Montgomery Lynch & Associates Inc or MLA 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 Montgomery Lynch & Associates – MLA?
Montgomery Lynch & Associates, Inc. (MLA) is a third-party collection agency based in Ohio that specializes in collecting past due medical bills. MLA has received consumer complaints alleging violations of the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA), including attempting to collect debts not owed and using threatening or abusive language in an effort to collect a debt. If MLA has contacted you about past due financial obligations, make sure you know your rights before taking action.
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Is Montgomery Lynch & Associates a scam?
They’re legit. According to the Better Business Bureau (BBB), Montgomery Lynch & Associates, Inc. is a legitimate collection agency, founded and incorporated in 1994. The BBB established a profile page for MLA in 1999.
According to its website, MLA“is a leader in the national collection industry.” MLA is “a full-service collection firm specializing in the design and implementation of accounts receivable collection and early-out programs.” MLA states that its “firm but fair” philosophy has allowed it to “exceed… the national average success rates.” In addition, MLA’s “large existing database” allows them to “quickly and easily match thousands of records of client” accounts.
MLA “offers fair and professional credit collection services for medical and corporate clients.” MLA’s staff of “approximately 40… collection professionals have over 50 years of combined industry knowledge and experience.” MLA’s collection staff “creates customized programs for each client” that may include direct telephone communication; customized letter series; electronic skip tracing; check-by-phone payment options; credit and debit card processing; payment plan maintenance and follow through; and legal representation. MLA assigns “accounts according to the balance size”—small, medium, or large—to ensure “that each account, no matter what the size, receives the attention necessary to maximize recoveries.”
MLA states that it is “HIPAA-compliant to ensure protection of all Personal Health Information” and employs a “quality assurance program that guarantees …their high standards are met and that all FDCPA and FCRAlaws have been followed.” MLA cites membership in the International Association of Credit and Collection Professionals (ACA International). They also offer a payment portal for patients. However, their site is client-facing—their contact page provides email addresses for prospective clients and sales inquiries, but there are no 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 Montgomery Lynch & Associates?
As of February 2019, the BBB has closed 26 complaints against Montgomery Lynch & Associates, Inc in the preceding three years, with 9 complaints closed in the previous 12 months. Most of those complaints cited problems with billing and collections, with several additional complaints citing problems with customer service. The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) has not posted any complaint data about MLA. Justia lists at least 4 cases of civil litigation involving MLA.
Can Montgomery Lynch & Associates 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 MLA 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!
Unlawful Debt Harassment? Learn the Law & Sue the Collector.
Can you help me file a No Fee Lawsuit against Montgomery Lynch & Associates?
Absolutely. Here are some Sample Complaints
In April 2008, in United States District Court, Northern District of Ohio, a judge issued an Opinion and Order in a case alleging Montgomery Lynch & Associates had violated several provisions of the federal FDCPA, as well as provisions of the Ohio Consumer Sales Practices Act (OSCPA). In this case, the plaintiff had been a patient at an Ohio healthcare provider and was billed for service. When he was unable to pay the medical bill, it was sent to MLA for collection. In December 2006, the plaintiff agreed to send “five postdated checks, each in the amount of $55, to pay off the medical bills.” In February 2007, the bank “dishonored one of the plaintiff’s checks, a check prepared by” MLA. In preparing the check for deposit, MLA had transposed some of the digits of the account number, causing a bank error. Subsequently, MLA instructed its third-party check processor to send a letter to the plaintiff regarding the dishonored check. The letter stated, in part:
“Pursuant to Ohio Code Sections 2307.60 and 2307.61(B), please be advised of the following:
“You have apparently committed a violation of Ohio revised Code Section 2913.11 ‘Passing Bad Checks’ by passing a check dated 10/18/04 in the amount of $199.46 which includes $25.00 service charge, regarding our client. This check was dishonored by your bank.”
“You could be criminally prosecuted in relation to the passing bad check charge which you have allegedly committed.
“We are prepared to take whatever steps necessary to redeem this amount. Pursuant to the prosecution office, you have 10 (ten) days after receiving this notice to make this check good by mailing a money order or certified check in the amount of $199.46 to this office.”
To satisfy MLA’s demands and have his check re-processed, the plaintiff was required to pay an additional $35.00 in fees to MLA.
In response, the plaintiff filed a class action lawsuit against Montgomery Lynch & Associates, alleging they had violated state and federal laws that prohibit false representation of the character, amount, or legal status of any debt; threatening action that cannot legally be taken or is not intended to be taken; falsely representing that the consumer committed a crime; collecting any amount not authorized by law or agreement; using false representations or deceptive means to collect a debt; failing to validate debts; and failing to respect a cease and desist letter. The court found in favor of MLA with regard to the plaintiff’s allegations that their fees and validation notices violated state or federal laws; MLA was also found not to have violated laws regulating cease and desist notices. However, the court found in favor of the plaintiff “on his FDCPA and OCSPA claims regarding MLA’s threat to take legal action that was not intended to be taken or could not be legally taken and their false representation that he committed a crime.”
Montgomery Lynch & Associates 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).
But here’s the rub: If you want to enforce your rights, or recover money for violations — you need to sue. These 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.
Stop Debt Collection Harassment
You may have a case, if…
You are receiving multiple calls per week from third party collection agencies
You are receiving early morning or late night calls from debt collectors
You are receiving calls at work from a debt collection agency
Debt collectors are calling your friends, neighbors, or coworkers
Collectors are threatening you with violence, a lawsuit, or arrest
A debt collector attempts to collect more than you owe
You are being threatened with negative credit reporting
A debt collector attempts to intimidate you
Criminal accusations are being made towards you
Use of obscene language during an attempt to collect
Automated robocalls are being made to your phone in an attempt to collect
“With your help the nagging collection calls have finally ceased! I was thrilled I was also able to get damages from the collection agency. I am unable to adequately express my joy. I am so thankful I made the call.”
“When I first emailed the office, I was not exactly sure what they could do for me. I had an idea, but they responded back with everything I could expect to take place. I never believed I would be receiving a check, it was definitely a silver lining. I highly recommend them to anyone seeking customer legal services.”
“I just wanted to let you know we received the check from your office on now and I wanted to take some time to inform you that we really appreciate all of your efforts in this matter.”
Can You Help Me Delete Montgomery Lynch & Associates from My Credit Report?
We can absolutely 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.