- Who is Meade & Associates?
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- How Can I Deal with Meade & Associates?
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Meade & Associates is a third-party collection agency based in Ohio. Meade has received consumer complaints alleging violations of the Fair Debt Collections Practices Act (FDCPA) such as attempting to collect debts not owed and threatening to take illegal actions. If you have been contacted by Meade, make sure you understand your rights before taking action.
According to the Better Business Bureau (BBB), Meade & Associates was founded in 1978 and incorporated in 1981. The BBB opened its file on Meade in 1979. Meade is listed as a collection agency and financial planning consultant headquartered in Lewis Center, OH. Buzzfile estimates Meade’s annual revenue at $1.1 million.
According to its website, Meade & Associates “strives to be a leader in its industry by providing the highest level of expertise and satisfaction,” with a mission to “maximize…clients’ recovery, while handling their accounts in a manner designed to protect their image and reputation.”Meade “takes a hard line on past due receivables…when…internal efforts have not proved successful and within at least 120 days for best results.” Meade’s collection services are designed to reduce overhead, increase cash flow, increase production, and minimize future bad debt problems.
Meade’s collection staff is active in pursuing delinquencies for college and university student loan and student accounts; commercial debt; banks; veterinarians; utility companies; and other service providers. In addition, Meade’s healthcare division services hospitals, primary care providers, specialty care providers, nursing care providers, OB/GYN offices; medical clinics; dental practices; and chiropractors.
Meade & Associates is a full-service collection agency that offers credit bureau reporting, skip-tracing, and litigation services. They cite professional affiliation with ACA International; Ohio Bursars Association; Ohio Association of College and University Business Officers; Ohio Receivables Management Association; Medical-Dental Hospital Business Associates; Healthcare Financial Management Association; and several additional professional organizations. However, Meade’s site is entirely client-facing and does not contain any links or references to consumer resources or consumer protection laws or agencies.
The BBB has closed 78 complaints against Meade & Associates in the past three years, with 22 closed in the past 12 months. Almost all of those complaints allege problems with billing and collections. Since March 2015, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) has closed 38 complaints against Meade, and Justia lists at least 3 cases of civil litigation naming Meade as a defendant.
Absolutely. Here are some Sample Cases against Meade & Associates
Many of the complaints against Meade & Associates allege problems with accuracy in documentation, which is often met by rude, dismissive, and abusive customer service when consumers attempt to resolve misunderstandings. For example, in November 2016, a complainant indicated that Meade had contacted him regarding a “non-valid” debt. When the complainant contacted Meade, he reported that “the representative stated, ‘I do not care if the debt is valid, my job is to collect the money.’” The complainant reportedly offered a reduced payment amount and that information on his credit report be amended, and indicated that the Meade representative “laughed…uncontrollably and then stated, ‘This is not ‘Let’s make a deal.’” The complainant further reported that Meade could not “provide any evidence that the debt [was] valid (aside from his address and personal information); that no phone calls or notices were received; and that there was no attempt to validate the debt.”
Meade & Associates responded by apologizing for any misunderstanding, insisting that they had “made 43 calls to the phone [number the complainant] provided to [the healthcare provider] and also sent a letter back in March to the address that was provided, [which] matches the address [the complainant] used in the complaint.” Further, Meade requested “the breakdown…from the client as [they did] not have it on site.”
Prior to closing the complaint, the complainant noted that “[u]pon receipt of…[delinquency] notice she promptly notified the agency that [he had] disputed the debt’s validity (via email to the address provided). The 40 phone calls may not have been answered personally due to the harassing nature and telemarket-like nature of the tactics. However, no voice messages were ever left, nor was any notice that some third party with personal information was going to file a derogatory credit notice…The company has failed to provide the requested documentation to validate the debt (as required by law), which was requested in March.”
Meade & Associates
737 Enterprise Drive
Lewis Center, Ohio 43035
Understanding your Debt Collection Rights
The Fair Debt Collections Practices Act (FDCPA) and the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) are enforced by the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) and the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB). The FDCPA regulates the behavior of collection agencies by prohibiting actions such as the use of abusive or threatening language; harassment; or the use of false or misleading information to collect a debt.
The FCRA regulates how collection agencies and creditors report delinquent debts to credit reporting agencies. Additional consumer protection laws include the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA) and the Consumer Financial Protection Act (CFPA). The complaint above illustrates how these laws can be extremely effective tools to hold accountable collection agencies who fail to adhere to their provisions.
These laws also provide individuals with a means to seek monetary damages in court. For example, the FDCPA allows consumers who have been violated to recover damages of up to $1,000, plus attorney fees and court costs.
Seek legal assistance to find the relief you may be entitled to if you are having difficulty resolving disputes with a debt collection agency.
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The Lemberg Law legal team is committed to holding debt collectors accountable, so complete our form for a FREE case evaluation, or call 844-685-9200.
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