If you have received any debt harassment from MRS Associates, it is time to learn how to deal with this agency the appropriate way.
More about MRS Associates
MRS Associates is a legitimate collection agency that is also required to follow the laws of debt collection. This aggressive debt collector is also called MRS BPO, LLC and was founded by two individuals – Jeff and Saul Freedman, in 1991. Currently, the company’s headquarters is situated in New Jersey’s Cherry Hill. Since it is quite a large debt collection agency, it has other functional offices in Arizona and Ohio too.
Accreditation of MRS Associates
As a member of the American Collectors Association International, MRS BPO, LLC is fully represented. The trade group claims that its mission is ensuring that ACA International members succeed as it contributes to the positive reputation of the industry of credit and collection. Due to this membership, MRS took the following Collector’s Pledge:
- To believe that every person is worthy as an individual
- To believe that each person deserves to treated with respect and dignity
- To be personally responsible in finding means to ensure consumers pay their just debts
- To be ethical and professional
- To commit towards honoring this pledge
The Better Business Bureau granted MRS an A+ letter grade to assure the United States consumers that it is a trustworthy company. The opening of the BBB file took place in 2006, and accreditation began in June 2016. Based on four customer reviews, the company acquired 3.68 stars out of 5. Regardless of this accreditation, there have been multiple customer complaints regarding the company’s conduct and delivery of services.
How MRS Associates works
MRS Associates is known to offer services such as:
- Financial services
- Fines, tolls and parking
MRS Associates has attorneys as part of its staff, whose specialty is filing civil lawsuits on behalf of companies, against you, the consumer. These lawsuits are bad news as they can be extremely detrimental to you, since they may cause judgment that can further result in the placement of liens against you and your property, garnishment of your wages and seizure of your assets. What’s worse, this company can also cause you to face judgment on credit report files, which can really affect your credit worthiness. Therefore, if you do not know your consumer rights and can hardly protect yourself, you will have problems dealing with debt collectors such as this.
Your right in debt collection
As a consumer, you are protected by the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act. This Act also provides a summary of violations and hence you can be well informed about what debt collectors like MRS Associates are allowed or not allowed to do in the process of collecting debts.
Action after initiation of contact
As they claim debts, MRS Associates may initiate contact through annoying phone calls. If this takes place, you need to settle the issue using the following tips;
- Avoid phone dealings
According to the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act, your right as a consumer include receiving a modicum of respect, honesty and dignity. Therefore, if you feel harassed by the frequent calls from MRS Associates, you should write a formal letter to the company, informing the collection agents that you know your right and thus they should adhere to them. Additionally, request that all forms of communication to take place through letter mail. The paper trail provides you with evidence for future reference, in case any misunderstandings take place.
- Debt validation request
Definitely, MRS Associates will adhere to your certified letter mail request. Therefore, they are likely to send you the first mail of communication, requesting you to repay the debt. Within 30 days after they have sent this mail, you should write the company a second mail letter, which is a debt validation request. In short, the collection agents should send you proof that you have an existing debt and the documentation proving so. As soon as you receive a letter with their validation details, you must analyze it carefully to determine the truth of their claims.
Research requires you to review your records. In case you do not have these records, contact your original creditor’s customer service department to verify your last payments. If the last payments indicate that you have no debt, you should send a copy of your creditor’s reports to the collection agents and demand that they should cease asking for payment of non-existing debts.
On the other hand, if the debt exists but the debt collector’s report has inaccuracies,, it is time to take a step towards correction of this error so that the right amount can be claimed.
- Submission of a credit dispute
The errors in the report provided by the MRS Associates are not to be taken lightly. You must submit a credit dispute to MRS if the information in the debt validation is wrong under these conditions;
- Ø You do not owe any debt
- Ø you have already cleared the debt
- Ø the amount stated is incorrect
- Credit bureaus dispute
If you do not owe the debt or have already cleared it, it is advisable to check with TransUnion, Experian and Equifax. If these MRS recording are present, dispute this with the credit bureaus directly using a certified mail letter.
- Statute of limitations
The company should send you a letter stating the right figures.
After this letter arrives, visit the statue of limitations with regards to your type of debt to find out about expiry of the account. This only applies to the forgivable types of debts after a specified period of years. If it has already expired since it went delinquent, you should notify the collection agents and request them to quit asking for payment. However, if it has not expired, it is time to settle the debt.
- Negotiating settlement
The negotiation phase takes place between you, the consumer, and the MRS Associates. It entails bargaining the amount that you should pay out of the total debt that you owe.
As soon as you come to an agreement, write a check to pay the agreed upon. On the other hand, MRS should discard the negative entry in your credit reports upon receiving payment. For assurance, it is advisable to follow up after 30 days. Failure to remove the negative entry means taking further action. If they continue to delay, you should dispute this with the credit bureaus as you present evidence of the agreement. Follow up should continue until your credit report goes back to its rightful state.
In conclusion, dealing with MRS Associates requires you to be very careful. Otherwise, the collection agents could make you pay for debts you do not owe. In all these confrontations, be confident since you are protected by the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act.