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- Validate a debt as soon as you receive notice from MRS Associates or any debt collector.
- Check the statute of limitations on debt in your state to see if you can use it as a defense.
- Never ignore a legal summons. Answer it and appear in court to defend yourself and avoid a default judgment.
How to Handle Collection Calls From MRS Associates
Are you getting collection calls, texts, or letters from MRS Associates? That can be nerve-wracking. Some collectors try to collect on debts you are not required to pay. If that happens, it is your responsibility to protect yourself, as the only goal of the debt collector is to get you to pay. Understand the proper steps to take when you MRS Associates calls or sends you a letter.
MRS Associates is a collection agency. They are based in Cherry Hill, NJ. They buy collection accounts from banks, credit unions, consumer finance companies, commercial retailers, and auto finance companies. They also collect on delinquent student loans.
MRS Associates calls itself an account receivables management company and deemphasizes its role as a debt collector in company descriptions. They are one of the largest US-based collection agents.
|1930 Olney Ave. Cherry Hill, NJ 08003 (888) 334-5677 www.mrsbpo.com/|
|MRS Associates employs between 500 and 1,000 people in Cherry Hill, NJ, Westerville, OJ, and Mumbai, India. The company is privately held, and is lead by co-CEOs Saul Freedman and Jeff Freedman.|
Sources: BBB, company Web site
Take these steps when MRS Associates contacts you to collect a debt:
1. Learn the Statute of Limitations
Two pieces of information are key here to how you respond to a collection call or letter from MRS Associates:
- The age of the debt
- The statute of limitations that applies
Answer these three questions to learn the statute of limitations on your debt:
- Learn the date the account became delinquent or when you made your last payment. Review your records. If you have no records, call the customer service department at the original creditor and ask if the company has a record of your last payment. Get a copy of your credit reports to see what the original creditor and collection agents reported to Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion. The delinquency date in your credit reports may be incorrect. Use your own or the original creditor's records as an accurate guide.
- Learn your state’s statute of limitations for this type of debt. Read the Bills.com state statute of limitations article to learn how much time remains on the statute of limitation clock for this account.
- Decide if the statute of limitations clock ran out. The statute of limitations clock starts when the account becomes delinquent. Add 30 days to your last payment due date plus the number of years in your state’s statute of limitations to learn if the statute of limitations clock expired for this account.
If the statute of limitations expired, under the federal Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA), a collection agency may not legally file a lawsuit against you. It is not illegal for an original creditor or one of its representatives to sue you, even after the SOL expires. A collection agency can ask you to pay the debt, but it may not threaten you or launch any court case against you.
If the SOL clock on your debt ran out, send MRS Associates a written cease communications notice immediately to stop the company's telephone calls.
Validate Your Debt
What if a debt does not appear in your credit reports? It doesn’t matter. What appears or does not appear in your credit reports does not determine if you owe a debt. Debt validation determines if you owe a debt.
If the statute of limitations clock ran out, then stop your analysis here and send the cease communications letter mentioned above. If the statute of limitations has not expired, then move on to the next step, which is validating the debt.
2. Validating Debt
Validate a debt when MRS Associates contacts you to collect a debt. You have 30 days to validate the debt, so act quickly. Follow the steps described in the Bills.com debt validation article to preserve your rights under the FDCPA. Validate a debt regardless of your personal belief of you being responsible for the debt.
Some Debts are Less Likely to be Validated
Is it worth your time to validate a debt? Yes! Collection agents cannot validate 41% of the accounts less than 3 years old. Collection agents cannot validate 64% of the accounts 6 years of age or older. Overall, the debt industry can validate about half of all accounts (The Structure and Practices of the Debt Buying Industry (PDF)). The least likely accounts to be validated are medical, telecommunications, and utility debts.
MRS Associates must validate the debt according to the law. If it doesn’t, then send MRS Associates a notice of insufficient validation. If MRS Associates cannot validate the debt, then it has no legal basis to collect the debt. That means that in most states, it will put itself in hot water if it uses the courts to force you to pay.
Move to the next step if MRS Associates can validate the debt and the statute of limitations has not expired.
3. Negotiate A Settlement With MRS Associates
Collection agents buy collection accounts or are hired by original creditors to collect delinquent accounts. Typically, collection agents buy accounts for 1 to 10 cents on the dollar. We don't know the average price MRS Associates pays for when it buys collection accounts from original creditors.
Whether MRS Associates owns your collection the account or is hired to collect by the original creditor, their goal is to collect as much as it can from you.
MRS Associates probably pays its debt collectors on a commission. Collectors earn extra pay to make deals at the end of the week or end of the month. Use this to your advantage if you want to negotiate a settlement to the debt.
MRS Associates has a huge range of flexibility in settling your debt. Expect settlements to range from 40 to 60 cents on the dollar.
If you don't feel comfortable negotiating with aggressive debt collectors, consult with an effective, professional debt settlement provider. Debt settlement companies employ teams who do nothing but negotiate settlements all day. Debt settlement company negotiators know the range of original creditors and collection agencies that have accepted settlements in the past. They use this knowledge to get the best settlement possible for you.
MRS Associates Lawsuit
MRS Associates hires lawyers to sue consumers. If you have no assets and a limited income, it pays to talk to MRS Associates to explain your financial situation. If you can prove you have little to pay, you will probably not find yourself on the receiving end of a lawsuit.
If MRS Associates files a lawsuit against you, consult with a lawyer in your state with consumer law experience. You must file an answer to MRS Associates’ summons and complaint, or you will lose the lawsuit automatically. If you lose, MRS Associates will be awarded a civil judgment. A judgment allows it to garnish your wages, levy or freeze your bank account, place a lien on any property you own or allow the sheriff to seize your personal property. Ignoring a summons will not make it go away, so respond to any lawsuit.
Bills Action Plan
Take these three actions when MRS Associates calls to collect a debt:
- Learn the statute of limitations that applies to your account.
- Send MRS Associates a debt validation notice. You have a limited time to do so, so don't delay.
- If necessary, negotiate a settlement to the debt. Hire a negotiator if this is not one of your strengths.
Consult with a lawyer if MRS Associates — or anyone else for that matter — files a lawsuit against you.
Let a reputable debt relief company handle MRS Associates for you
Chances are you may not know who to contact, or how to negotiate down your debt. A debt relief expert may be able to reduce what you owe, get more favorable payment terms and protect you from ongoing harassment from MRS Associates.
Top debt relief companies should have an existing relationship with MRS Associates and practical experience in knowing how to secure a favorable outcome for you. You may be able to offload the stress of negotiating with MRS Associates onto someone else.
The debt relief provider can handle all the back and forth until the transaction is complete in a manner consistent with your ability to pay.
Dealing with debt
Debt is used to buy a home, pay for bills, buy a car, or pay for a college education. According to the NY Federal Reserve total household debt as of Q2 2023 was $17.06 trillion. Auto loan debt was $1.582 trillion and credit card was $1.031 trillion.
A significant percentage of people in the US are struggling with monthly payments and about 26% of households in the United States have debt in collections. According to data gathered by Urban.org from a sample of credit reports, the median debt in collections is $1,739. Credit card debt is prevalent and 3% have delinquent or derogatory card debt. The median debt in collections is $422.
Each state has its rate of delinquency and share of debts in collections. For example, in Texas credit card delinquency rate was 4%, and the median credit card debt was $438.
Avoiding collections isn’t always possible. A sudden loss of employment, death in the family, or sickness can lead to financial hardship. Fortunately, there are many ways to deal with debt including an aggressive payment plan, debt consolidation loan, or a negotiated settlement.