Cavalry Portfolio Services is a junk debt buyer that files a lot of debt collection lawsuits here in Arizona. Often times they file the lawsuit under names such as Cavalry SPV. On March 30, 2015 the Arizona Department of Financial Institutions assessed a $175,000 fine against Cavalry after an investigation into Cavalry’s debt collection practices.
As a part of the investigation the Department reviewed over sixty (60) consumer complaints that had been filed against Cavalry by consumers both within and outside of Arizona between the years 2007 through 2013. The specific findings against Cavalry Portfolio Services were that Cavalry had made a practice of not responding to consumer requests for proof or evidence of a debt even though they had already reported the debt on the consumer’s credit report.
Cavalry continued its non-responsive ways by failing to respond in a timely manner to the requests issued by the Department to Cavalry. Further, after the Department pointed out Cavalry’s problems Cavalry Portfolio Service’s solution was to simply stop the collection process but still failed to respond to the consumer’s request for proof of the debt.
Cavalry Portfolio Services agreed to pay a $175,000 assessment and to institute new policies and approach when it came to responding to consumers concerns and request for proof of the debt.
On its face it would be encouraging that the state stepped in and Cavalry has committed to changing its ways. However, the problem is that Arizona and Cavalry have gone down this road before.
Cavalry Portfolio Services Fined by Arizona in 2008
Seven (7) years ago Cavalry Portfolio Services found itself in a similar situation – almost the exact same situation. In 2008 the Department investigated Cavalry and found that Cavalry was not conducting its own investigation into claims of identity theft or when a consumer disputed a debt. Instead, Cavalry would continue to assert that the debt was legitimate and continued to contact consumers without conducting any investigation into the claims and/or disputes of the consumer.
The Department assessed a $15,000 fine against Cavalry and ordered it to put policies in place that would ensure that future violations didn’t occur.
Based upon these two interactions with the state of Arizona it seems Cavalry Portfolio Services has a problem with responding to the requests and concerns of the consumers that it is attempting to collect from.
It should be no surprise that Cavalry went back to its old ways after the 2008 Order – the penalty was $15,000! Who was Arizona kidding? This is a company that files thousands of debt collection lawsuits every year here in Arizona and makes a killing through wage garnishment and bank levies. I’m sure Cavalry Portfolio recovers more than $15,000 before most people are even out of bed here in Arizona.
A $15,000 fine for a company the size of Cavalry is a joke. Frankly, a $175,000 fine like the one assessed a couple of months ago will likely do little in deterring the prior bad behavior of Cavalry. This is a company that receives millions of dollars in annual revenues. These fines are nothing more than a slap on the wrist. It wouldn’t surprise me to hear that Cavalry views these as nothing more than a cost of doing business.
To me, and to those currently fighting cases against Cavalry, the true benefit of these actions by the state against Cavalry is the Consent Orders that were issued by the Arizona Department of Financial Institutions. These documents outline what laws Arizona found Cavalry to be in violation of and what standards Cavalry committed to adhering to. These can be used in your court case as the standard to which the court should hold Cavalry Portfolio Services too.
You can download the 2015 Consent Order against Cavalry Portfolio Services HERE.
You can download the 2008 Consent Order against Cavalry Portfolio Services HERE.
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John Skiba, Esq.
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