Merchants’ Credit Guide Co. or MCG 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 Merchants Credit Guide?
Merchants’ Credit Guide Co. or MCG is a third-party collection agency based in Chicago, IL. MCG has received consumer complaints alleging violations of the Fair Debt Collections Practices Act (FDCPA), including failure to verify debts and misrepresentation. If you have been contacted by MCG, make sure you understand your rights before responding.
Have questions? Call us now at 475-277-1600 for a Free Case Evaluation.
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The harassing company pays our fees.
Is Merchants Credit Guide a scam?
They’re legit. According to the Better Business Bureau (BBB), Merchants’ Credit Guide Co.was founded in 1896 and incorporated in 1899. The BBB opened its file in 2004. MCG is listed as a collection agency. Buzzfile estimates MCG’s annual revenue at $6.6 million and the size of its staff at 65 people.
Who does Merchants Credit Guide collect for?
According to its website, Merchants’ Credit Guide collects debts on contingency for healthcare providers, retailers and municipalities.
MCG’s philosophy is that “the vast majority of consumers want to do the right thing and pay their debts.” Their website is designed to appeal to debtors whose delinquencies are the result of an oversight, a misunderstanding, an unresolved dispute, or unforeseen financial difficulties.
MCG offers the following pitch: “The important thing to do now is to act…Depending on the creditor, we may be able to offer you a payment plan, or even a reduction in your overdue amount. If there is a dispute, question or concern…we may be able to resolve the dispute with the creditor. If your debt is the result of a simple oversight, make an online payment. If you feel you may have been the victim of identity theft, click the above link for instructions.”
MCG’s Consumer Credit Information page states that “consumer debt has risen dramatically over the past few years, so if you are in debt, you are not alone”; and that, “many people have trouble paying bills and consumer debt drives millions of consumers into bankruptcy every year.” The rest of the page offers fairly extensive advice about how debtors can obtain credit reports and improve their credit scores. There are also links to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) website. There is also a page about how to report incidents of identity theft.
However, there are no links or references to consumer protection resources, and no information about MCG’s regulatory compliance policies or practices.
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 Merchants’ Credit Guide – MCG?
The BBB has closed 44 complaints against Merchants’ Credit Guide in the past three years, with 22 complaints closed in the past 12 months. Most of those complaints allege problems with billing and collection. In addition, since August 2015, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) has closed 4 complaints against MCG. Justia lists 11 cases of civil litigation naming MCG as a defendant.
Can you help me file a No Fee Lawsuit against Merchants’ Credit Guide Co.?
Consumer complaints against Merchants’ Credit Guide indicate a tendency toward inaccurate documentation of account information and defensive responses. For example, in August 2017, a complainant indicated she had requested validation of a debt and its removal from her Equifax credit report. Her complaint was filed 45 days after sending in her written request, and she stated that she had not received a response. In response, MCG indicated that they had received her request, “promptly requested the account documentation…received the information from the client…and mailed it… to the address… provided.” They cited as confirmation that they “never received any returned mail as undelivered.” Immediately thereafter, MCG posted a follow-up response indicating that “upon further inquiry with our client, they have agreed to recall the account and adjust the balance to zero,” and that MCG will take “steps to remove this collection item from the complainant’s credit report and…send her a letter of confirmation of the removal.”
In May 2017, a complainant indicated that she had applied for a home loan, but there was a collection item on her credit report for $93.00 that “dropped her score 45 points… so that she no longer qualified as a first-time home buyer.” She indicated she had never “received any communication or correspondence… regarding this account” and did not believe it was hers. She indicated it may be the result of identity theft and indicated she would be filling a complaint with the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB), the Attorney General, and the Federal Trade Commission (FTC). In response, MCG indicated that “upon receipt of the complaint we immediately contacted our client. Due to the age of the account, they have agreed to write off any balance. We have closed the account and sent notice to the credit bureaus to… remove this item from the complainant’s credit report. The complainant will receive a letter from us confirming this deletion.”
Finally, also in May 2017, a complainant indicated that MCG had placed several items on his credit report although he claimed not to have received any notification of the delinquencies prior to their taking action. He also alleged they had shared his personal information on violation of HIPAA legislation and that because his “credit file had been updated several times by this company…his credit score had dropped dramatically.” In response, MCG denied most of the complainant’s allegations and insisted that they were “gathering the account information from their clients to provide the complainant the information requested.” The complainant replied that he had “never received any documents” from MCG, and that he “only received a response after filing a complaint through the BBB.”
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 MCG 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.
Want to Stop Merchants’ Credit Guide MCG Debt Collection Harassment Now?
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Can You Help Me Delete Merchants’ Credit Guide MCG from My Credit Report?
Chances are good that we can help. Call us today and we’ll explain.
Can Your Firm Help me Deal with Merchants’ Credit Guide Co.?
In short, the answer is yes. Contact us to find out more.
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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.