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In Wisconsin

BBB Accredited Business since

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Description

This company provides consumer, commercial, retail and governmental debt collection services.

BBB Accreditation

A BBB Accredited Business since

BBB has determined that The Stark Agency 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 16 factors. Get the details about the factors considered.

Factors that raised the rating for The Stark Agency include:

  • Length of time business has been operating.
  • Complaint volume filed with BBB for business of this size.
  • Response to 12 complaint(s) filed against business.
  • Resolution of complaint(s) filed against business.
  • BBB has sufficient background information on this business.


Customer Complaints Summary Read complaint details

12 complaints closed with BBB in last 3 years | 3 closed in last 12 months
Complaint Type Total Closed Complaints
Advertising/Sales Issues 0
Billing/Collection Issues 8
Delivery Issues 0
Guarantee/Warranty Issues 0
Problems with Product/Service 4
Total Closed Complaints 12

Customer Reviews Summary Read customer reviews

0 Customer Reviews on The Stark Agency
Customer Experience Total Customer Reviews
Positive Experience 0
Neutral Experience 0
Negative Experience 0
Total Customer Reviews 0

Additional Information

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BBB file opened: August 16, 1996 Business started: 01/02/1948 in WI Business started locally: 01/02/1948 Business incorporated: 01/02/1948 in WI
Licensing

This business is in an industry that may require professional licensing, bonding or registration. BBB encourages you to check with the appropriate agency to be certain any requirements are currently being met.

These agencies may include:

Wisconsin Dept of Financial Institutions
345 W Washington Ave, Madison WI 53703
http://www.wdfi.org
Phone Number: (608) 261-9555
Fax Number: (608) 261-7200
askthesecretary@dfi.state.wi.us

Type of Entity

Corporation

Business Management
Ms. Pauline Kussart, President
Contact Information
Principal: Ms. Pauline Kussart, President
Business Category

Collection Agencies Collection Agencies (NAICS: 561440)

Hours of Operation
M: 8:00 AM - 8:00 PM
T: 8:00 AM - 8:00 PM
W: 8:00 AM - 8:00 PM
Th: 8:00 AM - 8:00 PM
F: 8:00 AM - 5:00 PM
S: Closed
Su: Closed
Alternate Business Names
Check Recovery Solutions The Stark Collection Agency The Stark Collection Agency, Inc.

Additional Locations

  • 6425 Odana Road, Suite 22

    Madison, WI 53719 (608) 274-7764

  • PO Box 45710

    Madison, WI 53744

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Professional AffiliationsX
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Types of Complaints Handled by BBB

BBB handles the following types of complaints between businesses and their customers so long as they are not, or have not been, litigated:

  • Advertising or Sales
  • Billing or Collection
  • Problems with Products or Services
  • Delivery
  • Guarantee or Warranty

We do not handle workplace disputes, discrimination claims or claims about the quality of health or legal services.

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BBB Complaint Process

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Complaint Detail(s)

7/21/2014 Billing/Collection Issues
4/19/2014 Billing/Collection Issues | Complaint Details Unavailable
9/26/2013 Problems with Product/Service | Read Complaint Details
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Additional Notes

Complaint: My father and myself have the same name, and I currently am living at his place so have the same address. I am trying to purchase a house so ordered my credit report to clean it up. I noticed on my report a collection form this collection company. I called to inform them that the collection was not mine, but was my fathers. The person I talked to talked to my father, to verify and try to collect payment from him. Once I got the phone back, the lady on the phone refused to send me information to show the account was not mine, she in fact told me that they would not remove the collection from my credit report into my father paid the bill in full. I asked to talk to a manager, she told me none was available and hung up on me. I called back and asked to speak to a manager, the person put me on hold and then someone answered saying they were the manager in charge. I told him the situation, and he told me there was nothing he could do that they were just a data collection company and did not handle money or collections, that is a complete lie, as they just tried collecting money from my father just moments before. I asked them to send me something I could use to dispute the credit burro and show that the account is not mine, and he refused saying I am not the person the account belongs to, I told him that is exactly my point and would like it removed from my credit report. Again he refused.

Desired Settlement: I want the information they sent to the credit burros corrected, and the account that is not mine that they had the credit burro put there removed. I should not have to hurt my credit report for a bill that is not mine, never was mine and had nothing to do with me.

Business Response:

September 25, 2013

 

Response to Complaint # *******, ****** ***** *******

 

To Whom It May Concern:

Mr. ******* *** did call this office on 9/17/13 to report a possible erroneous item on his credit file.   The first representative had a difficult time with this first call as both a Mr. ******* *** and Mr. ******* *** were on the phone making rapid demands.   Because of complicated federal and state laws we have to follow strict procedures and my staff followed those procedures perfectly upon my thorough investigation.  

On a subsequent call, one of my managers talked to Mr. ******* ***   Again, he was advised of our procedure which is dictated by law and by our client.   Unfortunately, Mr. ******* *** was confused by the complicated set of laws we have to follow and thus the call was transferred to me as the owner of the company.

I was able to secure cross authorization from the two *******s until I could sort out who exactly was the liable party.  The end result was us furnishing deletion request data to the credit reporting agencies for Mr. ******* ***

I would like to point out that same name confusion occurs all too often.   When a consumer calls, we have to try to sort through the information given to us the best we can.   Many times that is difficult at best when an angry consumer calls and wants immediate action.  And again, because of the plethora of laws governing our actions we have to have very strict procedures in place to safeguard both the consumer and us.   When emotions run high, many misunderstandings and miscommunication occurs.

I thank Mr. ******* for filing this issue with you so that I had a venue to express our frustration with the laws that do not allow us to resolve issues with an immediate response and laws that lead to misconceptions about collection agencies.

Because I myself dealt with Mr. ******* I am hopeful he got the resolution he was looking for.  If not I welcome him to call me.  

Sincerely,

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

The Stark Collection Agency

###-###-####

Consumer Response:

Better Business Bureau:

I have reviewed the response made by the business in reference to complaint ID *******, and have determined that this does not resolve my complaint.  For your reference, details of the offer I reviewed appear below.

[To assist us in bringing this matter to a close, we would like to know your view on the matter.]

Regards,

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

 

Yes eventually they did correct the error, but no they did not explain any laws, I was blatantly told that they would not help me, and to call someone else, I was also told that they would not furnish me with any documentation, or my father with any documentation they had showing that any claim was legit.  I was also told by the first person I talked to that the claim would not be removed from my report into my father paid it in full.  It was not into I called several times, I did finial get a lady on the phone that did help me and finally assisted me in removing the collection from my credit report.   The fact that she could do this and that she did do this, shows that the person I talked to before her, that told me they could not help me, that they were just a data collection company and was unable to remove  the collection, and that I had to call the collection burros to do this, was obviously lying to me.  

The problem in the end did get solved, and for that I am thankful, but the response back to this is a complete and utter lie of how things happened.  No laws were explained to me, only thing told to me was they were not going to help me and that they would not furnish me or my father with any documents verifying there claim that money was owed to them.  I don't know if I talked to the owner as the response claims, I talked to several people.  The last person that helped me was a women, and I did thank her and still do thank her for actually listening to me and taking the time to sort thing out and removing the mistaken claim from my report.

This should of happened on the first call, I should of not been told that it could not be done, when obviously by the fact that it was, can be.  I should of not been told they would not provide any documentation to my or my father proving that the collection was legitimist and owed to them, and finally I should not have been told that the collection will remain on my credit report into my father pays it in full.

There is nothing more that can be said about this, as in the end I was helped, as in the paper work was filled out to delete the error from my credit reports.  If that was done yet on the side of the credit burros I don't know, it normally takes up to 30 days for changes to take place, so in 30 days from the date that the paper work was sent, I will check my report again and make sure it was removed.   The hassle and lies from the people I talked to at this collection company was uncalled for.  I understand they have a hard job of getting people to pay the money that is owed, and most people that actually owe money to them probably try to do what ever they can to get out of it.  But in my case, I did not owe the money at all, and should of be treated better and not lied to or dismissed saying they could not do anything.

 

BBB's Final Determination: After reviewing the position of all parties, BBB determined that the business made a reasonable effort to address the complaint. However the consumer remains dissatisfied.

6/17/2013 Billing/Collection Issues | Complaint Details Unavailable
4/22/2013 Problems with Product/Service | Read Complaint Details
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Additional Notes

Complaint: I received a copy of my credit report on 3-21-13 and noticed that (He) Stark Agency was on there stating I stilled owed $141.00. I called the original creditor which was ******* ********* ***** and spoke with **** and she clarified for me that I do have a zero balance and it was taken care of back in April of 2011. She told me I would have to contact the collection agency(Stark Agency) to get this taken care of...I called Stark Agency on this same day and spoke with ******** and explained the situation and she stated that I would have to contact ********** to get this removed..So I called ********** and they explained the dispute process and that I should get Stark Agency to fax them a letter with my file number on it and they would start their investigation to get this taken care of... So I called Stark Agency back and spoke with ******** again and explained to her what ********** requested and she put me on hold and spoke with her *******/*****(***) and said there was nothing they could do..I then asked her to just send me a letter stating this debt was taken care back in April of 2011 and she said she would put a request in for this to be sent to me...So I waited a week and still received nothing so I called back on 3-28-13 and spoke with ******** again and she immediately put me on hold and transferred me to *** (without asking me or telling me what she was doing). So I spoke with *** and explained this whole mess and he stated that he was in the room when ******** spoke with me on 3-21-13 and stated that she never promised me this(which I don't believe he was in the room considering all the times I was put on hold on 3-21-13)...I explained that she did offer to put a request in for the letter and I still have not received it and he said again there was nothing he could do and even if they sent the letter it would not change on my credit report. I then asked one more time please just send me a copy of what was sent to ********** and he said it was done electronically and there is nothing to send me...I said all I am asking for is proof that this debt is paid so I can send a letter to ********** to have this removed..I got no assistance whatsoever...I told him that I would be contacting the Better Business Bureau to get assistance...He stated he was disconnecting the phone call.

Desired Settlement: I would like a letter stating the debt has been taken care of in full and the date it was taken care with my information on it...I would like this letter mailed directly to me so that I have a copy for my records and then I can forward the correct information to Transunion that they requested...An apology would be nice as well..

Business Response:

To Whom It May Concern:

 

I am writing in response to the complaint this office received (#*******) from Ms. ***** *. ****** regarding an issue with her credit report.  Please note that we take complaints with the Better Business Bureau very seriously, and as I result I have diligently reviewed Ms. ******’s account with our agency.

 First and foremost, this office owes an apology to Ms. ******.  The customer service she received was unacceptable and we are actively working to prevent another such breakdown.

 To resolve the issue, this office has emailed Ms. ****** directly and has taken all available measures to contact the Credit Reporting Bureaus to remove the listing.  We have furnished deletion request data via the E-OSCAR service and we will again furnish deletion request data on or around the 9th of April.

Ms. ****** also received a personal phone call from myself apologizing and laying out our action plan.

 We apologize again to Ms. ****** and hope this letter settles the matter amicably. 

******* *******, *********

BBB's Final Determination: Business offered a resolution. Consumer did not pursue further with BBB and the matter was assumed to be resolved

3/17/2013 Billing/Collection Issues | Complaint Details Unavailable
7/3/2012 Problems with Product/Service | Read Complaint Details
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Additional Notes

Complaint: I received a letter stating that the Stark agency would be garnishing my wages for an unpaid ticket that had gone into collections. I was horrified and in an attempt to save face, i called the Stark agency and i paid the balance in full. I was told that the payment would stop the wage garnishment. Two weeks later, my wages were garnished. I call the Stark agency and they admitted their mistake saying they forgot to sent the stop garnishment papers to my job. That was April 25th. I still have not received my reimbursement due to procedures at my job. Once they received the full balance, they had no right to garnish my wages. The manager at Stark say they had every right to do so. I honestly believe that the Stark agency purposely did not stop the garnishment in an attempt to collect for other debts. I believe this is illegal.

Desired Settlement: I believe Stark should be given a fine.

Business Response:

Ms. ***** had a long overdue citation charge referred to this office for collection from the **** County Clerk of Courts office .   She had been sent multiple letters with no reply until February of this year.  She made a payment agreement.  When we did not receive payment as agreed we notified the Court and they issued a Court Ordered Income Assignment.    When Ms. ***** received her copy of the Assignment she called this office and a credit card payment in full was processed.  

We did send a release to her employer but that release was not processed prior to the first witholding occurring.   We received the witholding check on 5/1/12 and it was returned that day to her employer.  

Do not hesitate contacting me should you need further information.

******* *******, President

 

 

Consumer Response: Better Business Bureau:I have reviewed the response made by the business in reference to complaint ID *******, and have determined that this does not resolve my complaint.  For your reference, details of the offer I reviewed appear below.[To assist us in bringing this matter to a close, we would like to know your view on the matter.]


I read the response from the Stark agency. I found out in January that I owed for a ticket from 2010. I thought that matter had already been resolved. I did speak to the Stark agency and I agreed to come in to pay the balance. I've just taken on a new case load at work and was very busy. I forgot. I never received notice of a court date. If I had I would've have paid immediately. When I spoke to the office manager on 4/25/12 about the money that was garnished. He told me that the Stark agency never sent the stop garnishment to my employer. They sat on the paperwork for 10 days.  This is the reason for my complaint. 

Regards,

****** *****

 

 

Business Response:

Ms. ***** was issued two traffic violations on 8/22/10.   Both fines should have been paid to the Dane County Clerk of Courts office by 12/3/10.   Ms. ***** failed to pay both of them.  So on 1/25/11 the Court filed judgments against her on both unpaid citations and they referred the cases to our office for collection.   As of 2/1/12 she still had not paid so the Court suspended her driving privileges.   She called us on 2/6/12 saying she wanted to pay because the citations were suspending her driving privileges but would only pay the balance after the Department of Revenue sent us offset refund money.   She did not follow through so the Court issued an Income Order.   Ms. ***** was responsible for paying the citations in 2010.  She had ample time to pay what she knew she owed but failed to do so.  Consequences happened.  We do issue releases to an employer after the Court issues an income order.   Our process is an automated process and because of multiple accounts under Ms. ***** name the release request did not get attached to the correct account.   Responsibility lies on the defendant to make timely payments to avoid all consequences which can lead to issues such as this.

Please let me know if you need anything further.

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

Consumer Response: Better Business Bureau:I have reviewed the response made by the business in reference to complaint ID *******, and have determined that this does not resolve my complaint.  For your reference, details of the offer I reviewed appear below.

The Stark representative does not know the circumstances surrounding the unpaid tickets from 2010. Please do not pass judgement and assume that these tickets went unpaid on purpose. I thought this matter had been resolved and did not find out otherwise until February of this year when I recieved a letter saying my license was suspended. The Stark representative can go on and on about my failure to pay the tickets and other debts which resulted in a wage garnishment. For arguments sake, I will take full responsibility for that. Moving forward, I would like the Stark representative to address the actual reason for the complaint. If it is the policy of the Stark agency not to send a stop garnishment, then the agent that took my payment over the phone should've mentioned that. Had I known, I would've let the garnishment go through and avoided the charge for paying over the phone. Again, the manager of the Stark agency told me that this was their fault. I agree that it's true that I have multiple accounts at the Stark agency, but at this time only one account was approved for garnishment. There was no reason for this mistake. I still believe that the Stark agency continued with the garnishment in an attempt to collect for other debts. This is illegal. If the Stark representative can not take any responsiblilty for the mistake made, how can I be assured that this will not happen to me or someone else? 

[To assist us in bringing this matter to a close, we would like to know your view on the matter.]

Regards,

****** *****

 

 

BBB's Final Determination: After reviewing the position of all parties, BBB determined that the business made a reasonable offer to resolve the complaint. However the consumer did not accept the offer.

2/24/2012 Billing/Collection Issues | Read Complaint Details
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Additional Notes

Complaint: After obtaining a copy of my credit report I see that you are reporting 4 accounts ***** **** *** *** **** - and this is the first I have been aware of this. I spoke to my attorney and we discussed the situation. I was never sent a written notice of this claim as required under the FDCPA which would have provided me with 30 days to respond and request validation of the claim. By not doing this and putting it on my credit you have violated the FDCPA and I am now entitled to $1,000 plus damages pursuant to the length of time it has been on my report (per violation - so this is $4,000 plus damages). I have never had business with these companies not to mention I live in *******!! - I did my research and these companies are not even in *******! This seems like an attempt at fraudulent extortion by your company. I have not given my Attorney the go ahead to file suit yet, as I wanted to contact you first. If these are not removed from my credit immediately I will allow my attorney to take over as well as file complaints with the FTC, the Attorney General as well as my State Senator. I await your reply.

Desired Settlement: remove these accounts right away

Business Response:

First of all, this is the first time I am seeing this complaint filed by Mr. **** .   He should be well aware of the accounts in question as they are violations of law.   In addition, we sent him two notices on each case to **** **** ******* **** ******** ** ******   We also tried calling numerous times.

There are 3 unpaid citations referred from **** ****** ***** ** ****** ******.  He can go to http://wcca.wicourts.gov and review the cases in question.  They are:

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

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

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

Account *******, referred by the **** ** ******* Municipal Court was paid in full by Mr. **** on 9/29/06.

None of these accounts are covered under the FDCPA which regulates consumer transactions.   These accounts are violations of law.  Even if the accounts were covered by the FDCPA, we are in compliance as notices were sent to Mr. **** upon referral and none of the notices were returned as a mail return or with a new address.  I'd be happy to discuss the situation with Mr. ****'s attorney if that is what Mr. **** would like.

We will report dispute data to the credit reporting agencies.   The Court has ordered a money judgment against Mr. **** on all three unpaid accounts.  He can call this office to pay them in full.  Once paid in full, paid data will be sent to the credit reporting agencies.   Just to be clear, there is no fraudulent extortion by us or the Court.   If he feels the Court has wrongfully convicted him, he can contact the **** ****** ***** of Courts office to ask how he can reopen the accounts and plead his case.   The number is ###-###-####.

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

BBB's Final Determination: Business offered a resolution. Consumer did not pursue further with BBB and the matter was assumed to be resolved

12/24/2011 Billing/Collection Issues
10/8/2011 Billing/Collection Issues
9/12/2011 Problems with Product/Service
8/29/2011 Billing/Collection Issues
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