Receivable Management Services or RMS 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 Receivable Management Services?
Receivable Management Services LLC or RMS is a third-party collection agency based in Seattle, WA. RMS has received consumer complaints alleging violations of the Fair Debt Collections Practices Act (FDCPA) such as illegal communication tactics. If you have been contacted by Receivable Management Services, make sure you understand your rights before responding.
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Is Receivable Management Services a scam?
They’re legit. According to the Better Business Bureau (BBB), Receivable Management Services was founded in 2001 and incorporated the same year in DE. The BBB established a profile page for RMS in 2005 but they remain a non accredited business to date. The BBB lists Receivable Management Services as a collection agency. Buzzfile estimates Receivable Management Services’ annual revenue at $119.8 million and the size of its headquarters staff at 800 employees and 3,000 across its multiple locations.
Who does Receivable Management Services collect for?
According to its website, Receivable Management Services “provides debt recovery services to companies from a wide range of industries.” These industries include such as medical, insurance, finance, telecommunications, and retail. RMS states that it is “committed to resolving your inquiries in a timely manner,” and encourages site visitors to contact them with any questions during business hours, Central Time.
RMS’ website is unique in several regards. It is bilingual in English and French, which is not typical for businesses in the United States, where Spanish is usually the second primary language. Furthermore, although the site is superficially well-designed and visually appealing, it contains almost no information about RMS’ client base, collections practices, or compliance policies. RMS’ home page has three options for site visitors—an email address, a toll-free phone number, and a link to an online pay portal. Site visitors have to clink on the About page to learn that RMS is a debt recovery service, and they do not provide any information beyond that basic description.
The payment portal link leads to the Payment page, which advises site visitors to refer to the log-in and password on written correspondence they may have received from Receivable Management Services. It is only on the Payment page that site visitors can find RMS’ Seattle, WA address; furthermore, this address is in the Pacific time zone although the site indicates via their business hours that they are located in the Central time zone.
Their Contact page provides a web-based contact form and a phone number, but it does not identify RMS as a debt collector, and there is no mandated legal disclaimer. Instead, they have posted a statement that says, “If you have been contacted by us and have a question or concern with your account or for any other reasons, including suggestions on how The Receivable Management Services Corporation (RMS) may better serve you or to submit any other comments, please complete the information and form below.”
The site contains no information about 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 Receivable Management Services Corp – RMS?
The BBB lists 52 consumer complaints against Receivable Management Services in the past 3 years. The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) received 1 complaint against RMS in January 2017. Justia lists at least 6 cases of civil litigation involving RMS.
Can Receivable Management 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 RMS 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 2018, The Receivable Management Services Corporation faced a proposed class action filed by a plaintiff who claimed a debt collection notice he received from the company failed to identify his current creditor. According to the lawsuit, the defendant’s April 2017 collection notice merely requested payment owed to an entity called New York Life Insurance V65. The letter unlawfully failed to indicate whether New York Life Insurance V65 is the account’s owner or the plaintiff’s current or original creditor, the suit charges, nor did it say which entity the plaintiff should make a check payable to.
“The least sophisticated consumer, reading the Letter as a whole, would not know whether the creditor to whom the debt is owed is [the defendant] or New York Life InsuranceV65,” the case argues.
Information about Receivable Management Services’ legal involvement is also difficult to locate, but several cases indicate a similar pattern of obscurity. Three cases in particular indicate the types of civil litigation that have been initiated as a result of RMS’ business practices. First, in September 2012, a healthcare insurance provider that was acting as an agent of RMS attempted to impose sanctions against a plaintiff who had delayed payment of an award to the healthcare insurance provider. In this case, it appears the plaintiff had previously sought to avoid paying healthcare costs, though it is not clear whether he cited any violation of the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA) as the basis for his objection. Regardless, the court record indicates that the agent of RMS had moved for payment of an award of $36,336.46 in court costs and attorney’s fees. The court had previously asked whether the plaintiff wished to submit documentation of his financial status to refute the award. The plaintiff had provided copies of bills, bank statements, medical records indicating various health issues, and a statement of “accruing mortgage payment[s] at the forbearance of” his mortgage, but did not supply supporting documentation, tax returns, or income sources. As a result, the court granted a judgement in favor of RMS’ agent in the amount of $3,000.
In September 2013, in United States District Court, Eastern District of Wisconsin, a plaintiff who had prevailed in a case alleging RMS had violated certain provisions of the FDCPA appealed to the court to address concerns about the amount of the award for attorney fees and court costs. The court noted that the “case comes down to, like so many FDCPA cases, the question of attorneys’ fees” largely because the $1,000 statutory maximum award is relatively modest, increasing the significance of the award of attorney fees. These considerations have “resulted in the development of a cottage industry for both plaintiffs and defense attorneys specializing in these sorts of actions and a proliferation of FDCPA litigation in courts.” In this case, the judge went to considerable lengths to establish on record a method of calculating appropriate amounts. Ultimately, despite the fairly straightforward nature of this particular case, and of FDCPA cases in general, the court determined that there was no reason to adjust downward the plaintiff’s request for attorney fees and approved an order requiring RMS to pay $2,526.00 plus $350.00 in court costs, in addition to the statutory amount granted in the award hearing.
Finally, a case of civil litigation involving Receivable Management Services was cited in an Order issued as a result of a separate hearing attempting to hold the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (CDCR) liable for contempt for their failure to have complied with a subpoena to produce records relating to a state prisoner housed at Atascadero State Hospital. A case in which RMS was the defendant was cited as case law in an effort to determining whether there was sufficient “character and magnitude of…harm threatened by [CDCR’s alleged] continued contumacy, and the probable effectiveness of any suggested sanction in bringing about the result desired.”
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 RMS 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.
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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.