Investigative journalist uncovers significant additional evidence of “sewer service” by debt buyer ASI

Categories: Attorneys, eNewsletter Story, Homepage, Litigation, News

An independent investigative report in inewsource—a nonprofit news service in San Diego—appears to corroborate and add data to the allegations against debt collector Achievable Solutions, Inc. (ASI) in the suit filed by Bay Area Legal Aid and co-counsel firms Kemnitzer, Barron & Krieg and Bramson, Plutzik, Mahler & Birkhaeuser, LLP.

Jake Harper’s April 6th story, “A California debt collector has sued thousands of people — some of them never knew,” digs into filings in debt collection lawsuits by ASI and discovers the same widespread pattern of suspicious and likely fraudulent actions alleged by BayLegal in the way ASI claims to have served debtors with court summons. Harper’s investigation aligns with our previous research into ASI’s practices in the Bay Area, while expanding the potential scope of the issue by uncovering strong evidence of identical practices in San Diego County.

In case after case, ASI contracted with process servers who claim to have served unidentified John or Jane Does at the residences of defendants, rather than the defendants themselves. In the sample of cases examined by Harper, none of the proofs of service filed with the court are for direct service—all claim to have been delivered to anonymous other residents.

The pervasiveness of ASI’s claims of third-party service are a strong indication that the company is engaged in “sewer service” (deliberately avoiding or falsifying service to defendants in order to  secure default judgments). The evidence of this fraudulent practice grows even more compelling when coupled with process servers’ claims of service only minutes apart to multiple defendants living several cities away from each other; third-party process servers operating under pseudonyms, some of whom may not be real people; and fundamental questions about the evidence ASI cites to claim ownership of some of the debts in question.

We are grateful to Jake Harper for his investigation, and to former BayLegal consumer attorney Kai Haswell (now an attorney with co-counsel Kemnitzer, Barron & Krieg) for her incisive interview comments. We encourage our readers to spend some time with Harper’s full article.

Additional background on BayLegal’s suit against ASI can be found here.