Paul Michael Marketing, also known as Paul Michael Associates or Paul Michael Marketing Service, Inc., is listed on your credit report. What should you do next, what should you know about this company, and are you being scammed?
Whether you see the name Paul Michael Marketing Service or Paul Michael Associates, this is a third-party debt collection agency. An original creditor contracts a third-party debt collection agency to collect on their behalf. It’s like outsourcing debt collection work, and third-party collection agencies are never original creditors. The original company someone owes the debt to is classified as the creditor.
If someone becomes late on their payments or stops making them, then the debt might be sold outright to a third party, or the third party could work to collect on a contingency fee basis.
A third-party debt collection like Paul Michael Marketing has to follow certain rules because of the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act.
The Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA) states debt collectors aren’t allowed to call before 8 a.m. or to make calls after 9 p.m. Debt collection agencies like this one can’t harass you or call you repeatedly, they can’t use abusive or threatening language, or call at inconvenient times. A debt collector can’t be deceptive about how much you owe or where the debt originated, nor can they misrepresent themselves.
If you tell a debt collector not to contact you, they have to stop, even though that doesn’t mean they still can’t take appropriate legal action against you. These collection agencies are also prohibited from contacting you at work if you asked them not to or discussing the details of your debt with other people like your employer or family members.
Two other things that debt collectors can’t do are ask you to pay more than what’s owed or demand that you pay interest or fees not outlined in your original agreement.
Paul Michael Marketing isn’t a scam; they’re a legitimate debt collection company. Paul Michael Marketing has been a third-party debt collector for over forty years and is a member of the American Collectors Association.
Despite its legitimacy as a debt collection agency, Paul Michael Marketing isn’t Better Business Bureau accredited, and there are some consumer complaints against the company and how they do business.
For example, consumer complaints centered around people looking at their credit reports and seeing Paul Michael Marketing listed there. Yet, they had no record of any outstanding bills or debt. Some say that despite the company being listed as a collections account on their credit report when they contacted the company directly, Paul Michael Marketing couldn’t provide any details or even clarify the account information.
Numerous people say that their first introduction to the Paul Michael Marketing company was when they checked their credit report, despite the legal requirements that debt collectors send notice to consumers before reporting to the major bureaus.
This company collects primarily from medical services providers, including lab services.
If you’re like many of the people issuing complaints against Paul Michael Marketing, you may have seen this company listed as a collections account on one or more of your credit reports with the three reporting agencies, Equifax, Experian, and Transunion.
If you have a debt in collections, either you fell behind on payments, and a creditor sent the account to a collections agency, or there’s been a mistake.
Mistakes are more common in debt collection and credit reporting than many people initially realize. These mistakes can occur because of the wrong identity. For example, maybe the original creditor provided information to the debt collector, and then the collection agency tried to fill the gaps independently.
That might mean they use tactics like skip tracing to try and find people, but if you have a similar name or Social Security to a person who owes the debt, you might end up getting the calls or seeing it on your credit report.
There are also scenarios where you did have an account with the company at some point, but the payment date or balance information is wrong.
If you have a collections account on one or more of your credit reports and believe it’s wrong, you must get the information corrected by working with a consumer protection attorney.
If you have a debt that goes to a collections agency, it can significantly impact your credit score. Payment histories make up around 35% of your total credit score.
A collections account can subsequently mean a big drop in your score. A collections account can stay on your credit report for seven years if you don’t dispute it.
If you have collections accounts with Paul Michael Marketing/Paul Michael Associates on your credit report, you might not be eligible to get new credit cards, loans, or other financial accounts.
You could also be sued if you don’t deal with the collections account. For example, debt collectors can file a lawsuit against you, and then, if they win, they could garnish your wages or take money directly out of your bank account.
If you believe some or all of the debt that Paul Michael Marketing is trying to collect from you is incorrect, you have the right to submit a dispute under the Fair Credit Reporting Act. When a company receives notice of a consumer dispute, they have 30 days to do an investigation, report its findings, and correct information.
While some consumers try to dispute debts directly with collections agencies, this can backfire and worsen the situation.
A consumer protection attorney can help safeguard your FCRA rights and get Paul Michael Marketing off your credit report.
Fair Credit’s FCRA consumer protection attorneys can help you if you’re dealing with Paul Michael Marketing and want to stop their calls and get them off your credit report. Contact us for a free case review today.