Stevens Business Service , Inc. (SBS) is a third-party collection agency based in Massachusetts. SBS has received consumer complaints alleging violations of the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA), including attempting to collect debts not owed and improper sharing of information.If you have been contacted by SBS, understand your rights before responding.
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According to the Better Business Bureau (BBB), Stevens Business Service, Inc. is a legitimate collection agency founded in 1953 and incorporated in 1993. The BBB established an SBS profile page in 2004. Buzzfile estimates SBS’ annual revenue at $4.3 million and the size of its headquarters staff at 47 employees.
According to its website, Stevens Business Service has “experience in providing professional receivable solutions” and has“become one of the top producing collection agencies in the greater Boston area and throughout the nation.” Stevens Business Service employs a “customer service approach to debt recovery…that has proven…that a higher recovery rate is possible with a minimum number of customer complaints.”
Stevens Business Service draws clients from “the utility, commercial, and healthcare industries.” As a full-service collection agency, SBS provides “skip tracing, asset/liability searches, credit bureau reporting, and litigation referral services…with specialized collection teams for each industry.” SBS’ collections staff utilizes “a combination of telephone and mail contact for the collection of all accounts…Accounts placed for collection are entered into…the system that day…with the first collection letter… generated and mailed the next business day.” Stevens Business Service also “offers a full range of pre-collect services…including letters, telephone contact, billing, and computerization, depending on the level of involvement desired by the client.”
SBS’ collection staff are required to undergo training with the International Association of Credit and Collection Professionals (ACA International) and the International Association of Commercial Collectors, Inc. (IACC). They cite membership with several professional organizations, including ACA International and the IACC. Their site includes a disclaimer identifying them as a debt collector; however, it is a client-facing website that provides no links to consumer protection resources, laws, or enforcement agencies.
As of December 2017, the Better Business Bureau (BBB) has closed 13 complaints against Stevens Business Service in the preceding 3 years, with 6 complaints closed in the past 12 months.Almost all of the complaints allege problems with billing and collections. As of October 2015, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) has received 11 complaints about SBS. Justia lists at least 1 case of civil litigation involving SBS.
Stevens Business Service, Inc.
92 Bolt Street, Suite #1
Lowell, MA 01852
It is illegal for a debt collector to threaten to sue you or garnish your wages. It is also unlikely SBS 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 Cases
Complaints against Stevens Business Service cite problems resulting from disputes about the documentation of bills and the accuracy of information reported to the credit reporting agencies (CRAs). In June 2017, a complainant indicated that he had disputed the validity of a bill for which SBS had sent collection notices. He had also sent dispute notices to all three CRAs. The bill in question was for utility services. The complainant claimed that he did not have an active account with the utility service at the residence address indicated, that the amounts were inaccurate, and that the dates of service “were not available during the time that Stevens Business Service claims he had service.” The complainant claims to have spoken with “numerous agents that promised to escalate the issue, as the dispute form that was mailed and emailed to SBS directly claims a response/answer will…follow in 60 days from receipt.” The complainant alleged that after more than 100 days, he had not received a reply and was “preparing to file a CFPB complaint against Stevens Business Service for… making false promises” and for failing to remove inaccurate information from his credit report.The complainant stated that the “fraudulent charge on his credit reports has seriously damaged his financial credibility” and demanded that SBS correct the error.
In response, Stevens Business Service indicated that they do not buy outstanding bills, but work “off a contract with” the creditors who maintain ownership of accounts for collection. SBS indicated that they had received the complainant’s dispute and forwarded the information to the creditor, stating that it “is standard policy to hold the account, by stopping all collection calls and letters, for 60-90 days to allow… the creditor time to investigate the matter.” After conferring with the original creditor, SBS was informed that according to the lease, the complainant was “responsible for all utilities and… that he was …occupying the space…where the gas was utilized.” In addition, “the gas bill had the same turn-on date and end-date as the electric bill, so while the property could have had electric heat, the appliances could have been utilizing the gas service.” Stevens Business Service indicated that they had discussed this issue with the complainant earlier, and invited him to contact SBS directly if he had any further questions.
Neither the complainant nor Stevens Business Service indicated any resolution had been reached.
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.
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.
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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