MRS Associates is a collection agency, whose business model involves buying bad debts from financial institutions for pennies on the dollar and collecting whatever they can with the goal of profiting on the account. The company also collects on student loans that have gone awry.
You are believed to have an outstanding debt of that nature if you find yourself on the receiving end of a contact attempt from this organization. It’s useful to know what to say and what not to say in such a situation, so let’s take a look at how to respond to MRS Associates.
Intimidation is their Currency
People running internet searches for the term “what is MRS Associates” learn the company’s agents can be quite aggressive in their approach. The firm is known for engaging in disrespectful behavior to impose discomfort upon alleged debtors. With that in mind, it’s useful to keep the following in mind when you’re dealing with them:
- Do not accept responsibility for the debt over the phone under any circumstances — until you have irrefutable prof the debt is yours and the statute of limitations for collecting on it has yet to expire. Ask for the name, physical address and a direct phone number of the person contacting you.
- Do not lose your temper, or trade aggressive behavior for aggressive behavior with the caller. Put the call on speaker. Let them know you’re recording the call and then listen to what they have to say. Record every call you take from them going forward so you have a record of the conversations should you need them for evidence in a hearing.
- The Fair Debt Collection Practices Act imposes a number of limitations upon the actions they are permitted to take. These include the fact they cannot phone you at work after being informed it will endanger your employment, nor can they call you repeatedly in an effort to harass you. You’ll find all of the rules to which they must adhere at the Federal Trade Commission’s Consumer Information website, as well as your recourse should any of the rules be violated.
- Request, in writing, a validation letter, listing when the debt was incurred, the identity of the original creditor, the amount of the original debt and how much of the current balance is fees and accumulated interest. You are under no obligation to do anything else until that information is provided in writing. Again, do this without accepting responsibility for the debt.
- Request they stop calling you altogether. You must do it in writing and you should keep a copy of the letter you send to them. However, this does not mean the debt will go away. You are obligated to do something about it if the debt is proven to be yours and collectable. In such an instance, try to negotiate a lower repayment amount. Companies like Freedom Debt Relief can help you negotiate a settlement plan whereby the debt can usually be settled for a lesser amount if you’re uncomfortable doing so on your own.
- Observe the statute of limitations. After a certain amount of time has passed (it varies from state to state) collectors lose the right to sue you in court in an effort to collect on the debt. You do still owe it and it will be reflected on your credit report as such — but they can’t take you to court over it — unless you are recorded admitting responsibility for the debt, agree to make any sort of payment on the debt or demonstrate culpability in any other way. The clock is reset the moment you do so and the window opens for the collector to sue you again.
Again, understanding how to respond to MRS Associates is as much about knowing what not to say and/or do, as it is knowing what to say and/or do. Cut that first call short and ask them to give you some time to look into the matter before agreeing to speak with them again. In the interim do everything you can to find out as much as possible about the debt before you go any farther.
Article by Born Realist