“No voicemail set up, no email address, website, or alternate contact information. Like my grandmother, this business is archaic and stuck in 1955,” reads one of the Google reviews of Action Collectors Incorporated. Who are they and why are they so loathed?
Action Collectors Inc is an internet-shy debt collection agency based in Yakima, Washington. It has no website, no email, no Facebook page, no nothing. It does all its business via phone and snail mail. The LinkedIn page of the company’s president is a blank one with zero activity. It collects delinquent debt on behalf of landlords, dentists, and all sorts of other businesses.
What is Action Collectors?
Action Collectors Inc operates out of Yakima, a city of 96,000 located in the agricultural belt of Washington state, some 140 miles southeast of Seattle. While the Yakima Valley is the hop capital of America, producing 77% of the country’s hops, Action Collectors Inc is not the equivalent for debt collection agencies. The company is fairly small as far as debt collectors go.
What makes it especially reviled is the fact that it’s based in Washington, a state that allows creditors to garnish as much as 25% of your wages after mandatory deductions (social security, medicare, tax withholding, etc).
If you have other deductions like union dues or retirement contributions on your paycheck, they don’t count towards that limit so Action Collectors could end up with an absolutely humongous chunk of your earnings.
Is Action Collectors a scam?
No. Action Collectors is a legitimate debt collection agency. It has an abysmal rating of 1.9 stars on Google, though popularity has never been a perk debt collectors enjoy.
If you read the individual reviews, the people who hire the company to collect their money are overwhelmingly pleased with its services. The people the company takes that money from? Not so much.
As there are more debtors than creditors, the five stars of creditors are dragged down by the one-star ratings of debtors, and Action Collectors ends up with 1.9 stars. By all accounts, the company is very efficient at its jobs. But that job involves squeezing money out of people who would rather not part with it— something that generates a lot of hate.
Who owns Action Collectors?
Action Collectors Inc is owned and run by Cory Huard. The company was founded by Cory’s father, Larry Huard, in 1975. Larry died of cancer in 2011. It was around that time that Cory took over.
Cory Huard has two sisters. It is unknown what stakes they hold or what role they play in the day-to-day running of the business. All legal documents list Cory Huard as the principal agent of Action Collectors Inc.
Can you ignore them?
No. You should never ignore a debt collector, especially Action Collectors. They operate out of Washington, a state that allows creditors to garnish up to 25% of your wages. All that’s required is a court order.
The company will take you to small claims court, obtain a default judgment, and take your money anyway. Ignoring them serves nothing unless you have no job, no money, and never intend to acquire any.
Alternatively, you can move to Texas, North Carolina, South Carolina, or Pennsylvania. They are the only states that expressly forbid creditors from garnishing a debtor’s wages for anything other than child support and taxes.
Garnishment regulations vary from state to state but 25% is the federal limit. Garnishment kicks for any earnings above $217.50 per week after mandatory deductions, so the only way to avoid it is to be painfully poor.
Creditors can also raid your savings account for anything you have there. Laws vary from state to state once again but in Washington, where Action Collectors operates, anything above $500 is fair game.
What kinds of debt does it collect?
Action Collectors money owed on delinquent rents, declined checks, overdue medical bills, and all manner of other debts. Like all debt collection agencies, the company takes a commission on all the money it manages to recover for its clients so by the time your bill gets sent to them, it’s going to cost you a lot more than you owe.
Action Collectors Inc is also notorious for its ruthless tactics. They’ll take you to small claims court for the tiniest of amounts. It reportedly sued a certain C. Haynes in small claims court over a disputed 50-dollar charge on his dentist’s bill.
But in the lawsuit, the debt collection company demanded $350 in damages after tacking on commissions and court fees. Poor Mr. Haynes had to settle the lawsuit for $170 out of court. He has sworn to spit in Cory Huard’s (the company’s owner) direction if he ever sees him.
Action Collectors also loves garnishing wages and has even reportedly gone after spouses, pursuing one woman’s ex-boyfriend over a debt she owed by claiming they had been married.