• Report: #339187

Complaint Review: Texas Department Of Public Safety, DPS, Municipal Services Bureau

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  • Submitted: Wed, June 11, 2008
  • Updated: Mon, May 19, 2014

  • Reported By:Wylie Texas
Texas Department Of Public Safety, DPS, Municipal Services Bureau
http://www.txdps.state.tx.us Austin, Texas U.S.A.

Texas Department Of Public Safety, DPS, Municipal Services Bureau RUDE, ARROGANT AND COLD BLOODED Austin Texas

*Consumer Comment: MSB taking advantage of toll road users

*Consumer Comment: Wylie Tx

*Consumer Comment: Similar situation

*Consumer Suggestion: Contact a local toll office

*Consumer Suggestion: MSB/Gila Corp: Debt Collector Liability

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RUDE, ARROGANT AND COLD BLOODED

I just received a letter from the Texas Department of Public Safety telling me my license is suspended again for failing to pay their confiscation/fee/surcharge/duplicate fine when I had already finished my monthly installments in January of this year (2008).
DPS uses a private outfit called Municipal Services Bureau to do their collections dirty work and apparently these are the "people" who generated this letter. I called their number and spoke to someone who identified herself as Martha, and was that ever an awful experience.

She accused me of only paying the last year and neglecting (she implied it was on purpose) to pay the two previous years. Imagine! I paid all I was told to pay, jumped through all the hoops, made all the payments on time every month and followed the online instructions to the letter as well as those that came with the written letter I received. There was ABSOLUTELY NO NOTICE ONLINE that I had two years left to pay, and no letter stating this either. No receipt for the one year and request to make arrangements for the other two years due. Just a cut off notice saying that my license was again suspended.

When I tried to explain to this Martha that she was in error when she accused me of being guilty of purposefully neglecting to pay the first two years she cut me off and went into reading her prepared text and refused to stop rattling on. As far as I could tell she never even stopped to take a breath!

Imagine!! The only way to shut her up was to utter an oath in her direction and terminate the call.

What a horrible person, and I hope she is always treated as badly in life as she treated me!
As for the Texas Department of Public Safety? Well, they let it happen, and in no way did they ever inform me that I needed to begin making payments again to cover the remaining two years due. Just cut off my license. Such is life in Texas, folks.

The final straw was when I attempted to contact DPS using their online contact form and was informed that my yahoo address was not valid! How come it has been working for upteen years then, and everybody else in the whole wide world from Microsoft to online businesses to Wells Fargo and zillions of others can contact me using it???

Incredible imbecility indeed!!!

Arthur
Wylie, Texas
U.S.A.

This report was posted on Ripoff Report on 06/11/2008 07:48 AM and is a permanent record located here: http://www.ripoffreport.com/r/Texas-Department-Of-Public-Safety-DPS-Municipal-Services-Bureau/Austin-Texas-78761-6733/Texas-Department-Of-Public-Safety-DPS-Municipal-Services-Bureau-RUDE-ARROGANT-AND-COLD-339187. The posting time indicated is Arizona local time. Arizona does not observe daylight savings so the post time may be Mountain or Pacific depending on the time of year.

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REBUTTALS & REPLIES:
0Author 5Consumer 0Employee/Owner
Updates & Rebuttals

#1 Consumer Comment

MSB taking advantage of toll road users

AUTHOR: Dan - ()

MSB recently attempted to collect $60 from me for a $2 toll using a variety of intimidating tactics.  The problem appears to be the lack of language defining "a habitual violator" in the Texas Transportation Code (Section 370.177) http://law.onecle.com/texas/transportation/370.177.00.html paragraph (c) which states that "The authority may impose and collect the administrative fee to recover the cost of collecting the unpaid toll, not to exceed $100" for each event.  The "Municipal Services Bureau" however is a *private* company under the Gila LLC group hired by municipalities for collection purposes.  Better Business Bureau complaints against MSB/Gila can be registered here: http://www.bbb.org/central-texas/Business-Reviews/collection-agencies/gila-llc-in-austin-tx-45954/Complaints.  Email to Texas Congressmen however may be more productive, The Texas Senate Committee on Transportaion is here http://www.senate.state.tx.us/75r/senate/commit/c640/c640.htm, and the Texas House Transportation Committee can be found here: http://www.house.state.tx.us/committees/committee/?committee=470&session=83. The current views of Congressmen on toll roads in Texas are in general summed up in this Feb 2013 interim report: http://www.senate.state.tx.us/75r/senate/commit/c640/c640.InterimReport82.pdf.

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#2 Consumer Comment

Wylie Tx

AUTHOR: jeremiah - ()

Man something almost identical just happened to me. Eventually tax paying citizens will get fed up with this kind of stuff. I am sick of money being stolen from me. I am fighting the State of Texas on multiple fronts. At the end of the day its all about who can make the most money off of people. They like to call it revenue. I call it highway robbery. We live in Rome 2.0.

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#3 Consumer Comment

Similar situation

AUTHOR: Bret - ()

My experience is a little different. I was never informed that I needed to pay a surcharge. They could have easily mailed me notice. I found out by getting pulled over with an "Invalid License". Making it a second time to be charged with this. I immediately paid my surcharge online ($104) as well as the DWLI ticket (around $400). The DPS then proceeded to suspend my license for 1 year without possibility of applying for an occupational license.

I followed all instructions on requesting a hearing for an appeal...only to get a rejection letter. The DPS wouldn't even hear me out! AND I now have to pay for SR-22 insurance as if I have a DWI or something! Long story short, the $104 I was never told to pay them has turned into much much more. How are you supposed to work with a suspended license?

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#4 Consumer Suggestion

Contact a local toll office

AUTHOR: radio radio - (United States of America)

I am dealing with a similar situation, as I did with a similar company in Dallas a year or so ago. Basically how I ended up dealing with that was to go into the NTTA (north texas toll authority) and pay off the original fee, which amounted to somewhere between $20-40. When the debt collector contacted me again, I informed them that I had settled the debt with the NTTA and they stopped calling me. I will be going to the same office to ask about the 183-a toll road to see if their is any connection. The Municipal Services Bureau is a debt collector like the one that the NTTA hired to harras me on a daily basis. I have also read that you could inform them that you are settling the debt with the original owner of the debt. As with all toll scams, these people will lie their butts off to get you in a corner that doesn't actually exist as much as you might think. If you have any sort of record of your previous payments, take it to a local toll office and see what you need to do. 
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#5 Consumer Suggestion

MSB/Gila Corp: Debt Collector Liability

AUTHOR: The Man4justice - (U.S.A.)

After reading Arthur's complaint about Municipal Services Bureau collection practices, I decided it was in many ways similar to my ongoing experience with MSB and that it amounts to racketeering and fraud and extortion which are all violations of the Federal Trade Commmission rules you can read at http://www.FTC.gov ph.1-877-381-4357
re: Fair Debt Collection Practices Act.

When I received phone calls from MSB, I asked for the names of their President and Board of Directors, and managers et al, and any documents purporting to give them any authority to demand money from me, and they refused to give any of the requested information. They need to be held accountable for their violations of the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act.

Read more about this at http://www.MolokaiAdvertiserNews.com

Following is some of the FDCPA law anyone can use to to resolve or avoid this MSB Rip-off:

THE FAIR DEBT COLLECTION PRACTICES ACT
As amended by Pub. L. 109-351, 801-02, 120 Stat. 1966 (2006) complete text of the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA), 15 U.S.C. 1692-1692p.
813. Civil liability Against Collectors
(a) Except as otherwise provided by this section, any debt collector
who fails to comply with any provision of this title
with respect to any person is liable to such person in an
amount equal to the sum of

see PDF Letter from FTC :

805. Communication in connection with debt collection
(a) COMMUNICATION WITH THE CONSUMER GENERALLY.
Without the prior consent of the consumer given
directly to the debt collector or the express permission of
a court of competent jurisdiction, a debt collector may not
communicate with a consumer.......
(c) CEASING COMMUNICATION. If a consumer notifies a
debt collector in writing that the consumer refuses to pay a
debt or that the consumer wishes the debt collector to cease
further communication with the consumer, the debt collector
shall not communicate further with the consumer with
respect to such debt, except
(1) to advise the consumer that the debt collector's further
efforts are being terminated;
(2) to notify the consumer that the debt collector or creditor
may invoke specified remedies which are ordinarily
invoked by such debt collector or creditor; or

(3) where applicable, to notify the consumer that the debt
collector or creditor intends to invoke a specified remedy.
If such notice from the consumer is made by mail, notification
shall be complete upon receipt.
(d) For the purpose of this section, the term consumer includes
the consumer's spouse, parent (if the consumer is a
minor), guardian, executor, or administrator.
806. Harassment or abuse
A debt collector may not engage in any conduct the natural
consequence of which is to harass, oppress, or abuse any
person in connection with the collection of a debt. Without
limiting the general application of the foregoing, the following
conduct is a violation of this section:
(1) The use or threat of use of violence or other criminal
means to harm the physical person, reputation, or property
of any person.
(5) Causing a telephone to ring or engaging any person
in telephone conversation repeatedly or continuously
with intent to annoy, abuse, or harass any person at the
called number.
(6) Except as provided in section 804, the placement of
telephone calls without meaningful disclosure of the
caller's identity.
807. False or misleading representations
A debt collector may not use any false, deceptive, or misleading
representation or means in connection with the collection
of any debt. Without limiting the general application
of the foregoing, the following conduct is a violation of this
section:
(1) The false representation or implication that the debt
collector is vouched for, bonded by, or affiliated with
the United States or any State, including the use of any
badge, uniform, or facsimile thereof.
(2) The false representation of
(A) the character, amount, or legal status of any debt; or
(B) any services rendered or compensation which may
be lawfully received by any debt collector for the
collection of a debt.
(3) The false representation or implication that any individual
is an attorney or that any communication is from
an attorney.
or
(4) The representation or implication that nonpayment of
any debt will result in the arrest or imprisonment of
any person or the seizure, garnishment, attachment,
or sale of any property or wages of any person unless
such action is lawful and the debt collector or creditor
intends to take such action.

5) The threat to take any action that cannot legally be
taken or that is not intended to be taken.
(9) The use or distribution of any written communication
which simulates or is falsely represented to be a document
authorized, issued, or approved by any court,
official, or agency of the United States or any State, or
which creates a false impression as to its source, authorization,
or approval.
(10) The use of any false representation or deceptive means
to collect or attempt to collect any debt or to obtain
information concerning a consumer.
(11) The failure to disclose in the initial written communication
with the consumer and, in addition, if the initial
communication with the consumer is oral, in that initial
oral communication, that the debt collector is attempting
to collect a debt and that any information obtained
will be used for that purpose, and the failure to disclose
in subsequent communications that the communication
is from a debt collector, except that this paragraph shall
not apply to a formal pleading made in connection with
a legal action.
13) The false representation or implication that documents
are legal process.
(14) The use of any business, company, or organization
name other than the true name of the debt collector's
business, company, or organization.


809. Validation of debts
(a) Within five days after the initial communication with a
consumer in connection with the collection of any debt,
a debt collector shall, unless the following information is
contained in the initial communication or the consumer has
paid the debt, send the consumer a written notice containing
(1) the amount of the debt;
(2) the name of the creditor to whom the debt is owed;
(3) a statement that unless the consumer, within thirty days
after receipt of the notice, disputes the validity of the
debt, or any portion thereof, the debt will be assumed
to be valid by the debt collector;
(4) a statement that if the consumer notifies the debt collector
in writing within the thirty-day period that the
debt, or any portion thereof, is disputed, the debt collector
will obtain verification of the debt or a copy of
a judgment against the consumer and a copy of such
verification or judgment will be mailed to the consumer
by the debt collector; and
(5) a statement that, upon the consumer's written request
within the thirty-day period, the debt collector will
provide the consumer with the name and address of the
original creditor, if different from the current creditor.
(b) If the consumer notifies the debt collector in writing within
the thirty-day period described in subsection (a) that the
debt, or any portion thereof, is disputed, or that the consumer
requests the name and address of the original credi tor, the debt collector shall cease collection of the debt,
or any disputed portion thereof, until the debt collector
obtains verification of the debt or any copy of a judgment,
or the name and address of the original creditor, and a copy
of such verification or judgment, or name and address of
the original creditor, is mailed to the consumer by the debt
collector. Collection activities and communications that
do not otherwise violate this title may continue during
the 30-day period referred to in subsection (a) unless the
consumer has notified the debt collector in writing that the
debt, or any portion of the debt, is disputed or that the consumer
requests the name and address of the original creditor.
Any collection activities and communication during the
30-day period may not overshadow or be inconsistent with
the disclosure of the consumer's right to dispute the debt or
request the name and address of the original creditor.
(c) The failure of a consumer to dispute the validity of a debt
under this section may not be construed by any court as an
admission of liability by the consumer.
(d) A communication in the form of a formal pleading in a
civil action shall not be treated as an initial communication
for purposes of subsection (a).
(e) The sending or delivery of any form or notice which
does not relate to the collection of a debt and is expressly
required by the Internal Revenue Code of 1986, title V of
Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act, or any provision of Federal or
State law relating to notice of data security breach or privacy,
or any regulation prescribed under any such provision
of law, shall not be treated as an initial communication in
connection with debt collection for purposes of this section.
811. Legal actions by debt collectors
(a) Any debt collector who brings any legal action on a debt
against any consumer shall
(1) in the case of an action to enforce an interest in real
property securing the consumer's obligation, bring
such action only in a judicial district or similar legal
entity in which such real property is located; or
(2) in the case of an action not described in paragraph (1),
bring such action only in the judicial district or similar
legal entity
(A) in which such consumer signed the contract sued
upon; or
(B) in which such consumer resides at the commencement
of the action.
(b) Nothing in this title shall be construed to authorize the
bringing of legal actions by debt collectors.

813. Civil liability of Debt Collectors
(a) Except as otherwise provided by this section, any debt collector
who fails to comply with any provision of this title
with respect to any person is liable to such person in an
amount equal to the sum of
(1) any actual damage sustained by such person as a result
of such failure;
(2) (A) in the case of any action by an individual, such
additional damages as the court may allow, but not
exceeding $1,000; or
(B) in the case of a class action,
(i) such amount for each named plaintiff as could
be recovered under subparagraph (A), and
(ii) such amount as the court may allow for all
other class members, without regard to a minimum
individual recovery, not to exceed the
lesser of $500,000 or 1 per centum of the net
worth of the debt collector; and
(3) in the case of any successful action to enforce the
foregoing liability, the costs of the action, together with
a reasonable attorney's fee as determined by the court.
On a finding by the court that an action under this
section was brought in bad faith and for the purpose
of harassment, the court may award to the defendant
attorney's fees reasonable in relation to the work expended
and costs.
(b) In determining the amount of liability in any action under
subsection (a), the court shall consider, among other
relevant factors
(1) in any individual action under subsection (a)(2)(A),
the frequency and persistence of noncompliance by the
debt collector, the nature of such noncompliance, and
the extent to which such noncompliance was intentional;
or
(2) in any class action under subsection (a)(2)(B), the
frequency and persistence of noncompliance by the
debt collector, the nature of such noncompliance, the
resources of the debt collector, the number of persons
adversely affected, and the extent to which the debt
collector's noncompliance was intentional.
(c) A debt collector may not be held liable in any action
brought under this title if the debt collector shows by a
preponderance of evidence that the violation was not intentional
and resulted from a bona fide error notwithstanding
the maintenance of procedures reasonably adapted to avoid
any such error.
(d) An action to enforce any liability created by this title may
be brought in any appropriate United States district court
without regard to the amount in controversy, or in any
other court of competent jurisdiction, within one year from
the date on which the violation occurs.
(e) No provision of this section imposing any liability shall
apply to any act done or omitted in good faith in conformity
with any advisory opinion of the Commission,.......
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