Turtle Creek Assets is a Texas corporation. According to court documents, Aaron’s is a specialty retailer who “markets its goods and services primarily to sub-prime customers by offering high-interest financing or payment options. However, those payment plans often result in consumer default.”
Aaron’s sells its delinquent consumer paper to Turtle Creek Assets at a fraction of its face value. After Turtle Creek Assets purchases consumer paper from Aaron’s, Turtle Creek Assets seeks to enforce the consumer paper itself or repackage the consumer paper by region and sell it. As of November 2015, Turtle Creek Assets had purchased over $835 Million in consumer paper from Aaron’s.
What is Turtle Creek Assets?
According to court documents, Turtle Creek Assets is “a privately-owned Dallas-based company in the business of purchasing large amounts of delinquent consumer paper from banks, credit card companies, and consumer finance companies. As part of its business model, Turtle Creek enters into contracts with large portfolio debt-sellers, re-packages the purchased consumer paper by state or region, and then either seeks to enforce the consumer paper itself, or sells the re-packaged consumer paper to downstream buyers by region for a margin. Turtle Creek has bought and sold several billions-of-dollars of paper through years.”
Court documents further reveal, “In early 2010, Turtle Creek approached Aaron’s about purchasing its consumer paper that it had charged-off as uncollectible. After months of negotiations, Turtle Creek agreed to purchase a large bulk file of Aaron’s consumer paper. Once Turtle Creek purchased a large bulk file of Aaron’s consumer paper, it re-packaged it by region and sold it to downstream buyers across the country for a margin. Over the course of the next two years, Turtle Creek continued to buy Aaron’s consumer paper and sell it to downstream buyers.” Additionally, the court file revels, from June 15, 2012 to February 15, 2013, “Aaron’s agreed to sell approximately $11-13 Million of its Accounts to Turtle Creek…in exchange for Turtle Creek paying Aaron’s 1.50% of the Accounts’ face value.”
As of April 2019, Turtle Creeks’ website contains the following disclosures: “Please note that this communication is from a debt collector and this is an attempt to collect a debt. Any information obtained will be used for that purpose” and “At www.forwardproperties.net, you can find the same important information as on your customer letter, such as the original creditor, seller, merchant, account balance, account offers, and more.”
Turtle Creek Assets Threatening Letter
In the Spring of 2019, Turtle Creek Assets started sending letters to hundreds, if not thousands, of consumers regarding debts owed to Aaron’s.
- The letters pertain to consumer debt incurred for personal, family or household purposes, and not for business purposes.
- The letters do not contain the amount of the debt.
- The letters do not contain the disclosure that unless the consumer, within thirty days after receipt of the notice, disputes the validity of the debt, or any portion thereof, the debt will be assumed to be valid by the debt collector.
- The letters do not contain the disclosure that if the consumer notifies the debt collector in writing within the thirty-day period that the debt, or any portion thereof, is disputed, the debt collector will obtain verification of the debt or a copy of a judgment against the consumer and a copy of such verification or judgment will be mailed to the consumer by the debt collector.
- The letters do not contain the disclosure that, upon the consumer’s written request within the thirty-day period, the debt collector will provide the consumer with the name and address of the original creditor, if different from the current creditor.
- The letters contain the following deceptive statement: “If you are unable to return the below mentioned merchandise, please call the following number within (forty-eight) 48 hours of the receipt of this letter TO AVOID CRIMINAL CHARGES BEING FILED (refer to backside): 1-888-399-1701.”
- The letters represent that the consumer could be sentenced to imprisonment.
- The telephone number 888-399-1701 in the letters is one of Turtle Creeks telephone numbers.
Based on our experience, and our clients’ experiences, when Turtle Creek Assets receives a call placed to 888-399-1701, their representatives answer the call and attempt to collect the alleged debt. Our clients have told us that Turtle Creek has no interest in the return of any property it may be entitled to repossess. Also, although the letters state it, our belies is Turtle Creek cannot file criminal charges against Plaintiff. According to Nolo.com, a “criminal case usually gets started with a police arrest report. The prosecutor then decides what criminal charges to file, if any. Some cases go to a preliminary hearing, where a judge decides if there is enough evidence to proceed. Cases can also start when a grand jury issues a criminal indictment.” At best, Turtle Creek Assets can request for a district attorney to pursue criminal charges against Plaintiff.
Turtle Creek Assets Complaints
One of our clients received a letter like the one described above. Fearful of criminal action, our client paid off the debt. Interestingly, the payment was made to Michael J. Goldstein, Financial Claims Division, Mediation Services, Ltd. Although it appears Mediation Services accepted the payment, our client received a letter from Doug Engle, Special Services, Turtle Creek Assets, Ltd., Forward Properties International, Inc. The settlement letter from Turtle Creek Assets said the following: “In consideration of the conclusion of satisfactory arrangements for Daniel, the debts regarding Aarons account numbers C1134-14082 (Sony PS4) and C1134-14078 (55” Samsung TV) both leased on February 14, 2015, which were charged off to Turtle Creek Assets, with outstanding balances of $596.62 and $2743.79, respectively, have been released and discharged as settled in full via a third party agency (Mediation Services) for $1500.00 which was paid in installments between October 12, 2018 and January 31, 2019. Thank you for your business! Should there be any questions, please do not hesitate to email me or call my direct line at 800-337-6587.
Someone recently contacted our office with a similar story about Turtle Creek Assets. This consumer shared the following with us: “I got a letter i had to sign for with the postman. I opened it up and it says it’s about an account from a long time ago. It gave me the date 12-15-2015. Says i have to return items i do not even have back to the store and it gave me an aarons location that is not even there anymore. Has not been there for years if i’m not mistaken, so if i had the items they claim i have do they really want me to send it back to a store that is not even an Aarons anymore? lol. When i called the number it provided they did ask for money right away. 900 something dollars. Do not remember the exact amount. I gave them a card number that doesn’t even work to get them off my back. I had to set up a payment plan cause they want it right away or had to do 3 payments. The letter did say that if i did not respond to it then i would get arrested and could face up to 2 years in jail. They do get annoying these scammers. This is however, the first time i got something like this from these people. I did have Aarons at one time with my ex-wife a long time ago, but the items they have on their i have no idea what they are. Just want to make sure i really not going to get arrested, but from what I’ve seen online that there are many others who have gotten the same type of letter and phone calls. Oh i do want to add that the address provided doesn’t even have that company’s name there. When i look up Turtle Creek Assets on google it gives me a different address that is not on the letter that was sent to me. Also the letter says TCA Rentals not turtle Creek.”
One of our other clients almost fell victim to Turtle Creek’s aggressive collection tactics and threats of jail time. Turtle Creek called our client in March of 2019, and threatened our client that she would go to jail if our client didn’t pay $400 on an Aaron’s debt. Around the same, Turtle Creek called our client’s father-law-and made the same threat to him. In other words, Turtle Creek told our client’s father-in-law his daughter-in-law would go to jail unless the debt was paid. Fortunately, our client found Agruss Law Firm. We stopped the harassment and sued Turtle Creek for violating the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act.
If Turtle Creek Assets sent you a letter, called you, and harassed you over a debt, contact us to learn about your rights. We have won over 5000 consumer rights cases and we can help you too.