When it comes to businesses, you would assume that the longer it has been around, the more trustworthy it is. However, that is not the case when it comes to the debt collection agency Associated Credit Services. This debt collection agency has been around for a few decades, and yet still seems to be clouded by illegal activity. So what should you do if you are contacted by Associated Credit Services? Here is what you need to know.
What is Associated Credit Services?
Associated Credit Services, or Associated Credit Services Inc., is a collections agency based out of Massachusetts. They work to serve the Central and Western parts of Massachusetts, as well as the Northeastern CT. Their mission is to provide liquidation and recovery while maintaining ethical standards. It is believed they have around 60 employees in their company. At the head is Andrew Robinson, listed as the president of the company. They also have Rachael Bartlett as the Customer Contact, and Walter Steele, who is the Chief Compliance Officer.
Is Associated Credit Services a legit Debt Collection Agency?
Yes, they are a legitimate debt collection agency. Started in 1969, they have had their Better Business Bureau file opened since 1973, and have been in business for 51 years. They have been accredited through the BBB as well since 1973, and have an A+ rating with them. They also hold a 3.8 star rating out of 5 stars on the BBB database through an average of 3 different consumer reviews.
Associated Credit Services Contact Information
Address: 115 Flanders Rd, Suite 140 Westborough, MA 01581-1087
Hours of Operation: M - F 8:00AM - 5:00PM
Phone Number: 1-800-531-6500
Fax Number: 1-888-978-5738
Does Associated Credit Services have Complaints against them?
Associated Credit Services has quite a few complaints lodged against them. Through the BBB database profile, there have been 26 complaints made against them within the last 3 years. Within the last 12 months, 13 of those complaints have been made and closed.
Through the Consumer Finance Protection Bureau's Consumer Complaint Database, there have been over 150 complaints made against them.
What kind of Complaints have been made?
Of the 26 complaints lodged against Associated Credit Services through the BBB database, 22 of those were due to billing and collections, while 4 of them were due to problems with the product or service. Of these complaints, the responses towards these complaints by the company in question challenge the legitimacy of the consumers lodging the complaints in almost every single one. This alone shows negligence by the company to take responsibility for their faults, and instead look to pawn off their errors to the consumers, making the consumers out to be at fault.
Through the CFPB's CCD, over 140 of the complaints are due to debt collection issues and problems, with the other complaints being due to incorrect credit reporting or banking account issues.
A majority of the complaints bring up specific problems in the debt collection method taken by the representatives of Associated Credit Services, specifically that they harass and threaten the consumers. Indeed, almost 80% of the complaints state that representatives used harassing and threatening language, threatened consumers with legal repercussions, and attempted to use false information to get consumers to pay on debts that they sometimes did not even own.
Are the Practices of Associated Credit Services Legal?
These practices by Associated Credit Services are definitely not legal. The tactics used by this debt collection agency falls under what is known as debt collection harassment. This is when a debt collection agency uses methods that go directly against FDCPA codes and guidelines. The FDCPA, or Federal Debt Collection Practice Act, is the federal law set that governs the practices a debt collection agency or representative may take when attempting to collect on a debt.
The FDCPA specifically prohibits such tactics like:
- Using robocalls, or excessive calls at unreasonable hours
- Calling a consumer's workplace or family members/friends
- Using threatening language and abusive language
- Using misinformation and false data in an attempt to coerce payments from consumers
- Threatening a consumer with legal action.
How can I protect myself and fight back against Associated Credit Services?
If you have been contacted by Associated Credit Services, or a representative claiming that they work for them, then there are some steps you should take before fully engaging with them. The first step is to ask for authorization of the debt itself. This is well within your rights, even if the representative says they do not need to. Asking for authentication is simple, and can be done by either the representative giving you the original debt holder's information for you to contact them, or sending you a written itemization of the debt. If this cannot be done, you are under no obligation to pay the debt.
The next step is to firmly tell them you do not want them contacting you again. Even if the debt is real, a debt collection agency is not allowed to call or contact you again if you request them to stop. If they continue, it is considered debt collection harassment, and is punishable by law. At this point, it is best to get in contact with an experienced and knowledgeable debt collection harassment attorney, such as our team here at the Law Office of Paul Mankin, APC. Our team of debt collection harassment attorneys can help you defend against Associated Credit Services disgusting and illegal tactics. We can assist you in identifying debt collection harassment, getting the harassment to stop, and reporting the harassment to the proper authorities.
Not only can we help you to defend against harassment, we can also help to build a case, and assist you in understanding where the illegal collection patterns are for debt collectors. We are also able to help facilitate any communications or discussions between the parties, ensuring that nothing you say can be used against you.
The most important bit of information in your fight is to always remain vigilant. No matter who you have at your side, it can seem like a daunting battle against such a large company and agency. If you have ever been the subject of:
- Multiple calls per week from a third party collection agency
- Multiple calls in the early morning or late night from debt collectors.
- Violent and belligerent language and harassment from debt collectors.
- Threats of arrests or poor credit due to outstanding debts.
- Having your friends, family, and coworkers harassed from debt collectors.
- Automated robocalls from third party collection agencies.
Then you may have a case available. So do not wait, make sure to give us a call, and get started fighting back against the debt collection harassment.