CMRE Financial Services Inc is a debt collection agency, which receives a lot of consumer complaints to our law firm for debt harassment. Find out who they are, why they might be calling, and how you can stop them.
What is CMRE Financial Services?
CMRE Financial Services , Inc. (CMRE) is a third-party debt collection agency based in California that specializes in collecting delinquent healthcare bills. CMRE has received consumer complaints alleging violations of the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA), such as using false or misleading information in an effort to collect debts and threatening to take actions that cannot legally be taken. If CMRE has contacted you about past due collection items, make sure you understand your rights before responding.
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Is CMRE Financial Services a scam?
They’re legit. According to the Better Business Bureau (BBB), CMRE Financial Services, Inc.was founded and incorporated in 1996. The BBB lists CMRE Financial Services as a collection agency that uses the alternate business names, Physicians Business Bureau, Florida Emergency Physicians, and Radiology Associates of Nevada. Buzzfile estimates CMRE’s annual revenue at $40.1 million and the size of its headquarters staff at 450 employees.
According to its website, CMRE “has been providing collection and A/R management services for the healthcare industry for more than four decades.” CMRE’s philosophy is “that the needs of …clients and patients must” come first. As a result, CMRE “continuously strives to improve collection and A/R management solutions, and to enact the highest industry standards with regard to compliance, accessibility, and service excellence.”
Who does CMRE Financial Services collect for?
CMRE Financial Services collects debts exclusively for healthcare and medical service providers. CMRE’s provider solutions consist of accounts receivable management services organized into four separate divisions—provider solutions; outsourcing services through HRMG, an affiliate of CMRE; bad debt recovery; aged insurance claims; and workers’ compensation.
CMRE’s outsourcing services division through HRMG “employs a unique approach to proactive patient engagement…through” the use of “data scrubs for demographics validation; …financial assistance assessment; automated presumptive eligibility; insurance eligibility screening and verification; full-cycle dispute research and resolution; and customized payment plans.” CMRE’s bad debt recovery division specializes in “educating and informing the patient/responsible party about why a balance is outstanding; …providing patients/responsible parties with respect and compassion in their interactions with CMRE staff;…and performing insurance eligibility, if needed; as well as submitting or re-submitting insurance claims.” CMRE also provides credit reporting and “optional no-cost-to-client litigation services.” Finally, CMRE “provides a full-service solution for aged insurance claims resolution, serving as an extended business office,” including claims for workers’ compensation.
CMRE Financial Services’ Compliance page states that they “know the laws surrounding healthcare receivables and…monitor all regulatory changes to ensure … operations are always up-to-date.” CMRE cites affiliation with several professional associations, including the International Association of Credit and Collection Professionals (ACA International) and the California Association of Collectors (CAC). The Frequently Asked Questions page provides site visitors with some consumer-oriented information; however, there are no direct links or references to consumer protection resources, laws, or enforcement agencies.
Who are we? We are Lemberg Law, a Consumer Law Firm
Lemberg Law is a consumer law firm helping victims of collection harassment and abuse. We are ranked A+ by the BBB. We’ve helped more than 15,000 consumers stop harassment and recover money from debt collectors. Harassed? Abused? Misled by a collector? Call our Helpline today! There is no charge unless we win.
How many complaints are there against CMRE Financial Services ?
As of November 2019, the BBB has closed 40 complaints against CMRE Financial Services in the preceding 3 years, with 15 complaints closed in the previous 12 months. Most of those complaints cited problems with billing and collections.As of January 2014, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) has closed 996 complaints involving CMRE. Justia lists at least 10 cases of civil litigation involving CMRE.
CMRE Financial Services, Inc. 3075 E Imperial Highway, #200 Brea, CA 92821 Phone Number: 800-783-9118 Website: http://www.cmrefsi.com/
Can CMRE Financial Services Sue Me or Garnish My Wages?
It is illegal for a debt collector to make empty threats to sue you or garnish your wages. It is also unlikely CMRE 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!
In 2015, a judge in U.S. District Court, Southern District of California, rejected CMRE Financial Services’ arguments that it shouldn’t be forced to produce materials as requested by the consumer during the discovery procedure. The class action lawsuit, Thrasher vs. CMRE Financial Services, alleged violations of the Telephone Consumer Protection Act for robocalling customers’ mobile phones without their consent. The customer sought CMRE’s outbound call lists, which the debt collection agency objected to on the grounds they’re irrelevant, the lists belonged to the firm that supplied the calling platform, they would invade the privacy of those called who had landlines, and that the telephone numbers are pulled from clinical records, and are thus protected by HIPAA. CMRE also objected to the customer’s request to produce evidence of previous express consent to get robocalls. The court followed a Ninth Circuit decision finding that the defendant had the burden of proving prior express consent as part of its defense, and overruled CMRE’s hindsight, ordering the debt collection agency to make certain documents.
In January 2014, in United States District Court for the Southern District of Florida, a judge issued an order in a case alleging CMRE Financial Services had violated certain provisions of the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA). In this case, the plaintiff sought treatment at a local hospital.“At the time of his admission, the plaintiff provided his cellular telephone number to the hospital” staff. A physicians’ group contracts with the hospital to provide emergency services, and this group’s“personnel saw to the plaintiff’s medical needs.” The physicians’ group billed the plaintiff “for the services it rendered; however the plaintiff did not pay his bill.” As a result, the physicians’ group obtained the plaintiff’s telephone number from the hospital “and retained CMRE to collect …the debt… In the course of its debt collection efforts, CMRE placed as many as 153 automated calls to the plaintiff’s cellular telephone.” Subsequently, the plaintiff brought “a single claim on this basis, alleging that the calls from CMRE violated the Telephone Consumer Protection Act.”
The plaintiff “did not provide his telephone number to the physicians’ group, and he argued that he did not consent to receive the calls CMRE made on behalf of the physicians’ group when he provided his number to the hospital.” Attorneys for CMRE argued that the plaintiff had consented to receive its calls “by providing his telephone number to the hospital.” As a result of his having given this “prior express consent” for the hospital to call him at his cellular number, CMRE stated that he had no legal standing to claim that they had violated the TCPA. CMRE cited earlier rulings that stated that the “provision of a cell phone number to a creditor… reasonably evidences prior express consent… to be contacted at that number regarding the debt.” In response, the plaintiff argued that “the inconvenient fact that CMRE did not call him on behalf of the hospital, but instead called to collect upon a debt to a third-party contractor” invalidates their claim. In addition, “even accepting that the mere act of providing one’s telephone number to a creditor can constitute ‘prior express consent’ to receive calls from the creditor’s debt collector, the plaintiff contended that he only provided such consent to the hospital,” and not to the physicians’ group.
The court agreed with the plaintiff “that the mere provision of his telephone number to the hospital upon admission does not constitute express consent to receive calls from a distinct creditor,” in this case, the physicians’ group. The court also agreed that the physicians’ group was a third-party distinct and separate from the hospital, and that regardless of any consent the plaintiff may have given the hospital, he did not provide the same consent to the physicians’ group. The TCPA provides “provides for minimum statutory damages of $500 for each call in violation of the TCPA, in addition to injunctive relief.” The court found that CMRE Financial Services had made 123 calls to the plaintiff in violation of the TCPA, and therefore awarded the plaintiff $61,500, with any additional damages to be determined at trial.
CMRE Financial Services Calling You?
Federal laws protect you. The Fair Debt Collections Practices Act (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).
Can I sue CMRE for harassment?
Yes. If you want to enforce your rights, or recover money for violations — you need to sue. Federal laws provide individuals like you 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.
Consumers have reported this agency harassing them from the following numbers:
“Thank you very much! God bless you all. I’m still so grateful for the blessing of finding you on the internet. I know it’s early, but I wish to wish EVERYONE in Lemberg Law a amazing holiday season!”
“I thank you again for keeping me in the loop and just how good your firm has cope with this situation. It can be a little win for them, but this will permit me to meet the aspirations my loved ones and I must chase down some fantasies and offer the best life for our children.”
“I was so excited when you told me about the positive results of the lawsuit. If the need ever arises again, I won’t be afraid to call your office or urge your law services to a friend in need.”
Can You Help Me Delete CMRE Financial Services from My Credit Report?
The brief answer is yes. We can help. Call us today.
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About the Author:
Sergei Lemberg is a lawyer whose practice focuses on consumer law, class actions and personal injury litigation. He has been repeatedly recognized as the “most active consumer attorney” in the country. In 2020, Mr. Lemberg represented Noah Duguid in the United States Supreme Court in the case entitled Duguid v. Facebook. He is the author of Defanging Debt Collectors, a book that teaches consumers how to battle debt collectors and win.