Professional Debt Mediation or PDM Collections is contacting you by phone or mail, or maybe you’ve checked your credit report, and you’ve seen this name listed there. Are you being scammed? If not, what can you do to stop the phone calls and remove negative information reported by this company from your credit history?
There are steps to take, but you have to be careful when dealing with a company like Professional Debt Mediation because certain actions can worsen your situation.
Professional Debt Mediation is a third-party debt collection agency. It was founded in 1998, and it’s sometimes known as PDM. It doesn’t originate credit or financial accounts. A consumer would have an account with an original creditor first. After a period of not paying that account, the original creditor might turn to a third-party agency.
Third-party debt collectors have certain laws they have to follow. One is the Fair Credit Reporting Act, and the other law relevant to third-party collectors like PDM is the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act or the FDCPA.
The Fair Credit Reporting Act focuses on how your financial and credit information is used, maintained, and accessed. The FDCPA is focused on the behaviors that debt collectors can and can’t use during the collections process.
For example, under the FDCPA, debt collectors from companies like Professional Debt Mediation can’t:
A debt collector can’t purposely call you too many times in a short period of time or call you early in the morning or after 9 p.m.
Debt collection agencies are required because of the FDCPA to be transparent in contacting and interacting with consumers. They can’t make empty, untrue threats when talking to you in an attempt to get you to pay a debt.
Anytime you ask a debt collector to stop trying to call you at work, they must comply.
If a debt collector knows you’re working with an attorney, they are prohibited from continuing to try and contact you directly as well.
Professional Debt Mediation is legitimate and not a scam, but there are a lot of negative reviews from consumers about how they do business. Along with not being accredited by the Better Business Bureau, Professional Debt Mediation has an F-rating with the organization.
Over the past three years, there have been more than 100 consumer complaints just with the BBB alone.
Some consumer complaints focus on the following:
PDM collects primarily in the multi-family industry for landlords and rental companies.
There are often situations where a debt collection agency got the wrong information from an original creditor, or information can be wrong when reported to the credit bureaus. Either way, you have rights if there is a mistake.
Reasons that Professional Debt Mediation might be calling you about something you don’t owe or something could be incorrectly reported on your credit include:
In a recent study, people were asked to check their credit reports with each of the three main bureaus: Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion. In doing so, around one-third of the study participants found mistakes.
Whether you think there’s a mistake or even if you don’t, you shouldn’t talk to Professional Debt Mediation directly or agree to pay anything without first speaking to a consumer protection attorney.
If you talk to this company without talking to a lawyer, you might make the situation worse. By acknowledging a debt, you could restart the statute of limitations, so it could stay on your credit report longer.
People will also often think that if they just pay a debt, it will go away. This isn’t the reality. If you agree to pay a debt collector without consulting an attorney first, it can still stay on your credit report. There’s no requirement for the company to remove the information after you pay it.
It’s much better to first speak to an attorney who can work with the debt collection agency on your behalf to make sure your legal rights are protected, especially those related to the FCRA.
Because of the FCRA, you have the right to dispute any information you think is wrong or that you don’t owe.
Once a dispute is submitted, the company that receives it is required to investigate it and correct or update information as needed. Companies have 30 days to do this typically.
While it is your right as a consumer to dispute something, debt collectors are notorious for being hard to work with. They might disagree with your dispute, ignore you, or not remove information when they say they will.
It often requires representation by an FCRA attorney submitting a dispute on your behalf to get the attention of these companies and make it known that you’re serious about protecting your rights.
Whether you want to make sure Professional Debt Mediation is no longer affecting your credit, stop their calls, or both, Fair Credit can help. We’re a team of expert FCRA attorneys, and if we think it’s best in your situation, we can dispute a debt for you so that you don’t have to communicate with PDM at all. We offer free case reviews, so get in touch today.