Beware of this company Please -- DO NOT GIVE THEM YOUR MONEY!!!
Keep in mind that the names that I use in this report are the names that the people in this company gave me. They are posing as lawyers but are really just a bunch of lying scumbags working for a collection agency...and these may not be their real names. Here is the story.
Tabitha Wright from Barnes, Bloom & Associates called one of my relatives telling her that I was going to be arrested and will spend 90 days in jail without bond for two felony charges that were made against me from a company that I owe a debt to. Tabitha Wright said that the company I owed money hired their law firm (Barnes Bloom & Associates) to collect the amount owed by the end of the business day or a warrant for my arrest will be issued immediately. My relative called me right away and gave me Ms. Wrights telephone number, and I immediately called her.
Tabitha Wright proceeded to tell me that I must immediately make a payment to avoid being arrested. She was extremely convincing and had a lot of personal details about me (address/social security number etc.) so I believed her. She also told me that she ran a complete background check on me. I told her that I did not have all of the money she was asking for at the time, and she put me on the phone with her boss Grace Hightower.
Grace Hightower claimed to be a lawyer working for Barnes Bloom & Associates (Which I later found out was a complete lie). She said that she had taken my case to court and the judge ordered a warrant to be issued on me if the payment was not made in full by the end of the day. Grace Hightower was extremely aggressive, insulting, unprofessional, and beyond rude....but she did have a lot of personal information about me, my family, and about my debt, which is why I believed her.
She proceeded to tell told me that I had two Felony counts against me currently and that I was not allowed to contact her client (which are the people who I owe the debt to) or there will be further charges made against me. She then told me that I have until the end of the business day to pay and transferred the phone back to Tabitha Wright.
I was scared, as I have children and I am a single parent and I COULD NOT go to jail. I Told Tabitha wright that the only account that I had access to at the moment had some money in it and that I could make a partial payment and pay the remaining balance at a later date. Tabitha Wright then said that she will transfer me over to their processing department so that I can submit the payment. She also told me that if the remaining balance was not set up and paid, that the entire transaction would be void and the warrant will be issued immediately, so I made the initial payment, which was about a third of the amount owed. They processed the payment through a third party company called Vantage Point Services based out of New York...although they told me that they were connecting me to their personal payment department.
After I got off the phone, I decided to call the original company that I owe the debt to even though I was told by Grace Hightower this was not allowed. I spoke to a lady in the at the corporate office, and I made sure that the person I spoke with held a very high position. After telling her what just happened to me, she told me that this was fraudulent and that their company would NEVER go about collecting a debt from me in this manner. She also said that they never hire law firms to pursue individuals who owe debts, they simply transfer the debt to a collection agency. She then took the name of the company from me and she gave me the number to the Federal Trade Commission to report them, which I am in the process of doing now. Then, she gave me the name of the collection agency that her office transferred my account to.
I contacted the company that she gave me, and they did, indeed, have my account. The representative from that company told me that they sometimes outsource work, and that my account was outsourced to Barnes Blooms and Associates. He then told me that Barnes, Blooms and Associates were charging me three times the amount that I could settle my account for and that their practices were INDEED fraudulent. He, too, recommended contacting the Federal Trade Commission, and he told me that he is going to handle this and call me back before the end of the day. The representative from Northern Resolution Group called me back, apologized repeatedly for the situation, and he offered me a settlement amount that was much, much lower than what they were trying to get out of me from Barnes Blooms and Associates.
I called Barnes, Blooms and Associates back. I told Tabitha Wright that I know that they were lying me and were charging me much more than I needed to pay. She did not respond and immediately transferred me to Grace Hightower. Grace Hightower continued to lie over and over trying to defend herself even though I now knew the truth. This lady is INCAPABLE of telling the truth, and the more she spoke, the more I realized that she had some serious mental issues. She also started spewing insults at me. She completely refused to admit her wrongdoing and was not even willing to entertain the thought of giving me a refund. Not wanting to deal with Grace Hightower, I called Tabitha Wright again repeatedly to discuss getting a refund with her and she refused to answer my calls.
I called Vantage Point Services and gave them a brief sum of what occured, and they told me that they will not process the other payment. For the initial payment that I made, I had to file a dispute for it through my credit card company.
Barns, Blooms and Associates are ALL LIARS AND FRAUDS SO PLEASE BEWARE.
They charged me much more than I was required to pay, and they that they obtained money from me using deceptive, fraudulent tactics that are unlawful. I definitely learned my lesson and want to keep you from going through what I experienced.
BOTTOM LINE -- You will not go to jail for owing a debt. These scumbags will scare you into believing that owing a debt is a criminal matter when it is not. It is a civil matter. These guys are thieves and liars posing as professionals.