Professional Service Bureau or PSB 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 Professional Service Bureau?
Professional Service Bureau, Inc. (PSB) is a third-party collection agency based in Minnesota that specializes in collecting delinquent medical bills and student loan debt. PSB 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 a debt and failing to provide written verification of debts. If PSB has contacted you about delinquent collection items, make sure you understand your rights before you respond.
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Is Professional Service Bureau a scam?
They’re legit. According to the Better Business Bureau (BBB), Professional Service Bureau, Inc. was founded and incorporated in 1972. The BBB established a profile page for PSB in 2008, and PSB has been a BBB-accredited business since 2012. The BBB lists Professional Service Bureau as a collection agency, government loan collector, and medical billing service that uses the alternate business names, Managed Accounts Receivable Services and MARS, LLC. Buzzfile estimates PSB’s annual revenue at $14 million and the size of its headquarters staff at 150 employees.
According to its website, PSB delivers “exceptional portfolio management services with a … commitment to innovation and client satisfaction that make PSB and MARS the world-class leader in revenue cycle solutions.” In addition, PSB “has become a recognized leader in collections and… delivers exceptional service and quality solutions to providers across the healthcare delivery spectrum.” PSB’s “mission is quality; their goal is satisfaction; and their people make the difference.”
Who does Professional Service Bureau collect for?
Professional Service Bureau’s solutions for healthcare service providers include registration and pre-service collections; insurance claim denial management; business office staffing solutions; early-out self-pay; presumptive charity; third-party collections; and system migration support and resolution. PSB also provides third-party collection services for education lenders.
PSB delivers third-party debt collection and revenue cycle solutions to healthcare and medical service providers throughout the United States, with “teams that serve …large systems including Mayo Clinic and HealthPartners, regional and CAH-based networks, and specialty providers.” PSB is also “a top-performing sub-contractor for the US Department of Education,” employing a “team of agents with… a proven record of success.” PSB partners with agencies and institutions “to effectively counsel student borrowers towards resolution.”
PSB states that it exceeds expectations regarding data protection. PSB’s “exceptional record of compliance and commitment to security ensures client data and reputations remain secure, with systems, facilities, and data management practices designed to meet and exceed regulations.” PSB’s Consumers page provides web-based contact forms for inquiries regarding collection letters, updating contact information, and submitting complaints and comments. However, 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 Professional Service Bureau?
As of September 2019, the BBB has closed 3 complaints against Professional Service Bureau in the preceding three years, with 1 complaint closed in the previous 12 months. All of those complaints cited problems with billing and collections. As of August 2015, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) has closed 9 complaints involving PSB. Justia lists at least 1 case of civil litigation involving PSB.
Can Professional Service Bureau 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 PSB 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 1984, in the Court of Appeals of Minnesota, a judge issued an Opinion in a case alleging Professional Service Bureau had violated certain provisions of the FDCPA. In the original case, the plaintiffs owned a farm in Minnesota that had experienced heavy losses. As a result, the plaintiffs had to assign most of their income to the mortgage holder to prevent foreclosure. Subsequently, the plaintiffs encountered a series of medical expenses that were not covered by insurance, including the birth of two children and cancer treatment for two family members. The plaintiffs became unable to continue making payments for the medical care, so the Mayo Clinic assigned about $500.00 in unpaid expenses to PSB for collection. The Mayo Clinic has a long-standing policy of not charging interest on delinquent debts and did not authorize PSB to collect interest on the debt. Beginning in 1979, PSB began placing calls to the plaintiff at approximately two-week intervals. The plaintiffs testified that they had received a total of ten calls from PSB during which they declined to engage in discussion of the debt. According to the plaintiffs, PSB representatives were routinely abusive and threatening, asked questions that were highly personal and prying, and used tactics that the plaintiffs described as deliberately intended to keep them on the phone for as long as possible to interrupt their normal daily business routines. At one point, a PSB representative told one of the plaintiffs that he was a “deadbeat” and threatened that “if he knows what’s good for him and his family, he’ll stay out of the state of Minnesota.” PSB subsequently filed a suit against the plaintiffs seeking interest plus the balance on the account. After miscommunication between the plaintiffs and their attorney, PSB obtained a default judgment for about $700. The plaintiffs filed a suit against PSB, requesting that the judgment be vacated and that PSB pay statutory damages for violations of the FDCPA, including using threatening and abusive language and misrepresenting the legal status or amount of a debt by charging interest without authorization. The plaintiffs also requested damages for emotional distress due to the extended litigation, which aggravated existing nervous and physical ailments of one of the plaintiffs. The jury awarded the plaintiffs $1,000 in expenses, $3,900 in attorney fees, and $6,000 for emotional distress, as well as $2,000 in statutory damages and $1,500 in additional attorney fees for the instant action. PSB appealed the decision, and the 1984 hearing was held to determine the verdict.
At the 1984 appeals hearing, attorneys for PSB argued that the award for damages for emotional distress, attorney fees, and out-of-pocket expenses was excessive, and that the plaintiffs’ closing argument at trial was “improper and prejudicial.” Professional Service Bureau argued that “even if it violated the act, its actions were inadequate as a matter of law to justify an award of damages for emotional distress.” PSB also argued that its derogatory comments and threats were “at worst in bad taste.” The court disagreed, supporting the jury’s finding that the comments constituted behavior that was “extreme and outrageous, particularly in light of the plaintiff’s medical problems.” In addition, PSB knew they were unauthorized to add interest to the debt but did so anyway. As a result, the court upheld the “verdict that PSB violated two provisions of the FCPA and affirmed the award of damages for emotional distress, out-of-pocket expenses, and attorney fees.”
Professional Service Bureau 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 PSB 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.
“I used to get up to 15 calls a week from several collection agencies. It got so bad I felt like I should just get a new phone number to make it quit. Happily, I discovered Lemberg Law. They immediately put an end to the calls. Now, when my phone rings I do not dread it.”
“I would recommend your company to anyone. You have the debt collectors off my back, and I will finally see the light at the end of the tunnel. Throughout the entire procedure your employees were courteous and professional. I was blown away by their efficacy also.
“Prior to contacting you, we had tried repeatedly to handle this matter without threatening litigation. In the end, not only were they unapologetic, but they were dismissive – even of an attorney friend who called on our behalf. Sincerest thanks for resolving this matter for us!”
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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.