Is Medical Recovery Specialists calling you? This article may be able to help.*
Calls and letters from debt collectors are stressful, especially if you can’t afford to settle the debt as quickly as they are demanding.
While many collectors can be willing to work out a sustainable payment arrangement with you, others become hostile to the point of abuse, calling you at all hours of the day and night and contacting your friends and relatives.
Many people faced with this circumstance fold under the pressure and declare personal bankruptcy.
You don't have to declare personal bankruptcy to get these harrasing calls to stop. The law is actually on your side.
The Fair Debt Collection Practices Act, or FDCPA, was established in 1977 in response to consumer complaints about unethical collection agencies.
The FDCPA made it illegal for third-party debt collectors to use these tactics to settle a debt:
- Calling you outside of the hours of 8:00 a.m. and 9:00 p.m. your time
- Calling you at work after you’ve told them that your boss doesn’t allow such calls
- Swearing and using vulgar, racist or sexist language
- Discussing the debt with anyone except you, your spouse, and your attorney
- Making threats they cannot legally carry out or have no intention of carrying out, such as seizing your assets
- Telling you that you have committed a crime and will be arrested if you don’t pay
Alleged Violations against Medical Recovery Specialists*
Although these abuses and others like them are illegal, some debt collectors persist in using them because people become frightened enough to pay.
Medical Recovery Specialists is a healthcare collection agency located in Des Plaines, Illinois.
It was established in 1999, employs 50 to 99 staff, and exclusively collects medical debt.
Records archived at the PACER (Public Access to Court Electronic Records) website indicate that Medical Recovery Specialists has been sued by consumers who believed that the company violated their rights during the debt collection process.
Loidy Tang, individually and on behalf of a class v. Medical Recovery Specialists
In March 2011, Illinois resident Loidy Tang claims that she began receiving automated collection calls to her cell phone. These calls allegedly ended in the following voicemail message:
This is an important message for Loidy Tang. If this is not Loidy Tang please hang up or delete this message. If this is Loidy Tang please remain on the line.
There will now be a three second pause. By continuing to listen to this message you acknowledge that you are Ms Tang. This is MRS calling on behalf of our client concerning your outstanding balance in an attempt to collect a debt and any information obtained will be used for that purpose.
To pay this outstanding balance by Visa, MasterCard or Check please use our auto payment system by following the prompt provided. Should you have any questions and/or concerns please call us toll-free at 1-877-263-6752.
Again the number to call is toll-free at 1-877-263-6752. Goodbye.
Ms. Tang hired a consumer attorney and filed a class action lawsuit against Medical Recovery Specialists for the following alleged FDCPA violations:
- Failing to properly identify the company name (using MRS instead of Medical Recovery Specialists)
- Making calls that did not meaningfully disclose the caller’s identity
The court granted Tang $1,000 for damages.
The phone numbers for Medical Recovery Specialists are 1-847-227-2156 and 1-877-263-6752.
If either number appears on your caller ID, it means that a debt collector may be trying to contact you.
If they leave automated voicemail messages that do not tell you who is calling, contact a consumer attorney.
Collection tactics like these violate the FDCPA, and if you sue Medical Recovery Specialists, they may have to pay you $1,000 per violation in addition to you lawyer's fees, court costs, and any actual damages.
When your rights are infringed upon during the debt collection process, the FDCPA gives you the means to fight back.
*Case taken from PACER (www.pacer.gov). File number is 1:11-cv-02109, from United States District Court, Northern District of Illinois, Eastern Division.
Disclaimer: The content of this article serves only to provide information and should not be construed as legal advice. If you file a claim against Medical Recovery Specialists or any other third-party collection agency, you may not be entitled to any compensation.