I had a medical bill from a hospital in the Cleveland area sent to them. I had received a first letter stating that they were the third party agency who had the account now. About 3 to 4 months later I started receiving phone calls in regards to the bill.
First and foremost I would just like to say that I work in the collections industry and have been trained exceptionally well with FDCPA. I told her that financially I couldn't do anything right now because I was out of work, and my husband was barely paying our regular monthly bills as it was. She asked "Are you even going to look for a job?" I said "Excuse me, I have already started to look ma'am" She then said "Wow, I can't imagine not having a job, How are you making it? Are you even getting by?" I told her that as soon as I could do something I would call back and set up some arrangements. She said "Well, just so you know miss we will be serving your husband with this bill" I told her that was fine and ended the conversation.
As I have many years collection experience not once did she state on the telephone or voicemail that she was a "Debt Collector" or "This is an attempt to collect a debt and any information obtained will be used for that purpose" She had only called me 2 to 3 times since I had spoke with her the last time and had only received approximately 3 letters. Whereas in my collections field if you can't get a hold of someone you call them back within 3 days. Everytime she would leave a voicemail the only thing she would say is "This is revenue group calling for Ms. Blank, I'll be in the office tonight until about um, 7:00 P.M. please call me at 216-763-2150" Not once did she do a Foti Message stating that she was a debt collector.
Then I had received a bill the beginning of the month stating that the account had been ignored for our demanding payment, and your lack of concern only makes things worse. I had called back 3 weeks later to set up the arrangements because I was finally back on my feet and a little more financially stable. Thats when I spoke with a male. I told him the situation and who had been calling me in regards to my account. Told him that I was in a better position and I could make 250-300 dollar a month payments. He then replied "Ms. You do realize that we have this account in pre-legal and it's been looked over for legal review" I asked him why I had not received anything in the mail in concerns to this. (My company sends you out a notice stating that the account was referred to the legal department and you have so much time to call and make an arrangement) His reply was "Well Ms. you've only been buying yourself some time, how could you of not known about this?" I told him that I couldn't pay the balance in full and would need to make some sort of arrangements. He said "Well, we can offer you a settlement on the account of 2000.00" I said "Sir, that is not a settlement that's balance in full" He then said "Well, if you can pay the balance in full now, you can save yourself from it being reported to the credit bureaus, or it will be much higher when they do sue you for the account, the only arrangements that I can take from you today is 400.00 a month before the end of this month, for the next 6 months" I told him I didn't understand why I had not received a letter or phone call in regards to the account being sent to the legal department and was offering him close to 300.00 a month, I was also willing to set up check by phones to pay in full. He stated that he could not accept that from me and I would have until the end of the month to come up with balance in full or pay the 400.00 a month for 6 months. I was very eerie of also setting up check by phones as well.
A friend of mine had a Key Bank account that was sent there as well, she called in, was willing to pay, had asked for the settlement offer and had set up a post dated Visa transaction to come out of her checking account on her next payday. They debited her account the next day for the balance in full and not the settlement offer that she was supposed to do two weeks later. She called back in to speak with a manager in regards to their mistake and was put on hold for 45 minutes before she talked to someone who told her that they had just "stepped out" and would have to call back later.
I am very unhappy with this company. They are insulting, rude, and unprofessional. I plan on getting an attorney's opinion before I send them that much per month. I am surprised that they have not been sued for FDCPA violations, harassment, and being false and misleading.