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Merchants & Professional Credit Bureau Inc

Phone: (512) 346-4305 Fax: (512) 343-4864 View Additional Phone Numbers 5508 Parkcrest Dr Ste 210, Austin, TX 78731 http://www.mpbcredit.com


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BBB Accreditation

A BBB Accredited Business since

BBB has determined that Merchants & Professional Credit Bureau Inc meets BBB accreditation standards, which include a commitment to make a good faith effort to resolve any consumer complaints. BBB Accredited Businesses pay a fee for accreditation review/monitoring and for support of BBB services to the public.

BBB accreditation does not mean that the business' products or services have been evaluated or endorsed by BBB, or that BBB has made a determination as to the business' product quality or competency in performing services.


Reason for Rating

BBB rating is based on 13 factors. Get the details about the factors considered.

Factors that raised the rating for Merchants & Professional Credit Bureau Inc include:

  • Length of time business has been operating
  • Response to 18 complaint(s) filed against business
  • Resolution of complaint(s) filed against business


Customer Complaints Summary Read complaint details

18 complaints closed with BBB in last 3 years | 8 closed in last 12 months
Complaint Type Total Closed Complaints
Advertising/Sales Issues 0
Billing/Collection Issues 17
Delivery Issues 0
Guarantee/Warranty Issues 0
Problems with Product/Service 1
Total Closed Complaints 18

Customer Reviews Summary Read customer reviews

1 Customer Review on Merchants & Professional Credit Bureau Inc
Customer Experience Total Customer Reviews
Positive Experience 0
Neutral Experience 1
Negative Experience 0
Total Customer Reviews 1

Additional Information

BBB file opened: January 01, 1970 Business started: 07/01/1965 in TX Business started locally: 07/01/1965 Business incorporated 04/16/1992 in TX
Type of Entity

Corporation

Business Management
Mr. Boyce Hornburg, President Ms. Pam Winslett, Vice President
Contact Information
Principal: Mr. Boyce Hornburg, President
Customer Contact: Ms. Pam Winslett, Vice President
Business Category

Credit Reporting Agencies Billing Service Collection Agencies

Alternate Business Names
Merchants and Professional Bureau Inc MPB MPB Credit Bureau MPB Medical Billing

Customer Review Rating plus BBB Rating Summary

Merchants & Professional Credit Bureau Inc has received 0 out of 5 stars based on 0 Customer Reviews and a BBB Rating of A.

BBB Customer Review Rating plus BBB Rating Overview

Additional Locations

  • 5508 Parkcrest Dr Ste 210

    Austin, TX 78731 (512) 346-4305 (800) 550-7902

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BBB Customer Review Rating plus BBB Rating Overview


BBB Customer Reviews Rating represents the customers opinions of the business. The Customer Review Rating is based on the number of positive, neutral and negative customer reviews posted that are calculated to produce a score.

Customer Review Experience Value
Positive Review 5 points per review
Neutral Review 3 points per review
Negative Review 1 point per review

BBB letter grades represent the BBB's opinion of the business. The BBB grade is based on BBB file information about the business. In some cases, a business' grade may be lowered if the BBB does not have sufficient information about the business despite BBB requests for that information from the business.
Details

BBB Letter Grade Scale

BBB Rating Value
A+ 5
A 4.66
A- 4.33
B+ 4
B 3.66
B- 3.33
C+ 3
C 2.66
C- 2.33
D+ 2
D 1.66
D- 1.33
F 1
NR -----
Star Rating scale

  Average Score
5 stars 5.00
4.5 stars 4.50-4.99
4 stars 4.00-4.49
3.5 stars 3.50-3.99
3 stars 3.00-3.49
2.5 stars 2.50-2.99
2 stars 2.00-2.49
1.5 stars 1.50-1.99
1 star 0-1.49

BBB Customer Review Rating plus BBB Rating is not a guarantee of a business' reliability or performance, and BBB recommends that consumers consider a business' BBB Rating and Customer Review Rating in addition to all other available information about the business. If the BBB Rating is NR then only Customer Reviews are used for the Star Rating.

Complaint Detail(s)

7/9/2016 Problems with Product/Service | Read Complaint Details
X

Additional Notes

Complaint: Merchants called me in order to settle a collection account that was referred to them from my medical provider. When they called, they refer to themselves as a CREDIT BUREAU. As far as I know there are only 4 national credit bureaus (Transunion, Experian, Innovis and Equifax). When I questioned them about who they really are, they insisted that they are a credit bureau when in fact they are a credit collection agency. Their name is misleading and so is their representation to people they speak to. They try to intimidate me even when I kept questioning them. I believe they are fraudulently mis-representing themselves to the public in order to get clients to pay their debt.

Desired Settlement: 1. for the company to stop representing as a CREDIT BUREAU and identify as a CREDIT Collection agency and to follow a collection agency regulation. 2. To remove an item they furnished to the CREDIT BUREAU even though I disputed it in writing to them and to the credit bureaus.

Business Response:

BBB- Case ID #********  ****** ********  account #*******

 

Ms. ******** is correct in that there are only four national credit bureaus. But, there are many local “credit bureaus” across the United States. Merchants and Professional Bureau, Inc. has been in business since July 1965. We have been providing credit reports to our clients since 1973. In 1974, after meeting strict requirements by the then Associated Credit Bureaus, Inc. (now Consumer Data Industry Association) we were confirmed as a “credit bureau”. It was at this time we added “Credit Bureau” to our name and registered it as an assumed name. We re-registered the assumed name of “Merchants & Professional Credit Bureau, Inc.” in 2009. Our credit reporting division is separate from our collection division and yes, we are still providing credit reports to our clients.

 

We are not “mis-representing” ourselves to Ms. ******** nor did our representative try to “intimidate” her during the phone call. I have reviewed the recorded phone call and found our representative was professional and polite giving her instructions on disputing her account.

 

Ms. ******** did mail a written dispute of her account to us. As required by law, after obtaining proper validation from our client we mailed the paperwork to her. Under FCRA guidelines, we are reporting the account to the national credit bureaus as a “disputed, unpaid collection item”.

 

Regards,

 

*** ********

Executive Vice President

Tell us why here...

Consumer Response:

Complaint: ********

I am rejecting this response because: 

For the purposes of your call to me, you were not representing a credit bureau. You should have clearly stated you are a Collections agency. A collection agency and a Data furnisher are two very distinct functions that can not be combined. The representation on the phone was abbrasive to me and when I questioned their function, a clarification was not provided. They used their function as a credit bureau to try and scare me into paying the debt, which I am still disputing with the medical facility as well. The representation as a Collection Agency should be clear to the people you are trying to collect a debt from. It seems very confusing and a conflict of interest to have a Collection agency also serve as a Credit Report provider (which is what they are) which is supposed to be objective.

Regards,

****** ********

Business Response:

Our first verbal communication with Ms. ******** was when she called our office after receiving our first notice. The first thing Ms. ******** heard was a recorded message that states “a part of our business is debt collections and any information obtained may be used for that purpose”. Also, our notice states “this is an attempt to collect a debt”.

 

We did not try to mislead her in any way. Our notice also states the debt may be reported to the credit file.

 

During her initial call to us, she stated she was disputing the debt. Our representative told her to put her dispute in writing and mail it to the address on the notice. She did mail in a written dispute and as required by law we forwarded her letter to our client requesting validation of the debt. Our client sent us the proper validation and we mailed that to Ms. ********. After waiting a period of time for her to receive it in the mail our representative placed a call to Ms. ********. When she answered the phone and confirmed her identity, our representative stated “This is an attempt to collect a debt.”

 

When making our calls we do give our name as Merchants and Professional Credit Bureau, Inc. This is a legal name for our company.

 

Ms. ********’s statement that “a collection agency and a Data furnisher are two very distinct functions that can not be combined” doesn’t make sense to me.  We are definitely allowed to both collect on accounts and report them to the national credit bureaus.   

 

We have reported her account as a “disputed” item as required by law.  As of today, July 5, 2016, our client still shows her to be responsible for the outstanding balance.

 

Our two divisions are not in any way a “conflict of interest”.

 

However, we feel Ms. ******** will not be paying this amount to our client because of her dispute with their processing of her claim. Due to the unresolved billing issue we are cancelling and returning the account to our client. Ms. ******** will need to work directly with them and her insurance company if she wishes to clear this matter.

 

We have notified the national credit bureaus to remove our reporting of this account.

 

Consumer Response: Better Business Bureau:

I have reviewed the response made by the business in reference to complaint ID ********, and find that this resolution is satisfactory to me.

Regards,

****** ********

7/6/2016 Billing/Collection Issues | Read Complaint Details
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Additional Notes

Complaint: This company, has removed a collection that is appearing on my credit bureaus in 2013. Now, as of June 2016 they have started reporting again. As far as I know that is against any laws for collection practices. It's appearing I owe for a "Pedernales Electric Company" when I googled this information it is out of the Central Texas area. I have never, ever had business or services with a Pedernales Electric Company, ever. This needs to be removed, AGAIN, from my credit bureau. I have good credit so this is extremely frustrating as it is costing me 20+ points.

Desired Settlement: This needs to be %100 removed from my credit bureaus for a 2nd time. I've never had business with this Pedernales and it has been removed from my credit in 2013 now they have started reporting, again. That is unlawful.

Business Response:

We received an email notification through our website from Ms. ****** on June 29th informing us of this situation. I investigated and discovered the account should not be on her credit file. Apparently, when we sent in our full monthly file for June to the repositories the account was place on her file instead of the correct party’s.

 

That same day, June 29th, we completed a “universal data form” online and submitted it to the three major credit bureaus instructing them to delete this account from Ms. ******’s credit file. Even though this is the fastest way to handle the deletion it will take 5 to 7 business days before the process is completed on their end.

 

If Ms. ****** has any questions I can be reached at ************ Monday through Friday 7:45 to 4:30.

 

*** ********

Tell us why here...

Consumer Response: Better Business Bureau:

I have reviewed the response made by the business in reference to complaint ID ********, and find that this resolution is satisfactory to me.

Regards,

******* ******

5/5/2016 Billing/Collection Issues | Read Complaint Details
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Additional Notes

Complaint: I had been in touch with the company who they represent Balfour in regards to a past due amount. I am a student and my mother who pays the bills has been ill/hospitalized which was discussed with Balfour to make payment arrangements. The account was turned over to Merchants and Professional Credit Bureau who sent a letter to call them, which I have been but two phone numbers do not ring, they go dead. I have contacted Balfour, they said its out of their hands but Merchants does not respond to any phone calls and I feel this is a scam also due to the fact that they increased the amount owed and Balfour said that was incorrect but they are trying to get extra for the account.

Desired Settlement: I want them to supply a real phone number that they actually answer and I will not pay more than I owe especially since Balfour said they will work with me and than turned my account over.

Business Response:

BBB- ***** *******  *******   April 28, 2016

Case #********

Below are the facts on this account:

The account was assigned on April 6, 2016 by our client, Balfour. We mailed the required first notice on April 7, 2016. Since we did not receive a response from him we mailed a second notice on April 21, 2016.

To date we have not received a phone call from Mr. *******. The first communication we have had with him is this BBB complaint. His statement about our phone numbers not ringing then “go dead” must be due to something on his end. We receive thousands of calls per day and have not had any other complaints.

In regards to his comment that we “increased the amount owed and Balfour said that was incorrect but are trying to get extra for the account” is not a true statement.  We do not add fees to accounts assigned to us for collection. We do have many clients that will add fees when an account goes delinquent in their office. Balfour’s written policy states that if the consumer defaults on the credit card payment plan they will add “reasonable collection charges and /or attorney fees associated with the collection of the remaining balance due”. 

Mr. ******* had a recurring payment plan set up with Balfour. According to our client’s record, the first four payments ran successfully. On January 22, 2016, the fifth payment was declined as was the sixth payment on February 22, 2016, which would have been the final payment of the plan.  Our client did attempt to contact Mr. ******* to resolve this prior to adding the fees and then assigning to us for collection.

We have notated Mr. *******’s account that he is disputing the balance and will report it to the credit repositories as a “disputed item”.  Also, we will mail validation of the debt, provided by our client, to him.

Mr. ******* may contact me directly at ************, 7:45-4:30, Monday through Friday. This is the same phone number listed on both of the notices we mailed to him. 

Regards,

*** ********

********* **** *********

Tell us why here...

Business Response:

BBB- ***** *******  *******   April 28, 2016

Case #********

Below are the facts on this account:

The account was assigned on April 6, 2016 by our client, Balfour. We mailed the required first notice on April 7, 2016. Since we did not receive a response from him we mailed a second notice on April 21, 2016.

To date we have not received a phone call from Mr. *******. The first communication we have had with him is this BBB complaint. His statement about our phone numbers not ringing then “go dead” must be due to something on his end. We receive thousands of calls per day and have not had any other complaints.

In regards to his comment that we “increased the amount owed and Balfour said that was incorrect but are trying to get extra for the account” is not a true statement.  We do not add fees to accounts assigned to us for collection. We do have many clients that will add fees when an account goes delinquent in their office. Balfour’s written policy states that if the consumer defaults on the credit card payment plan they will add “reasonable collection charges and /or attorney fees associated with the collection of the remaining balance due”. 

Mr. ******* had a recurring payment plan set up with Balfour. According to our client’s record, the first four payments ran successfully. On January 22, 2016, the fifth payment was declined as was the sixth payment on February 22, 2016, which would have been the final payment of the plan.  Our client did attempt to contact Mr. ******* to resolve this prior to adding the fees and then assigning to us for collection.

We have notated Mr. *******’s account that he is disputing the balance and will report it to the credit repositories as a “disputed item”.  Also, we will mail validation of the debt, provided by our client, to him.

Mr. ******* may contact me directly at ************, 7:45-4:30, Monday through Friday. This is the same phone number listed on both of the notices we mailed to him. 

Regards,

*** ********

********* **** *********

Tell us why here...

12/15/2015 Billing/Collection Issues | Read Complaint Details
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Additional Notes

Complaint: The accounts they have placed on my credit report are not mine. I called Merchant &Professionals today December 4th and they informed me that my husband debt is my debt. I didn't sign any contract/paperwork. I wasn't provided ANY services. I am not liable!!!

Desired Settlement: I want Merchants & Professionals to stoplay reporting these fraudulent accounts to all three credit reports and I want what they have reported removed IMMEDIATELY!!!

Business Response:
BBB- ****** ************  ******* *******

Case #********

Our records indicate that these debts were incurred during Mrs. ************’s marriage to ***** *****.  We first spoke with her by phone on August 13, 2015. I listened to the recorded phone call. We called the number given to us by our client and she answered. She told our representative that she is ***** *****’s spouse. After our representative confirmed he had the correct party, he stated the Mini- ******* and then discussed all accounts/balances with her. She agreed to a payment plan but we never received any payment.

We also received a complaint from her through the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau website the same evening we received this complaint from the BBB, December 4, 2015, after working hours. On the CFPB complaint she listed her name as Mrs. ****** ** ************.  

She called our office on December 4, 2015. I listened to this recorded phone call, as well. She stated we are reporting her husband’s debts on her credit file and that she did not sign any contract. Our representative explained to her that, by law, she could be held responsible for certain debts even without signing a contract.   

Since Texas is a community property state and the Family Code states a spouse is liable for “necessaries” we are allowed to hold Mrs. ************ responsible for these medical debts. These accounts can be report on her credit file as unpaid debts. We will document all the accounts as “disputed” and will report them on the credit file as such.

The Texas Family Code, Chapter 2 Subchapter F. Rights and Duties of Spouses Sec. 2.501. Duty to Support. (a) Each spouse has the duty to support the other spouse. (b) A spouse who fails to discharge the duty of support is liable to any person who provides necessaries to the spouse to whom support is owed.

If Mrs. ************ is interested in obtaining more information or has additional information that she feels we should be made aware of she can contact me. Our office number is ************ and we are open Monday through Friday 7:45 to 4:30.

Regards,

*** ********
********* **** ********* ***** ********* *******

Tell us why here...

Consumer Response: Complaint: ********

I am rejecting this response because:  I am not directly responsible, didn't sign any instrument or contract obligating me to do so.  Indirect liability is based on agency principles and the doctrine of necessaries.  Under the Texas Family Code, a person is personally liable for the acts of the person's spouse only (1) the spouse acts as an agent for the person; or (2) the spouse incurs a debt for necessaries.  A spouse does not automatically acts as an agent for the other spouse solely because of the marriage relationship.  There seems to be a common misconception that there are "community debt" and "community liabilities". I know that for Merchants & Professional to place this on my credit report is fraud and I will be hiring a consumer law attorney to assist me with this matter.  I don't need to call Merchants & Professionals because the medical debt is not mine.

Regards,

****** ******

Business Response:
BBB- ****** ************  ******* *********

Case #********

Our answer remains the same. Under the Texas Family Code the spouse is “liable to any person who provides necessaries to the spouse to whom support is owed”.
Tell us why here...

11/11/2015 Billing/Collection Issues | Read Complaint Details
X

Additional Notes

Complaint: I was being contacted by this collection agency regarding a bill from Austin Regional Clinic. I had a concern about the correct amount and asked them to verify the amount. They took this "permission" too far and sent me detailed information given to them from the clinic that violates HIPPA. I was very upset that they had access to my private medical information. When I informed her of this, she was almost proud that she had skirted the issue of HIPPA because I gave her permission. While I did have a billing inquiry, I was NOT giving them permission to access my detailed medical history. She knew exactly what she was doing and I feel they violated HIPPA. When they first starting calling I was told that once I paid this bill they were informed by Austin Regional Clinic to remove the collection from my credit report. I was unable to pay until last week. I called to pay and they said they no longer own the debt. I then disputed with the 3 credit bureaus, but they have not removed them as I can only assume that MPB Credit Bureau, Inc. confirmed the debt.

Desired Settlement: I would not only like for this to be removed from my credit report, but I'm also deeply upset that they took advantage of my wording to allow them access to detailed medical procedures. I don't want this happening to someone else. I would like for them to collect on debts in an appropriate and ethical manner. When someone asks for confirmation of a debt, that does not give them the right to overstep their authority. I want them to be held accountable for their actions.

Business Response:
BBB-******* ********  Case #********  MPB account #*******

Below is the history of this account:

The account for Ms. ******** was assigned by our client on August 8, 2014. We mailed the required first notice on August 9, 2014. Our letter was not returned by the Post Office and we did not receive a response from Ms. ********. We sent two more letters to Ms. ******** with the same results.  We then attempted to make phone contact with her. On our first contact after confirming we were speaking to the correct party she stated “I’m not working” and hung up.  On October 9, 2014, we again made contact with her. She again told us she wasn’t working and there was nothing she could do. Our representative explained to her that this would be placed on her credit file. She said if it does that’s fine because there is nothing she can do. We mailed her three more letters. The last one was November 10, 2014. Every letter we mailed stated this may be reported on her credit file if it remained unpaid.

On November 19, 2014 Ms. ******** contacted our office and spoke with our representative about her account being placed on her credit file. She first stated she didn’t think we had contacted her to let her know this would be placed on her credit file. Our representative informed her that we spoke with her in October. She then said she vaguely remembers us calling. She said she remembers telling our representative that she had knee surgery just that day.  Our employee then told her he would work with her to set up a payment plan and that once paid in full the account would be removed from her credit file. She told him if he didn’t get this removed immediately from her credit file she would file a report with the BBB. Our employee told her she could speak with his supervisor. She asked him some more questions which he politely gave her the information. At the end of the call, she stated she doesn’t care if this stays on there for seven years but what bothers her is that we reported it after only trying to contact her for three weeks. When our representative attempted to counter her accusation she became irate and he had to terminate the call.

She called back 40 minutes later and asked to speak with a supervisor. Our Vice President of Collections, Tom Jenkins, spoke with her. During this conversation, Ms. ******** stated she wasn’t sure what was still owed or what charges insurance had paid on but did know she still owed some amount. Mr. Jenkins suggested we send her an itemized statement of the charges and dates of service we are collecting on so that she could check against her records and speak with her insurance carrier. He explained to her she would need the itemized statement to discuss the various charges with her insurance carrier. After more discussion, she told Mr. Jenkins to send her the itemized statement. We mailed the itemized statement November 20, 2014. After waiting ten days for a response we mailed a letter to her on December 1, 2014. No response. We mailed a letter on March 5, 2015. Again, no response. None of our letters were ever returned as undeliverable by the Post Office. 

On March 25, 2015, our client called to inform us that Ms. ******** had contacted them threatening suit because she stated they violated HIPAA when they gave us the itemized information.  At that time, we placed the account in a cease and desist status.

Since we have a Business Associates agreement with our client neither of us violated any part of the HIPAA law by supplying Ms. ******** an itemization of her bill. The itemized statement was supplied in the attempt to collect a debt assigned to us for collections.

 Then we received notification from Experian through the EOscar system that Ms. ******** disputed the debt which we responded with validation of her data on July 31, 2015. At that point we marked the account to be reported as a disputed item. Next, we received a second notification from Experian through the EOscar system which we responded to on September 14, 2015.

On October 14, 2015, she called our office and spoke with a different representative who mistakenly told her this account had been returned to our client because of the cease and desist status. This representative instructed her to call our client to make payment. The account had not been returned to our client, it was simply in a status to not allow any more letters or out bound phone calls. (We do not purchase debts so the account always belonged to our client.)

We received a third notification from Experian and a first notification from Equifax, through the EOscar system, that Ms. ******** disputed the debt to which we responded with validation of her data on November 2, 2015.

Ms. ********’s comment “she (referring to our representative) was almost proud that she had skirted the issue of HIPPA” is way off base. Our representative simply tried to explain to her that we had not violated the HIPAA law.  (And, it is HIPAA, not HIPPA.  Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act.) Our client did not supply Ms. ********’s “detailed medical history”. They provided the information needed to collect a past due debt.

As I stated, this is a valid and past due debt owed by Ms. ******** and will continue to be reported on the credit file as a disputed past due collection item.

If I can be of any assistance to Ms. ******** she can call me at 512-346-4305 Monday through Friday 7:45 to 4:30 CST.

*** ******** 

Consumer Response:

Complaint: ********

I am rejecting this response because:

This complaint is not about the debt. I agree I owe the debt, but I appreciate the detailed sarcastic response. I had different reasons for the disputes, but the last dispute was because I was told they didn't own the debt. I would have paid and it would have been removed per our original agreement. I was told they had instructions to remove this debt upon payment. I would like this in writing, as I no longer trust this company.

It's great that they didn't include my detailed medical history in writing their response. Because it was not necessary for them to have this information to collect a debt. This is what I'm upset about. I asked for itemized information regarding numbers (the actual amount I needed to pay). For example, you saw this Dr and it cost this amount. Not, you saw this Dr for THIS MEDICAL CONDITION for this amount. I'm terribly sorry I wrote HIPPA and not HIPAA, but you get the point. I don't think a collection agency should or needs to have this information and I feel my rights were violated. By me asking for itemized details of the account, they took it too far and obtained detailed medical information. This collection agency could have done their business of collecting a debt without my DETAILED MEDICAL INFORMATION. 

The last lady I spoke with sounded proud that they didn't violate HIPAA. She was rude and convinced they did nothing wrong. She said because I asked for an itemized account history, that I gave her permission. I did not. This is where I think they skirted the rules and violated my rights. I will also be filing against Austin Regional Clinic for giving them the information in the first place. I have an appointment with an attorney next week.

I would like a copy of our conversations.


Regards,

******* ********

Business Response:
BBB-******* ********  Case #********  MPB account #*******


Our response was not intended to be “sarcastic” but a factual detailed report of how the account was handled. 

In regards to her statement that we told her we don’t own the debt, we would never make that comment. As I stated previously, we don’t purchase debts. Our clients remain “owners” of the debts, at all times.  I explained in our earlier response, our representative did mistakenly state the account had been returned to our client because of the cease and desist status.

Her request for a letter? Ms. ******** contacted me yesterday by phone and paid the balance due. I mailed her a letter stating the balance has been paid and will be removed from her credit file. I went on line yesterday after her call and submitted a request to have the account removed from her file. 

I will reiterate we did not, nor did our client, violate the HIPAA law by supplying the itemized statement of charges to Ms. ********.

Our phone recordings are for our internal use. We will not be providing a “hard copy” to Ms. ********. If she would like to make an appointment with me and come to our office, I can let her listen to the calls.

*** ********
Tell us why here...

11/11/2015 Billing/Collection Issues | Read Complaint Details
X

Additional Notes

Complaint: Merchants & Professional violated the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act by placing an item on my credit report without notifying me first and giving me the opportunity to dispute it. I have my records to prove they never called me. I also challenge them to produce a certified mail receipt which bears my signature proving they mailed me any type of notice.

Desired Settlement: I want this trade line removed from my credit report since they are violating the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act

Business Response:
Re: BBB ID# ******** 

The account for Mr. ******** was assigned by our client on November 6, 2014. We mailed the required first notice on November 7, 2014. The Post Office notified us of a change of address for Mr. ******** and indicated that our letter had been forwarded to his new address (the same address he is showing on his complaint to the BBB). Our letter was not returned by the post office and we did not receive a response from Mr. ********. We sent five more letters to Mr. ******** at his address of ***** ***** ****** *** ******, TX 78717. Our letters were mailed November 21, 2014, November 28, 2014, December 15, 2014, December 29, 2014 and January 12, 2015. None of our letters were returned by the Post Office and we did not receive a response from Mr. ********.  Our client did not provide a contact number for Mr. ******** and we were unable to locate a phone number through our research methods for Mr. ********.

As you can see, we did give Mr. ******** notification of the debt multiple times. We are not required by law to mail our letters certified, therefore, all letters are mailed as standard first class.

On October 16, 2015 we received a letter from Mr. ******** stating he intends to “sue us for violations of Fair Debt Collections Practices Act” because he claims we hadn’t mailed him the required notice.

In response to his letter to us we have mailed Mr. ******** a letter (to ***** ***** ****** *** Austin, TX. 78717) explaining we have not violated the FDCPA because, we had mailed the required first notice to his address of ***** ***** ****** *** ******* ** ***** on November 7, 2014. Our letter also states we mailed him five other letters notifying him of the debt owed to our client, as well. Included in our letter to Mr. ******** is validation of the debt.  This validation includes the client’s form he signed stating he “would be financially responsible for all non-covered charges”.

This is a reportable item but now that we have heard from Mr. ******** we will report the account as a “disputed item”.

If I can be of any assistance to Mr. ******** he can call me at ************ Monday through Friday 7:45 to 4:30 CST.

To reiterate, MPB has not violated the FDCPA!

Consumer Response: Complaint: ********

I am rejecting this response because:  Please provide me with original documentation from the United States Postal System, not your companies that show delivery confirmation to my home as well as any time I signed for any letters that bear signature.  Do you pocess such documentation?  Yes or no?  I feel like this was placed on my credit report without regard for the laws that govern debt collection practices.   If you cannot provide me with this documentation then you must remove this from my credit report.   

Regards,

******* ********

Business Response:

BBB- ******* ******** Case #******** MPB account ******* *******
Ms. ****,

We have mailed complete validation of the account to Mr. ******* ******** as we said we would in our original response to his BBB complaint.

We mailed the package on October 23, 2015 by certified mail (signature receipt required). I have attached a copy of the receipt of payment for the mailing from the Post Office. We have not received the signature card from the Post Office indicating Mr. ******** has picked up the package. We mailed it to ***** ***** ****** *** ******* ** *****. The package has not been returned by the Post Office as undeliverable. If this is not the correct address have Mr. ******** let me know and I will mail a copy (certified) to whatever address he gives.

We went on line to USPS.COM to "track" the letter. Attached is a copy of that page. It reads that they tried to deliver our letter "on October 26, 2015 at 3:10 pm and a notice was left because an authorized recipient was not available". It goes on to say if the item is unclaimed by November 10, 2015 then it will be returned to us.

As stated in our original response, all previous correspondence mailed to Mr. ******** was not mailed certified because the law does not require it of us. (Since we mail approximately 60,000 pieces of correspondence monthly it simply would not be feasible to send every piece certified.)

If Mr. ********, after reviewing the validation information, wishes to set up a payment plan, I can assist him with doing so. This client does request we remove accounts from the credit file once they have been paid in full.

In the meantime, we have notified the credit repositories that he is disputing this account.

*** ********

********* **** *********

10/29/2015 Billing/Collection Issues | Read Complaint Details
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Additional Notes

Complaint: I have never had any business with this credit collector. I have disputed this in my credit bureau, I do not know who Tyler Radiology Assoc is. I have never been to a town called Tyler.

Desired Settlement: Remove from my credit and stop sending me threatening letters that you will mess with my credit please.

Business Response:
BBB-****** *****  3445121  10-28-15

Case #********

Our records show we did receive two notifications through the EOscar system, indicating Mr. ***** was disputing the account. One was from Equifax, which we responded to on May 30, 2015 and the other notification through the EOscar system was from Experian that we responded to on September 30, 2015.  We responded to both by indicating we are reporting the account on ****** ***** with social security number ending in 5272 and verifying his date of birth.

Our client, Tyler Radiology Associates, rendered services to Mr. ***** on June 26, 2011 at the East Texas Medical Center in Tyler, TX. Our client’s records show that Mr. *****’s address at the date of service was 328 W 3rd La Joya, TX 78560. This is the same address he listed on his first dispute through EOscar in May 2015 as being his address.

This account was assigned to us on October 21, 2011. We sent Mr. ***** our first required notice on October 24, 2011. Our notice was not returned by the Post Office and we did not receive a response from Mr. *****. We sent two more letters with the same results. We then made several attempts to reach Mr. ***** by phone but were unable to make contact. After that we mailed three more letters mailed 12/8/2011, 12/23/2011, and 1/6/2012. These letters were not returned by the Post Office and we did not receive a response from Mr. *****.

Our first “communications” with Mr. ***** was his notification through EOscar in May 2015. At that time, we marked the account to be reported to the national repositories as a “disputed” account.  After the second EOscar communication in September 2015 we sent Mr. ***** a letter to which he did not respond.

After receiving the BBB complaint, we contacted our client and obtained validation paperwork that we will mail to Mr. ***** at *** ** **** *** ** ***** ** *****.

If this is a case of identity theft, we will need a written statement from Mr. ***** stating he is a victim of identity theft, a copy of his driver license, and a copy of an identity theft report filed with the police.

Mr. ***** may contact me at ************, Monday through Friday, 7:45 to 4:30, if I can assist him in any way.

*** ********
********* **** *********Tell us why here...

Consumer Response: Complaint: ********

I am rejecting this response because:I have never been to Tyler before. i have never gotten services anywhere. The *** * *** *** ** ***** ** ***** is my mother's address. My address is *** ** **** **** ** ***** *** *****. I do not know how this came about, all I do know is that in September 2015, experian did find another social in my credit report. Also I have always resided in La Joya Texas, not in any other part of the world. Please help me figure this situation out because I want all the harrasment and bad credit to stop.

Regards,

****** *****

Business Response:
BBB-****** *****  3445121  10-29-15

Mr. ***** called me yesterday. After discussing the situation, I instructed him on what information and documents I would need from him in order to determine this is a case of identity theft. He agreed to send me that information. I told him once I receive the information I will review and determine if this account should be removed from his credit file.

After receiving the “rejection” comments this morning from him through the BBB site, I called him. He said he had responded to my answer before speaking with me on the phone yesterday. We have agreed to continue with the process of determining this is an identity theft situation.

*** ********Tell us why here...

Consumer Response: Better Business Bureau:

I have reviewed the response made by the business in reference to complaint ID ********, and find that this resolution is satisfactory to me. I will send a copy of my license and a copy of a report where my wallet was stolen in 2010. 

Regards,

****** *****

8/26/2015 Billing/Collection Issues | Read Complaint Details
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Additional Notes

Complaint: Faxed a debt validation request to the fax # that appears on BBB.org AND on M&P's website on 7/16/15 and as of today, 8/24/15, we've received zero response. 343

Desired Settlement: Immediately remove negative tradelines from all credit bureaus including Experian, TransUnion and Equifax seeing as how I never received any proof that this debt is mine.

Business Response: **** ******* *****  *******  *******   **** *********

 

Our records show we did receive a faxed letter from Mr. ***** on July 16, 2015 disputing the debt. We requested documentation from our client to validate their claim that he owes the amount of $735.50. Our client provided proper and complete validation documents to us on July 31, 2015.


On that same day we mailed the documents to Mr. ***** at **** ******** ******* ** ***** which is the address he had on his request letter. It is also the address he is showing on the BBB complaint.

 

Our packet of validation papers were returned by the Post Office on August 11, 2015 as “moved- no forwarding address”.

 

We will, once again, mail the validation papers to Mr. ***** to his stated address.  Due to the fact that this is a medical debt we are not allowed to email the information to him. 

 

If Mr. ***** does not receive this information in the next 5-7 business days he should call me and I will make arrangements to have the information sent by certified mail.

 
At this time we consider this to be a valid debt owed by Mr. ***** based on the documents supplied by our client. If, once he has received and reviewed these documents, he has any questions or wishes to set up a payment plan he can certainly call our office and we will work with him to get this account resolved.  

 

Regards,

 

*** ********

 

Tell us why here...

Consumer Response: Complaint: ********

I am rejecting this response because: We haven't received anything by mail. We just moved into this house on 7/1/15 and constantly check the mailbox because we are awaiting several responses from agencies such as yourself. Although I doubt this would be required by law, as a courtesy I would very much like to get a copy of the envelope that showed it was returned. We appreciate the quick response via BBB. Thank you.  

Regards,

******* *****

Business Response: I have attached a copy of the envelope that was returned as "not deliverable as addressed". As you can see, it is addressed with the same address listed on this complaint. We still had the original mailing in our files, so today I put the original envelope with the original validation papers in a new envelope and mailed it to Mr. ***** at the same address.

Again, I'm available by phone if Mr. ***** wishes to speak directly with me. Our office hours are 7:45 to 4:30 CST Monday thru Friday

*** ******** ************

Consumer Response:

Better Business Bureau:

I have reviewed the response made by the business in reference to complaint ID ********, and find that this resolution is satisfactory to me. Although, I must admit my mistake. I inadvertently keyed in the wrong address.

The address to respond to is

 

**** ******** ***** ******** **   ** *** ****** *** *** *** **** 

My deepest apologies.

Regards,

******* *****

5/8/2015 Billing/Collection Issues | Read Complaint Details
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Additional Notes

Complaint: I have notified this company that the Veterans Administration is my insurance for date of service. I have given them the information for the VA and I am still getting statements that I owe them money. I feel harassed. It takes time for the Veterans Administration to process claims. this is the third letter that I have received in the last 3 months. the latest one dated April 13th 2015 tells me to pay $354 although I explained to them that the Veterans Administration has their information and will process the claim in the order it was received on their end. They also have the VA information. If they wish to contact the VA, they have the means to do so. I am NOT responsible for paying this debt out of my pocket. I would like for the letters to stop and prefer for them to contact the Veterans Administration to resolve this issue.

Business Response: BBB – ****** ******* *** ******** April 24, 2015

 

This account was assigned to us for collection on July 2, 2014. After receiving our notification of the debt, M** ******l mailed us a letter disputing that she owed any amount to our client. In her letter she stated she had paid them
for the two times she had used their services. She did not make any mention of insurance in this letter. As required by law, we requested validation of the debt from our client. They provided the information and we mailed it to *** ******* on August 15, 2014. It was not returned by the post office so we assume M** ******l received the package. On August 20, 2014 she called our office and stated that she was working with VA insurance to get the debt paid.
She stated she would get back in touch with us when she heard from VA. We didn’t hear from her at the agreed upon date so we sent her a letter on September 26, 2014. She called our office on October 6, 2014 and again stated that she was working with VA insurance. She said she would follow up with VA and call us back. She called back on October 15, 2014 and stated that VA told her this would be resolved in 60 days. At 60 days we called and *** ******* said she had not heard anything from the VA  and asked that we wait another 60 days. In February we tried to reach M** ******l by phone and by mail but did not get a response from her.

 

Yes, we have been sending her letters in an attempt to resolve this for our client. Our client rendered services in March 2013. Our client states that they filed with the VA three times on behalf of M** ******l and that the VA denied the claim each time.

 

The facts are:

 

1. M** ******l never gave MPB the necessary VA insurance information. 
2. Our client filed VA insurance on her behalf three times. They can’t make VA pay.
3. For months M** ******l told us she was working with VA and then stopped communicating with us after it became obvious that VA
was not going to pay the claim for whatever reason.
4. We can’t contact the VA about the debt because they have already denied payment.
5. M** ******l is responsible for the debt since her insurance did not pay.









Tell us why here...

Business Response: M** ******l’s comments have me confused. She states “the VA has already processed and paid for the hospital visit for my 8 month old baby boy”. Our account is for services rendered in March of 2013 for her child. Are we talking about the same child and the same date of service? She states she called and gave the VA her child’s social security number last year. Based on when she first contacted us about her working with the VA I assume she did that in August 2014. This would be more than a year after services were rendered. If that is the case and VA didn’t have the information until that time then perhaps they will be paying in the near future. Again, providing we are talking about the same date of service and the same child. At this time, we have placed a “cease & desist” hold on M** ******l’s account so no future contact will be made to her in writing or by phone regarding this account. We are not allowed to contact the VA for payment. I recommend M** ******l stay in contact with her VA representative to get this resolved and paid to our client as quickly as possible. This is a reportable item and will remain on her credit file until paid.   If M** ******l wishes to contact me directly at any time I will certainly assist in any way I can to resolve this account. Thank you, *** ********
Tell us why here...

Consumer Response: Complaint: ********

 I accept their action to put a cease and desist hold on my account,  but since *** is confused, I want to make it plain. I had a second child August 2014.  The VA has already processed payment for the doctor and hospital bill for his delivery and initial doctor visit. The point I was making was that there is no question that I have VA insurance. My first child in question has had a $40,000 hospital bill paid after his birth and 5 day NICU stay. The VA is currently processing his due bill of $354.00. Hopefully this helps *** understand my point and clears any confusion she had. I do not wish to contact her in the future about anything because there is no point. They are not going to contact me in the future and that's what I requested initially when filing this dispute. Take care. 

Regards,

****** *******

3/25/2015 Billing/Collection Issues | Read Complaint Details
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Additional Notes

Complaint: Merchants & Professional has repeadetly reported collection accounts to the Credit Reporting Agencies that I am not a party to. My wife at the time had previous accounts that I was in no way responsible for or had knowledge of yet they still report that I owe the debt. For example, they report that I owe them for collectiion on OB/GYN services, which I did not agree to pay. Additionally, there are collection accounts for Oral Surgery and Electric companies that I did not have any knowledge of, let alone agreed to pay.

Desired Settlement: Removal of all unauthorized accounts from each Credit Reporting Agency that they report to.

Business Response: BBB-
*********** ***** ******* 

 

Case
#********

 

Our records indicate that these debts were incurred during *** *****’ marriage. Some show *** ***** as the person receiving services and some show his then spouse receiving services. On one account his minor child received services. On the electric company bill it shows both their names. We have spoken with *** ***** in the past concerning some of these debts. We have also sent letters to him regarding all the accounts. Since Texas is a community property state and the Family Code states a spouse is liable for “necessaries” we are allowed to hold *** ***** responsible for the payment of these debts and can report them on the credit file as unpaid debts. If *** ***** can send me a copy of the divorce papers that indicate his marriage was dissolved prior to the time these debts were incurred I can get those cleared from his credit report. 
 

   "The Texas Family Code, Chapter 2 Subchapter F. Rights and Duties of Spouses Sec. 2.501. Duty to Support. (a) Each spouse has the duty to support the other spouse. (b) A spouse who fails to discharge the duty of support is liable to any person who provides necessaries to the spouse to whom support is owed."

 

If *** ***** is interested in obtaining more information or has additional information that he feels we should be made aware of he can contact me. Our office number is ###-###-#### and we are open Monday through Friday 7:45 to
4:30.

 

Regards,

*** ********
********* **** ********* ***** ********* *******

Tell us why here...

1/28/2015 Billing/Collection Issues | Read Complaint Details
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Additional Notes

Complaint: Merchants is reporting a collection on my credit reports without proof of debt.

Desired Settlement: Remove this account from my credit files.

Business Response: The account for *** **** was assigned by our client on November 10, 2014. We mailed the required first notice on November 11, 2014. Our letter was not returned by the post office and we did not receive a response from *** ****. We sent several more letters with the same results. We then attempted to reach *** **** by phone but were not successful in those attempts either.

*** **** called our office on January 21, 2015 stating he had seen this account on his credit file. He told our representative that he had paid this on the day of his surgery which was January 27, 2012. Our representative told him we would contact our client to verify this information and if there was a problem we would let him know. She also told him he could call us back in a few days but to give us time to check with our client and in turn give them time to research.

Because of his statement to the BBB “Merchants is reporting a collection on my credit reports without proof of debt” we are now considering this a “disputed” account. We requested validation of the debt from our client which they have now provided to us. We have mailed the validation paperwork of this debt directly to *** **** at the address he provided in his January 21st call to us. Our client states this amount remains as a past due collection item on their records. Our client stated that he may have paid the hospital but when patients come through the door that separates the hospital and Digestive & Liver Disease Consultants it becomes a different provider. This bill is for our client and not for the hospital. Also, our client states: “Per his benefits with insurance company he has a $150.00 copay to the doctor for any operating procedure”. We have notified the credit reporting bureaus to mark this as a disputed debt.

If *** **** can provide proof of the payment he states he paid to our client, Digestive & Liver Disease Consultants,  I ask that he send a copy of that proof to us. He may contact me if he has any questions. I will assist him in any way I can regarding this account.   

*** ********
********* **** *********
Tell us why here...

Consumer Response: Better Business Bureau:

I have reviewed the response made by the business in reference to complaint ID ********, and find that this resolution is satisfactory to me. I would like to receive the contact information for *** ******* to resolve this problem.

Regards,
****** ****

1/8/2015 Billing/Collection Issues | Read Complaint Details
X

Additional Notes

Complaint: Received a letter dated 12-17-2014 stating that I owed Scott and White HOSP-******* $489.36. I have not lived in ******* since 2009 and found this collection unexpected. I contacted the hospital billing department to verify the account prior to contacting M&PCB, Inc. and the hospital stated that they do not use this collection agency. I have tried contacting the agency several times to discuss the account, but have not been able to get anyone on the phone after several days of trying. The phone rings with no voicemail. The company stated that the account would report to the bureau if the account is not paid in full. Due to the hospital stating that this agency is not used for collections, I am very skeptical of this collection. Since I am unable to contact the company by phone, please consider this a formal request for validation of the debt to Scott and White HOSP-*******. The account number from your agency is 4019587 with an amount due of $489.36. My name is ******* * *****.

Desired Settlement: Please validate the account above with original documentation from the original creditor since the original creditor found no existence of debt owed. If found mail to me at ***** ****** *** ****** ***** *****. If not found, mail me correspondence stating that the debt is unvalidated and will stop pursuing an invalid collection.

Business Response: Our client, Scott & White Hospital, was previously known as Trinity Medical Center when Mr. ***** received treatment from them.  This is for a date of service of March 2, 2009. We will mail validation of the debt to Mr. *****’s address of 15820 Ramsey Rd, as he requested.

 

As stated on our letter, our office hours are 7:45 to 4:30, Monday through Friday but we were closed on December 24th and 25th for the holiday.

 

Mr. ***** can call us anytime during our regular business hours and he will reach a live person to speak with (we do not have voice mail). 

 

 

12/18/2014 Billing/Collection Issues | Read Complaint Details
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Additional Notes

Complaint: I received a letter from this company indicating that I owe BillCutterz LLC $67.80. I never heard of BillCutterz and consistently I never had business with this company. If Merchants & Professional Credit Bureau has a contract or bill from this company signed by me, please send it to me. Please DO NOT just send me a bill from this company without anything that does not show my signature. As I mentioned above, I never had business with this company and I am sure they do not have any legal document that shows I owe them money

Desired Settlement: Please stop contacting me. Contact the company to make sure you are contacting the right person because I am not going to pay money I do not owe.

Business Response: Since this debt was incurred as a result of an internet
transaction, our client is unable to provide a signature of the person who used
their services. Therefore, we are cancelling and returning this account back to
our client. 

Consumer Response: Better Business Bureau:

I want the business to send me a letter showing that this case is closed to keep for my record.


Regards,

***** ******

9/4/2014 Billing/Collection Issues | Read Complaint Details
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Additional Notes

Complaint: I requested validation of the the following debts accounts #******* & #******* (it is partial as I retrieved this from my credit report) on May 1st per Texas Finance Code Section 392.202 which requires a debt collection agency or credit bureau to provide the alleged debtor with specific information concerning their debt including but not limited to: For the purpose of validation your company was to provide me with: •The name and address of the original creditor •The original date of default or non-payment of the debt with original creditor •The date the debt was transferred from the original creditor to the third party debt collector •The original balance •The current balance •Any fees added by your agency. Sec. 392.303 (a)(2) •Texas Surety bond information as required by Sec. 392.101 Please note Transunion, Experian, and Equifax are bonded in the state of Texas and are required to comply with Texas Finance Code. Merchants and Professionals has failed to respond to my debt validation request, and has essentially admitted, per Texas Finance Code 392.202(b)(2), that the debt in question is inaccurate. Per this requirement Merchants and Professionals must delete this trade line since the company has had sufficient time to complete an investigation to validate this debt in 30 days according to Sec. 392.202 (d)(1) and failed to comply with the law.

Desired Settlement: I am requesting the complete removal of this tradeline from all three major reporting agencies immediately and I request immediate notification by mail if this alleged debt is sold or transferred per Sec. 392.301 (a)(4).

Business Response: BBB- ***** ******* ******* ******* 8-28-14

We have not received a request for validation from Mr. ******* prior to today’s complaint
through the BBB. We will consider this as notification from him that he
requires validation of the two referenced accounts and will immediately contact
our clients for the documentation.


We always respond to validation requests.  We will either supply the requested
documentation or we will notify the person in writing that the account is being
cancelled because our client is unable to provide the necessary documents. 
Mr. ******* can expect one of the above two responses regarding the referenced accounts. 

 
Also, please note that we followed the law in notifying Mr. and Mrs. ******* of their right to
request validation of the accounts. Below is a brief history of both accounts. 
 

Account #******* was assigned to us July 23, 2012 in the
name of ***** *******. We mailed our required first notice on July 24, 2012. This
letter explains their right to request validation of the debt. Our letter was
not returned by the Post Office as undeliverable. We did not receive a response
from the *******’s. In our attempt to resolve the account we mailed several
more letters with no response to any of them. 
On August 23, 2012 we attempted to speak with them by phone. Mrs. **** *******
answered the phone, stated she was *****’s spouse but then refused to verify they
were the correct party by confirming their address.  She asked if this was for a debt collection;
we replied we need to verify we have the correct party.  She said she wouldn’t do that.  We
asked her to please have her husband call us back. He did not. We then sent more letters, to
which again, no response from the *******’s.

 
Account #******* was assigned to us March 6, 2013 in the
name of **** and ***** *******. We mailed our required first notice on March 8,
2013. Again, this letter explains their right to request validation of the
debt. Our letter was not returned as non-deliverable.  We sent several more letters and never
received a response from the *******’s. We made phone contact with **** ******* on April 5, 2013.
We gave her the required mini-miranda after she verified they were the correct party. Then we
told her we were calling about this account and she hung up without saying a
word. We sent several more letters with no response from the *******’s.

 

We gave them every opportunity to dispute these debts. We reiterate; we did not receive any letters
from the *******’s at any time. 
 

We will obtain the required validation from our clients and mail the documents to the address of
**** ****** ***** **** ****** ** ***** as soon as possible.

 

*** ********

********* **** *********

Consumer Response: Better Business Bureau:

I have reviewed the response made by the business in reference to complaint ID ********, and find that this resolution is satisfactory to me.

Regards,

***** *******

9/2/2014 Billing/Collection Issues | Read Complaint Details
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Additional Notes

Complaint: ***** ********* ****** billed me on 3-24-14 for a work related accident. We contacted ***** ********* and told them they had billed wrong, they should have billed ********** *******.(as ****** ******* ******** had) I was not billed again & assumed they had corrected their mistake. I received a collections notice/threat from Merchants & Professional Credit Bureau dated 7-22-14. We made 2 calls to Merchants in an attempt to correct ***** *********'s mistake only receiving rhetoric & threats on our credit history. I will attempt to do ***** *********'s job and pass this bill from Merchants & Professional Credit Bureau on to my employer. I need to make sure this bill collector does not put this on my credit record. The total amount due was $31.00.

Desired Settlement: Letter of apology & proof this was not put on my credit history.

Business Response: BBB- ******* * ********* *******On August 7, 2014 Mrs. ****** ********* (*******’s wife) called our office and on August 11, 2014 ******* ********* called. They both stated this was a work related injury and that his employer should be billed. The problem is that we were told by them that his employer does not carry worker’s compensation insurance.  They wanted our client to send a bill to his employer.

Our client is prohibited from doing that since the employer doesn’t carry worker’s compensation insurance. It would be a violation of HIPAA and other privacy laws for our client to bill his employer. Our representatives tried to explain to both Mr. and Mrs. ********* that we could not contact his employer on his behalf and neither could our client. Our representatives tried to explain that he would need to present the bill to his employer and ask them to pay the bill.

Since our calls are recorded I listened to both phone calls. Mr. *********’s statement that they received “rhetoric & threats” from our representatives is an untrue statement. Our representative tried very hard to explain what needed to happen and why. Both of our representatives remained professional the entire phone calls with Mr. and Mrs. *********.  (The recording is available if anyone wishes to hear them.)

This account has not been placed on the credit file at this time.  If paid before the end of September it will never be placed on the credit file.  If the bill is not paid before the end of September it would be placed on the credit file, shortly thereafter, as an unpaid collection item.

If Mr. or Mrs. ********* would like to call me direct I will be happy to try and answer their questions. They can reach me at ###-###-####.

7/23/2014 Billing/Collection Issues | Read Complaint Details
X

Additional Notes

Complaint: I have just had a second amputation on my right leg because the first doctor did a very poor job on it. I have home from the hospital five days and I get a letter form this credit bureau demanding I pay this bill in full. I called this bureau today and several times I was told if I yelled at them they would hang up. This was told to me before I did get upset. I tried to tell them I was making payments on this bill and that I should not have been reported to a collection agency. She tried to tell me that the sender could send to the credit bureau for collection anytime. I tried to tell her this was not right and she kept telling me it was the law. I tried to tell her I knew what the law was and they could not do this. I did keep getting louder and when I was asking her how a person that got only $1300 a month retirement could write checks for this amount of money, then she hung up on me. I then called the company who issued the bill to the credit agency and I think I got it resolved but this credit company defiantly does not need to be messing with peoples credit. I will lay odds that they have already done something to my credit. Please help solve this problem.Thank you ***** ********

Desired Settlement: Do to other reports from this agency that appear on my credit rating I expect my credit score to be improved greatly. They said they had two others on me but they or anyone else informed me I had an out standing debt.

Business Response: BBB- ***** ******** 3929498 7-23-14

 

 

Since we record our phone calls I listened to the call
between Mr. ******** and our representative. Our representative handled the
phone call professionally and was polite to Mr. ******** the entire call. She
did tell Mr. ******** that the client could assign an account with a remaining
balance at their discretion.  She did ask
Mr. ******** not to yell at her. She did disconnect the call after he got even
more upset and yelled even louder.

 

We contacted our client. They confirmed Mr. ******** contacted
them on July 21, 2014 and they agreed to let him make monthly payments. They
told us to not report his account to the credit file as long as he makes his
monthly payment.

 

This account has not been reported to any credit repository.

 

If any issues regarding his account arise in the future I
encourage Mr. ******** to contact me directly and I will assist him as best as
I can.

 

Thank you,

 

*** ********

Consumer Response: Complaint: ********

I am rejecting this response because: They did not tell you the person wanted to argue with me instead of trying to solve the issue.  I was trying to let them know that I just had my right leg amputated for the 2nd time because the first doctor messed it up and that a person with my fixed income can not afford to write checks for the amount requested because other bills will suffer and then I will be reported to tem through someone else but I never got the chance because the lady hung up on me and did not care about my situation.  She made me stress level go up and since I am now diabetic she made my sugar level go extremely high.  If you know anything qbout diabetes then you know this is not good at a ll.

Regards,

***** ********

6/19/2014 Billing/Collection Issues | Read Complaint Details
X

Additional Notes

Complaint: This collection agency has refused to answer my demand for validation per State and Federal Collection and Reporting Laws. This debt collector placed marks on all my credit reports without proper notification, as I received no dunning notification per required by the FDCPA legislation. Improper collection activity Credit reporting is considered collection activity. I have previously sent a letter requesting validation of this debt, but they were unable to provide the requested information. I have disputed this account on my credit reports, the most recent disputed and the account was verified, to which I have no knowledge or documentation. I sent another letter to Merchants, requesting them to comply and provide validation of the debt allegedly owed, to which I again have not received a response. I checked my report today,06/11/2014 and I am still being burdened by the inaccurate reporting. I am requesting your office look into these allegations and help me procure a deletion from all credit reporting agencies until this company can successfully validate my debt as they are mandated by law to do. I am considering legal action against Merchants, however, I felt compelled to urge your office to help me in my crusade to remove Merchants and reestablish my name and credit. I am not sure if this debt is mine or not, however, their intentional act of misleading their reporting should be enough to sue them, and should be enough for your office to force their compliance in this issue. I hope you can help me out in this matter. Thank you very much for your time

Desired Settlement: remove what they are reporting on my credit report(s) immediately as they've failed to comply with the the law.

Business Response: BBB-*** *********** *******

 

Mr. *********** is mistaken in several of his comments.
Following are the facts of this account.

 

On July 11, 2012, as required by law, we sent our first
notice to Mr. ***********. This notice contained information on the account
along with information on his rights to dispute the accuracy of the account. It
also informed him that it may be reported to his credit file. Mr. ***********
did not respond to our letter and it was not returned by the Post Office.

 

We sent two more letters and again there was no response of
any sort. We then attempted to reach Mr. *********** by phone. After several
attempts we did make phone contact with him on August 17, 2012. Our phone calls
are recorded so I listened to this call.  We verified we had the correct party on the
phone and as required by law, gave Mr. *********** the mini-miranda for
collection accounts.

 

In his complaint to the BBB, Mr. *********** stated he isn’t
sure if this debt is his or not but, during our phone call, he confirmed that
our client did render him services but he said he had paid in full up front for
their services. We told him we would check with our client and if they showed
still owing we would request an itemized statement from them and then mail it
to him. We mailed the itemized statement on August 20, 2012 showing the amount
paid by his insurance, the amount he paid and the remaining balance due. We
gave Mr. *********** a week to contact us, he did not respond, so we again
attempted to contact him by phone. He never answered the phone or returned our
calls. We then sent three more letters to him with no response.

 

On July 1, 2013 (almost a year later) we received a dispute
letter from Mr. ***********. As required by law, we requested validation of the
account from our client. Due to the age of the account it took some time for
our client to gather the documents. But they did respond with proper
documentation on July 31, 2013 and we immediately mailed the validation
information to him that same day. He did not respond to our mailing.  Our mail was not returned by the Post Office.


 

On July 31, 2013 we also received a request from ******** to
verify that the account was being reported on the correct credit file. We
verified his name, address, and social security number.

 

On June 10, 2014 (again, almost a year later) we received a
letter from him that stated in part that he is not disputing the validity of
the debt but simply requesting proof on the debt. As of today, we are mailing
the information we sent to him in July of 2013 by certified mail.

 

As you can see, we have made every attempt possible to
communicate with him and have sent him all the documentation he requested. This
is a validated debt and we deny the account is reported inaccurately.  Also, there is no “intentional act of
misleading” of our reporting. We have reported this account as a “disputed
account” (as required by law) since July 2013.

 

One last thing, on both of the letters we received from him he
listed his address as **** *****
**** and that is where we have sent all correspondence. On the file from the
BBB his address is shown as ****
***** ****. If this is in fact his address then his correspondence to us should
have had that same address. If the **** is an incorrect address, and he will
let us know, I will forward the validation paperwork to that address.

 

  

Consumer Response: Complaint: ********

I am rejecting this response because:  I cannot accept the response because I have not received "validation" per Federal Law yet.  They stated in their response that they sent it but I haven't received it hence, I haven't reviewed it.  They offer no proof that they have provided anything to me ever.  And they continue to damage me financial while violating the law.

They allude to some conversation, which I have no recollection of and would be hardly admissible in collection of a debt. In fact the recording of a phone conversation for the purposes of collecting a debt doesn't seem quite legal, so when I complain to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau regarding this collection agencies failure to abide the regulations I will furnish them their admission of recording conversations (or if they actually didn't falsely claiming recording conversations to help aid them in the collection of a debt would be illegal - false statements are illegal)    

That does not excuse the fact that they still haven't "validated" the debt.  And I bet that if and when I do receive something in the mail from them it will be deficient to validate.  They fail to even show a contractual relationship between me and them - why would I pay them?  Where's the contract?  Where's my specific permission and authorization under § 805.  Communication in connection with debt collection   [15 USC 1692c] (b) COMMUNICATION WITH THIRD
PARTIES.  Except as provided in section 804, without the prior consent of the consumer given directly to the debt collector, or the express permission of
a court of competent jurisdiction, or as reasonably necessary to effectuate a post judgment judicial remedy, a debt collector may not communicate, in
connection with the collection of any debt, with any person other than a consumer.  There is NO permission granted by the law for you to be allowed to report anything to a 3rd party.


Where is this VALIDATION the state they have given, and is it complete?  The law says they can not verify the information and continue collection efforts without validating this debt.

Regards,

*** ***********

Business Response: In response to Mr. ***********’s statement that he hasn’t
received our client’s validation of his debt: we mailed the first validation
July 31, 2013 and it was not returned by the Post Office to us. Our second
mailing just occurred. We mailed it by certified mail on June 13, 2014. We have
not received a signature card from the Post Office and have not received our
package back from the Post Office.

 

Regarding his comments about our recording of phone calls:
in the state of Texas recording of phone calls are legal as long as one party
of the phone call is aware of the call being recorded. Our representatives are
aware they are being recorded. We use these recordings for training and support
issues.

 

If Mr. *********** would like to contact me by phone or come
to our office I will play the recording of the phone call for him.

 

Regarding his comment of not having a “contractual
relationship” with us: services were rendered by our client and he signed their
“Consent to Services” form. We don’t purchase debts. Our clients assign their
accounts to us when they become delinquent.

 

Regarding his statement that he didn’t give us permission to
report this account: The law he is quoting does not pertain to reporting
information to a credit file. Our government does make some strange laws but
even they realize that if it was a requirement that consumers have to give permission
before anything derogatory was reported then everyone would have a perfect
record because permission would NEVER be given.

 

The law states that when written dispute of a debt is
received we must validate and we have. The law states when an account is
disputed by the consumer we have to report it as disputed on their credit file
and we have.

Consumer Response: Complaint: ********

I am rejecting this response because:

I still have received nothing in the mail from Merchants.  Nor have I received that form they say I signed gives them the right to become a party to any contract, nor that I signed permitting them to report anything on my credit report.

Further, I beg to differ regarding their response that they are allowed to report information about me to a 3rd party under: § 805.  Communication in connection with debt
collection   [15 USC 1692c]

Let us examine the exact language:

"COMMUNICATION WITH THIRD PARTIES. --Except as provided in Section 804, without the prior consent of the consumer given directly to the debt collector,
or the express permission of a court of competent jurisdiction, or as reasonably necessary to effectuate a post judgment judicial remedy, a debt
collector may not communicate, in connection with the collection of any debt, with any person other than the consumer, his attorney, a consumer reporting
agency if otherwise permitted by law, the creditor, the attorney of the creditor, or the attorney of the debt collector."

Here is how I see it is written:

Look where the comma is after that part..."a consumer reporting agency if otherwise permitted by law,... See, the comma comes after the "if
otherwise" not before. It is specifically targeted to the consumer reporting agency. You know it’s not permitted by law or else they would have
put it at the end of the whole list of who they "may communicate" with, to include all of them. Punctuation is very important in law. They are
being sneaky!

This may not be how Merchants nor many other collection agencies practice the law, however, the law is the law.  And they've been doing it wrong for years!  And this could be a giant problem for collection agencies throughout the country.  They have caused damages to millions of consumers credit by breaking the law.  Think of the damages $$$.  

And regarding recording phone calls.  They hide behind a flimsy State law.  Well I'm going to rely on the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, which is the new sheriff in town, with unlimited budget to determine "right" from "wrong" and Debt Collectors need to be especially careful regarding consumers, and everything they do to a consumer that is in order to “collect a debt” must be definitely spelled out and a warning must precede
it.  You certainly gave no warning that you were recording a phone call that is being used in order to “collect a debt”. 

The CFPB is a very fluid and broad interpretation organization and will consider “bad behavior”, not just the “law”
in fining Merchants and put an end to their unfair tactics.  Furthermore, the Federal Fair Debt Collection Practices Act prohibits:  “unfair” means to collect or attempt to collect a debt.  I’d consider failure to notify a consumer that a call is being recorded to collect a debt as falling within "unfair".

And even if a consumer in a phone conversation, without seeing anything in writing, given the voluminous nature of doctors and medical bills in today's society - "admitted" (and who knows what their definition of "admitted" to owing the debt in a mere phone conversation means) the consumer given the lack of physical proof, against a slick on the phone collection agent, could easily have confused one bill or debt for another.  After all this was truly a stealth phone conversation that only the professional collection agent knew was recorded and he/she knew what the mission was - to get admission to a alleged debt and payment for that alleged debt, without showing any proof of the alleged debt over the phone from an unsuspecting consumer, whether it is owed or NOT.  So he/she could make a buck!

I have been damaged by this Collection Agency financially with the resent lack of purchasing power and higher interest rates on resent purchased that has been cause specifically by Merchants and will be looking to collect from them, if they don't stop damaging NOW.  

Merchants has not just damaged me, but many consumers using the same "unfair" and as far as I read the law illegal reporting of information on consumers credit reports without "prior consent of the consumer given directly to the debt collector"

I see major damages to consumers by this collection agency.  Perhaps a class-action suite is needed to bring them into line with consumer rights and the law.

Regards,

*** ***********

1/3/2014 Billing/Collection Issues | Read Complaint Details
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Additional Notes

Complaint: Secondary Nature of Compliant: Failure to provide assistance and inappropriate behaviour of personnel I received a letter from said collector stating a 48 hour notice of further action if I did not do X Y or Z, ASAP. I was later told "oh we only send those just to get you to call" This letter was an inclusion of not one account from one doctor but three separate doctors from three entirely different practices (one of the doctors they had listed as four separate account balances so it showed as 7 accounts totaled). Merchants claimed that they were taking 48 hour action in Totality on ALL accounts even though they were soul and separate and unrelated. All accounts needed to be handled separately, especially since each one had a very specific circumstance. Two of them I had only three weeks ago ask for verification of debt and just four days prior received said verification. The others (the four separate but really all one account from the same doctor I had only just received notice two days prior from Merchants and the accounts never should have gone to collections to begin with. A further follow up call to Vitalogy skin confirmed this and an arrangement and account hold was made with *****) Since I had just received the debt verification. I had not even had time to get with the doctor my records or Merchants to do my verification. My 30 days was violated for my side of the debt verification. As I was trying to explain this to ***** and *** on the afternoon of October 2, 2013, both men were rude and belligerent. ***** just repeated what I said and told me I wasted 7 minutes of his time, told me to hold in the middle of our conversation with no explanation as to why and left me there for 10 minutes. I hung up and called back asking for a manager. I then spoke with ***. Who said "big deal ***** took another call more important then you" I was not their customer, the doctors are and they do not have to do anything for me or to help me. I told him the could not bundle up all different accounts with different time periods and different things going on. He said he could do anything he wanted. I hung up and proceeded to call on the Vitalogy skin accounts and ***** did verify the error and put an account hold. I'm still working on the two other older accounts to clear up those problems since I did just receive the debt verification information within my rights. I did not appreciate the threatening letter, the rudeness, the lack of attention or unprofessionalism from this company. There are and were errors to be addresses. Even the business office at one of the doctors office admitted that as is appalled at Merchants behaviour. I called them in order to fix the problem. I did not ignore. I was instead treated extremely horribly. It does not help my medical issues.

Desired Settlement: I would like all negative reporting by Merchants removed promptly from my Credit. I would like Merchants to honor the account hold from Vitalogy skin in accordance with my agreement and the Business office staff and recognize it is NOT 3 or 4 separate accounts but one account. Sometimes things are not what they look like, do not be so fast as to argue with someone. I would like Merchants to cease and desist all contact with me in accordance to the Fair Credit Reporting Act. I will not be subjected to any further rude behaviour. I will handle the balance with the doctor's office s without their further intervention or heartache on my health. I would like Merchants to recognize that how they handled this situation was in error both in how they combined all the accounts and how their employees spoke to me on the phone so it will not happen again in accordance to the Fair Credit Reporting Act.

Business Response: BBB Complaint: ******** ****** Case ID #*******
 

Ms. ******’s complaint that we failed to provide assistance
is not accurate. She called our office on September 5, 2013 questioning one of
her accounts. We offered to mail her an itemized statement on that account and
one on a second account that we brought to her attention. She stated we could
mail them to the address we had on file. We mailed both itemized statements on
September 13, 2013. On September 17, 2013, another client assigned four
accounts with different dates of service. As required by law, we sent the first
notification letter on September 18, 2013 on each of these individual accounts.
On September 23, 2013 we attempted to contact her by phone. When we called her
number there was not an answer but a few minutes later she called and stated she
was not ******** ****** and did not know that person. Even though the phone
number was the same one she had called us from on September 5th. (Also,
I listened to the recorded phone calls we have from her phone number, it sounds
like the same person.) Regardless, since we could not reach her by phone, we
sent out a letter on September 26, 2013. She called us on October 2, 2013. Our
representative attempted to answer her questions but at one point, he had to
ask her to hold. She was on hold approximately two and a half minutes when she
hung up and called back to our office asking to speak with a manager. She was
transferred to a manager. Mr. ******* tried to answer her questions but she
became upset. She said she was put on hold for “an inexcusable amount of time” and
called us “crooks”. She told him we can’t collect on all these accounts at one
time because that is against the law. He was telling her it was not illegal
when she hung up on him.

 

Let me clarify our procedures on new accounts.  As new accounts are assigned and entered into
our system they are “linked” to other accounts in the system and “packeted” so
that we work them at the same time. Each account will get a required individual
first notification letter but after this first individual contact we work the
accounts at the same time. If we didn’t do this, then we would be making
numerous calls and sending numerous letters to an individual that would then be
construed as harassment.

 

One of our clients, Vitalogy Skincare, did contact us on
October 22, 2013 instructing us to put their four accounts on a hold until
further notice.

 

Vitalogy Skincare has given us permission to remove their
accounts from the credit report. We have notified the bureaus to delete
immediately. We will not remove the other client’s accounts from her credit
report; as per our clients, they remain unpaid past due collection accounts. We
will cease and desist contact with her based on her request through the BBB
complaint.

 

I do want to say that I have listened to all of the phone
calls between her and our representatives and the supervisor who spoke with
her. None of them were ever rude to her. If Ms. ****** or you would like to
listen to the phone calls, please contact me and I’ll be happy to play them.

 

If Ms. ****** would like to contact me directly I encourage
her to do so and will try to answer her questions or work with her in resolving
her accounts.  

Consumer Response: Complaint: *******
I am rejecting their response because it still contains many untruths  and slanderis remarks towards myself.  I realize they are trying to protect their company but they were rude, hung up on me, never sent me itemized statements, left me on hold, I been this waiting three months to respond even to THIS complaint with the  BBB and took over five weeks to stop sending me bills from Vitaology Skin even after they were told not to.  I received three more bills from them.

This company twists the truth and has a blatant disregard for customers, clients, and authority. 

First I never received itemized statements from them.  Only more billing statements.
Second, I NEVER told them I was NOT me on a phone call.  I called them back or let it roll to my answering service.  But saying I claimed not to be myself is slander and a lie in a pile of the rest of their lies. I don't care what they say they do or don't have chopped up tapes. I do have a 25 yr old daughter who sounds nearly like me. However to make such a horrid accusation is criminal. 
Third, I WAS disconnected when put on hold by your rude agents. I did not hang up. Again. You turned it on me. Poor form.
Fourth when I tried to speak to a manager he was a rude  man who basically told me I was none of his concern and he didn't care about me only the people he was collecting for.  So why would I want to "further discuss and clarify" this with you?  This is why I went to the BBB and then it took three months and two complaints for you to respond to them.

If they continued to make such remarks I will no other recourse than to seek legal counsel. Collectors have to be aware of what they say.  I can say you are rude and a crook.

I am overburdened with medical bills and doing what I can to pay everyone what I can. Unfortunatley some things go to bad collectors like you in a very short 90 days before arrangements and insurance has been paid. I will deal with the doctors directly not crooks, yes I do claim that one that lie and say you are will ruin my credit if I don't pay you ASAP.  Listen to  your own tapes on that one.
Regards,

******** ******


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