Merchants Adjustment Service Inc or MAS is a third-party collection agency based in Alabama. MAS has received consumer complaints alleging violations of the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA), including failing to verify debts and attempting to collect debts not owed.If you have been contacted by this deb collector, make sure you understand your rights before responding.
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According to the Better Business Bureau (BBB), Merchants Adjustment Service, Inc. is a legitimate collection agency incorporated in 1965, then started locally in 1968. The BBB established a profile page for MAS in 1997. MAS is listed as a collection agency. Buzzfile estimates MAS’s annual revenue at $1.8 million and the size of is headquarters staff at 22 employees.
According to its website, MAS’s mission is to “excel with integrity in collecting money for and supporting our clients, while also respecting and helping debtors resolve their debt,” with a vision of ensuring “a healthy, vibrant credit industry allowing consumer and creditor alike to prosper.”
MAS “is a full-service medical, commercial, and consumer bad debt collection agency” that offers a full range of services, including pre-collection letters; early-out programs; contract billing; skip tracing; and standard third-party collections. MAS also hosts “educational seminars…covering topics such as…telephone collections, office collections, and legal collections.” Although MAS accepts delinquent accounts from commercial and consumer businesses, over 98% of their business is “medical bad debt.”
The MAS website does not provide any information about its regulatory compliance policies. Its contact page includes a disclaimer identifying them as a debt collector, but their website does not include any links or references to consumer protection resources, laws, or enforcement agencies.
The BBB has closed 13 complaints against Merchants Adjustment Service in the preceding 3 years, with 8 complaints closed in the past 12 months. Most Of Those complaints alleged problems with billing and collections. As of May 2015, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) has closed 14 complaints against MAS. Justia lists at least 5 cases of civil litigation involving MAS.
Merchants Adjustment Service, Inc.
56 N. Florida St.
Mobile, AL 36607-3108
It is illegal for a debt collector to threaten to sue you or garnish your wages. It is also unlikely MAS would sue you for a debt you may not owe or they cannot validate. However, debt collection agencies are known to have summoned debtors to court and garnish wages after a default judgement. Contacting an attorney BEFORE this could possibly happen would be a smart move. We’ve helped thousands of consumers fight back against unscrupulous debt collection harassers. Find out if we can help you too today!
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Absolutely. Here are some Sample Case filed in Federal Court
In February 2018, in the Alabama Court of Civil Appeals, a judge issued a Decision in a case alleging Merchants Adjustment Service had violated civil procedure in its efforts to collect debts from four individual plaintiffs. In this case, representatives of MAS had filed in a District Court acting in the capacity of a small claims court “four separate complaints seeking recovery of debts.” Furthermore, “in each action, MAS requested service by certified mail…Certified-mail receipts were returned to the district court in each action. Each certified-mail receipt had been signed by an individual other than the named defendant; however, each individual had indicated on the certified-mail receipt that the individual was the ‘agent’ of the consumer. After the consumers failed to answer or otherwise defend the actions, MAS filed, in each action, a motion seeking the entry of a default judgment.” But the “district court concluded that the consumers in this action had not been properly served and entered an order in each of those actions denying MAS’s motion for a default judgment.” MAS then filed a motion “requesting that the circuit court order the district court to vacate its orders denying its requests for default judgments and to entera default judgment in each action because, MAS argued, the four defendants had been properly served.” According to MAS, because the mail receipts had been signed and returned, they had complied with the law requiring any summons and complaint “to be left ‘at the individual’s dwelling house or usual place of abode with some person of suitable age and discretion then residing therein,’… and by causing the ‘delivery of a copy of the summons and the complaint to an agent authorized by appointment or by law to receive service of process.’” Regardless, the circuit court determined that the “district court had not abused its discretion by determining that the four defendants had not been properly served” and denied MAS’s motion to vacate the previous judgment.
Merchants Adjustment Service appealed the decision and the February 2018 hearing was held to determine the outcome of that appeal. The judge in this case “affirmed the circuit court’s refusal” to grant MAS’s motion to vacate the judgement, indicating that although MAS had technically fulfilled its legal obligations in serving the complaints by first-class certified mail, the evidence indicated that there was reasonable doubt that any of the consumers had actually received the summonses or that any of the recipients who had signed for them were actually registered agents for service of process with the authority to act on behalf of the consumers.
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
Your debt harassment checklist:
- You are receiving multiple calls per week from third party collection agencies
- You are receiving early morning or late night calls from debt collectors
- You are receiving calls at work from a debt collection agency
- Debt collectors are calling your friends, neighbors, or coworkers
- Collectors are threatening you with violence, lawsuit, or arrest
- A debt collector attempts to collect more than you owe
- You are being threatened with negative credit reporting
- A debt collector attempts to intimidate you
- Criminal accusations are being made towards you
- Use of obscene language during an attempt to collect
- Automated robocalls are being made to your phone in an attempt to collect
If you’ve been harassed by debt collectors and even one of these has happened to you, we can help. We will fight for your rights.
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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 NOW.
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