors who behave in such a way that they themselves need to be reported to debt collectors, aren't very useful.
- Is there any way for me to recover my money? One of the people who commented on their Facebook page mentioned starting a class action law suit: Would it be possible for me to join this given my location and citizenship status?