Thunderbird Collection Specialists Inc or TCS 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 Thunderbird Collection Specialists?
Thunderbird Collection Specialists or TCS is a third-party collection agency based in Arizona that specializes in healthcare collections. TCS has received consumer complaints alleging violations of the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA) such as misrepresentation and improper contact or sharing of information. If you have been contacted by TCS, understand your rights before taking action.
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Is Thunderbird Collection Specialists a scam?
They’re legit. According to the Better Business Bureau (BBB), Thunderbird Collection Specialists, Inc. was founded in 1964. The BBB established its profile page in 1977. Thunderbird Collection Specialist is listed as a collection agency. Buzzfile estimates TCS’ annual revenue at $1.1 million and the size of its staff at 13 people.
According to its website, TCS’ “goal is to collect all… delinquent debt as quickly as possible by following Arizona State and FDCPA… regulations, as well as company policies and procedures.” TCS “recognizes and understands their clients’ reputation and integrity in their community is” the primary concern.
Thunderbird Collection Specialists is a full-service third-party collection agency. Their collections division offers a “soft collection program” that uses collection letters to communicate with patients with balances less than 90 days old. Their general collection program is used for accounts with balances over 91 days old, and their customized collection programs combine tools and techniques from both divisions.
In addition, Thunderbird Collection Specialists offers consulting; insurance support; negotiation and management of payment arrangements; electronic fund and file transfer; automated skip tracing; credit bureau reporting; credit card and phone check processing; reporting systems; an in-house legal department; and a network of local legal partners.
Who does Thunderbird Collection Specialists collect for?
Thunderbird Collection Specialist “was founded in 1964 specializing in healthcare collections” for hospitals, emergency medicine, family practice, internal medicine, urgent care, obstetrics & gynecology, general surgery, MRI, orthopedics, pediatrics, surgery centers, and other healthcare providers. Since 1984, TCS has also collected delinquent debt for multi-housing properties and property management organizations.
TCS cites adherence to the federal Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA); Health Information Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA); and Arizona state laws. However, they do not provide any information about their compliance polices, and 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 Thunderbird Collection Specialists?
As of November 2017, the BBB has given Thunderbird Collection Specialists a rating of F. The BBB has closed 15 complaints against TCS in the past three years, with 6 closed in the past 12 months. Almost all of those complaints allege problems with billing and collections. Since April 2015, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) has received 23 complaints about TCS. Justia lists at least 12 cases of civil litigation involving TCS.
Can Thunderbird Collection Specialists 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 TCS 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!
Complaints against Thunderbird Collection Specialists frequently cite disputes resulting from inaccurate billing and documentation, failure to provide verification of debts, and subsequently aggressive and hostile collection tactics. For example, in a May 2017 complaint, a complainant who had not received any notification of a medical bill for his stepdaughter began receiving collection notices from TCS. He requested verification of the bill from the TCS representative who had contacted him, but the Thunderbird Collection Specialists representative allegedly told him that not receiving documentation of the bill “doesn’t change the fact that he owes that amount.” The complainant insisted he has the right to see verification of the debt, and the representative “started to get hostile and said that if the complainant is going to handle it that way he would just not expunge the record on the complainant’s credit regardless of whether he paid or not.” The complainant asked the representative if he was making a threat, and the representative allegedly said, “Well that’s how it works, this is collections.”
In September 2008, in United States District Court for the District of Arizona, a judge issued a Report and Recommendation in a case that demonstrates an unusual degree of resistance to standard collection practices. In most collection cases in which a writ of garnishment is issued, the consumer or debtor usually receives the writ of garnishment for his or her failure to pay a delinquent debt, particularly when they have the demonstrated ability to pay. In this case, the plaintiff served the writ of garnishment on Thunderbird Collection Specialists and the original creditor, Wells Fargo Bank. Although the precise details of the case were not reviewed in the Report of this hearing, TCS and Wells Fargo appeared as co-defendants who had been served a writ of garnishment for their failure to pay funds due to the plaintiff. In a May 2008 hearing, the plaintiff had been awarded a judgement against Thunderbird Collection Specialists in the amount of $6,000 in statutory and actual damages, $5,000 in punitive damages, and $3,000 in attorney fees, “pursuant to the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act and the Fair Credit Reporting Act.” The plaintiff filed a writ of garnishment in June 2008 alleging that Thunderbird Collection Specialists and Wells Fargo were still in possession of these funds. Wells Fargo filed an Answer to the Writ indicating a “total balance of $15,954.31 is the amount of indebtedness or money withheld by the Garnishee pursuant to the writ,” and because no objection was filed, the plaintiff’s Motion for Garnishment Judgement and Order to Transfer Funds was granted.
Thunderbird Collection Specialists 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 TCS 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.
“Thank you and your staff for the exceptional work you did on my behalf in dealing with a debt collector. I’ve not experienced the level of professionalism, care, timeliness in follow-through, and financial compensation obtained through your firm.”
“I won’t be afraid to contact you or recommend your services to others for debt collection difficulties. Please keep up the outstanding work you do, and again, thank you for helping me through this challenging time. I am most grateful.”
“I did not realize I’d be getting any money from this wretched affair. I’m taken aback by what you have achieved in my behalf.”
Can You Help Me Delete Thunderbird Collection Specialists from My Credit Report?
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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.