Debt Collector Picked Wrong Lou Correa to Mess With

Categories: Politics
One Lou Correa
The many, many, many laws cranked out of Sacramento every year usually come from constituents (one hopes), lobbyists (more likely) and the winds of change blowing off the Delta (likeliest of all).

However, there are instances where a legislator's own experiences shape legislation. Take the case of Sears, its collection agency and two Orange Countians named Lou Correa.

On May 20, the Office of Senate Benefits received a court order to garnish the wages of state Sen. Lou Correa (D-Anaheim) to pay off a $4,000 debt. No, the veteran politico had not bet on the ponies, ordered too many pay-per-views or reimbursed fellow Democrat Anthony Weiner for shared lube--or, at least Correa did not incur a debt doing those things.

As Capitol Weekly reports, a completely different Luis Correa had wracked up $4,000 in charges at Sears. The department store's billing department handed the original debt off to LVNV Funding LLC, a debt-collection clearinghouse, which in turn hired the Brachfield Law Group--with offices in El Segundo, Houston and Columbus, Ohio--to collect the actual debt.

Mark Leno
Brachfield sent batches of letters to Luis Correa that went unanswered. So, the company apparently decided to stick it to Lou Correa instead. The senator sent batches of letters to Sears and Brachfield explaining they got the wrong deadbeat. Those letters went unanswered, too.

Then came the order to garnish Correa the senator's wages. Needless to say, he did not take the news well. After sharing his horror story with his Senate seat mate Mark Leno, the San Francisco Democrat drafted consumer protection legislation aimed at helping those in the same predicament as Correa. "The Fair Debt Buyers Act," as Leno's SB 890 is known, would put the burden of proof on debt collectors to prove they're going after the right people.

A two-year bill, it is not expected to be dealt with until January, as the Senate is more preoccupied currently with the budget. Once that's settled, Correa plans to hold hearings in his district to see if others have been unjustifiably strong-armed by debt collectors. The issue has also likely put the operations of Brachfield under an unflattering--and unwelcome--new light.

Has anyone out there in Navel Gazing Land experienced anything like Correa has? Do share in the comments below.

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The industry is already well regulated and if people have an issue, the numerous consumer protection acts provide plenty of protection for them.  The court costs to defend these types of actions is an enormous drain on businesses, taxpayers, and the general public.  There is no industry that is 100% perfect and there will always be rogue organizations and mistakes made by even the most compliant organizations.   I agree that businesses need to be honest and fair.  However, I have seen more dishonest actions taken by unscrupulous plaintiff attorneys, overzealous regulatory agencies and attorney generals, the media, and our policticians that seize every moment to not waste some sort of catastrophe..........and the general public buys it hook, line, and sinker.  The only one's benefitting from this type of stuff are attorneys and politicians and I cant stand either of them.  Wake up America!

OC Resident
OC Resident

This happened to me with progressive insurance debt collector. I bought a car and a week later i was hit with a $3,200 bill for a car collision that was caused by the previous owner. After about a week of contesting the bill and no response i threatened to file a claim with the CA Insurance Commissioner and they closed the case.


"A debt collection business with Ventura County ties has been stripped of its license by the state of Minnesota.

The Minnesota Department of Commerce ordered the business to cease and desist collection activity after accusing it of illegally using false and misleading representations and threatening legal action to collect debts."


The debt collection industry in California was deregulated in 1992, no longer requiring they be licensed and regulated through the state Department of Consumer Affairs, which can hold them accountable.  Since then, numerous unethical companies have abused debtors, innocent victins with similar names like in this story and some even scam their own clients the creditor where they make the real money, frequently without a service or return being provided.  One was in the news recently on KCAL 9.  The companies Forensic Case management Services, is also AKA Rumson Bolling & Associates, Joseph Stevens & Associates and Commercial Investigations Inc.  They have over 600 complaints in the last couple of years, not to mention the hundreds or thousands of silent victims, and the Los Angeles DA will do nothing with the Van Nuys based company(ies) or the owner.  The California Attorney General will not get involved and neither with the FTC.  They are good at creating bogus pages with bogus supporting satisfied customer comments.  Check out the Better Business Bureau, RipOff and other pages.

Here's the CBS news article, the video was taken down.

Howard be my name
Howard be my name

Lots of people like to complain about California being business-unfriendly, but the simple fact is that California has laws like the one Leno is proposing to protect our citizens from unscrupulous business practices like this. If businesses want less regulation, they need to be honest and fair. If they aren't, they'll get more consumer protection laws. I'm glad I live in California.


WRONG !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!   I can barrage this list with literally hundreds of examples of victims, both debtor and creditor that have been screwed from just one company ....and nothing has been done at the local, state or federal level after numerous extensive and legitimate complaints..


You're welcome.  I would like to see the industry regulated again.  These companies generally speaking, hire people with questionable backgrounds, yet these same questionable people have access to information databases that provide date of birth and social security number information for identification purposes....SCARY!!!

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