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Medicredit Debt Collector Allegedly Threatens Mother and Uses Social Media as Weapon

Update 11-5-2012 We received the following correspondence from Michael A. DiMarco from MediCredit.

In your October 23, 2012 blog entitled “Medicredit Debt Collector Allegedly Threatens Mother and Uses Social Media as Weapon,” you acknowledge that there might be some confusion in the identification of the exact underlying companies in the lawsuit filed.

The facts are:

1. The complaint should have been filed against Cogent Financial Group d/b/a Medicredit, and not the entity known as MediCredit Inc., which is a subsidiary of The
Outsource Group.

2. The BBB in Eastern Missouri & Southern Illinois gives our MediCredit subsidiary an A- rating. – Source

The identity problem appears to stem from misinformation on at least two BBB websites. We are taking steps to remedy that with them.

We would appreciate you publishing a retraction to your blog.

In a suit filed by Royette Fincher against Medicredit (Cogent Financial Group) on October 18, 2012 a disturbing allegation was made that a Medicredit debt collector used information gathered from social media sources, like Twitter or Facebook, to manipulate the consumer into paying a debt.

According to the complaint filed, “During the week of August 8, 2012, Defendant’s representative going by the name of “Wes Alford” contacted Plaintiff on multiple occasions, Each call was conducted in a rude and threatening manner. Mr. Alford made various threats of filing a lawsuit, obtaining a judgment, and interfering with Plaintiffs business.

Mr. Alford further stated personal facts to Plaintiff in a threatening fashion, indicating that he had located Plaintiff on social media outlets, and was familiar with her personal life, including the fact that she had children and had recently been on vacation.”

But then the situation is said to have become disturbing as the debt collector allegedly and illegally contacted third parties in an attempt to collect the debt.

“On or about August 8, 2012, Mr. Alford contacted the fiance of Plaintiff, Mr. Michael Owen, in two separate phone calls in an effort to collect this debt from Plaintiff.

Defendant’s collector asked Mr. Owen if he knew the Plaintiff and disclosed that Plaintiff allegedly owed the Defendant over $8,000 for a medical bill and threatened to sue plaintiff and “put a lien on her business”.

The FDCPA (Fair Debt Collections Practices Act) prohibits any contacts to third parties that are designed to put pressure on the Plaintiff to return the collector’s calls or embarrass the Plaintiff into paying a debt.”

But the story does not end there.

The complaint goes on to say that the Medicredit debt collector went on to call Mr. Owen additional times and also called Fincher’s mother “and advised her of the alleged outstanding debt and threatened her by stating the Defendant was going to sue Ms. Fincher.”

A few days later, on August 13, 2012, the Medicredit debt collector is alleged to have called and threatened the consumer with taking money out of her bank account and “attempt” to take her business license. – Source

This case was filed by Brooke Sanchez, a lawyer with Lewis & Jurnovoy in Pensacola, Florida.

Medicredit is said to be located at 3620 I-70 Dr. SE, Suite C, Columbia, Missouri 65201. The BBB gives Cogent Financial Group/Medicredit an F rating but says they are located at 8260 East Raintree Dr. Suite 210, Scottsdale , Arizona 85260. – Source

The Missouri address is a bit odd since that location seems to be the offices of The Outsource Group, a company which offers “onsite financial counseling” for hospital patients prior to discharge. “We provide onsite financial counselors during each client hospital’s peak admission and discharge hours, to ensure personal contact.” – Source

According to the Medicredit, Inc. website at medicreditcorp.com, Medicredit, Inc. is a wholly owned subsidiary of The Outsource Group. – Source. Medicredit, Inc. is located at the Suite C address according to State records and Michael DiMarco is the president and director of the company. – Source

Frankly, I’m beginning to wonder if there might be some confusion in the identification of the exact underlying companies in the lawsuit filed.

Regardless, such alleged debt collection behavior is not acceptable if proven true.

It will take time to discover how this particular case just recently filed will turn out but consumers should be aware of what behavior is not permissible under the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act.

Specifically:

  • A debt collector may not engage in any conduct the natural consequence of which is to harass, oppress, or abuse any person in connection with the collection of a debt.
  • A debt collector may not use any false, deceptive, or misleading representation or means in connection with the collection of any debt.
  • A debt collector may not use unfair or unconscionable means to collect or attempt to collect any debt.
  • A debt collector may not communicate with any person other than a consumer, their attorney, the creditor, the attorney of the creditor, or the attorney of the debt collector.

Now don’t get me wrong, there are many good, fair, reasonable, and law abiding debt collectors out there who would never think of engaging in such alleged behavior. And while some may feel “all is fair” in order to collect a debt, there are limits.

In some regard the art of collection is knowing how close to the line you can get without becoming abusive. And like in the debt relief world where the best solutions are not one size fits all attempts, the collection of a debt should not be also.

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About Steve Rhode

Steve Rhode
Steve Rhode is the Get Out of Debt Guy and has been helping good people with bad debt problems since 1994. You can learn more about Steve, here.
  • http://GetOutOfDebt.org/ Steve Rhode

    The original creditor is required to notify the IRS when debt more than $600 has been written off as a bad debt. And technically it is true that it does not invalidate the underlying debt.

  • Lexi4Ann

    I was recently contacted via mail by “Cogent Financial Group, Medicredit”, with a county court document “Petition of Lien”. File Copy of Crossman and Associates 480-426-1322, address 8776 E Shea Blvd, Ste 106-336, Scottsdale, AZ 85260. Posted dated 01/14/15 from Phoenix AZ. There are no legal addresses on the document or any other information to justify the legality of this document. It doesn’t make any sense. If the address keeps changing, then that doesn’t sit well with me either. Are there any updates from other people?

    • http://GetOutOfDebt.org/ Steve Rhode

      Find an attorney in your state that has experience with FDCPA cases. They’d love to see this.

  • Jennifer

    Cogent financial group/ medicredit sent me a fake court document stating they’re seizing my bank account next week, even though I settled this debt 6 years ago and the initial loan was 10 years ago! This is the only contact I’ve had with them in years and when I traced the numbers on the document for the law firm, mediator, and cogent all numbers are running through a communication network in Delhi India, even though the cogent one has an Arizona area code. I’m contacting a lawyer Monday cause I’m certain the court document is fake. Someone help! We need a class action lawsuit against them, I’m not the only one!

    • Teresa

      I received a letter that looks like a fake court document saying the same yesterday and was harrassed a year and a half ago by Wes Alford. I am contacting a attorney as well. Jennifer did you happen to consult an attorney? If so who?

      • http://GetOutOfDebt.org/ Steve Rhode

        Awesome, so glad you are contacting a local attorney who is licensed in your state. Good move.

      • Alias

        I was also harassed by Wes Alford last year. It was NONSTOP. He violated everything above– contacted relatives, called work during work hours, harassed co-workers. We had everything recorded and got a lawyer then and he went away. It looks like he is up to his old tricks again. I will be in contact with my attorney again.

      • http://GetOutOfDebt.org/ Steve Rhode

        There are plenty of FDCPA attorneys that would love to take on such a case.

  • Julie Allen

    I didn’t have ANY idea this Medicredit even existed until I applied for a loan. I’m disabled & have Medicaid, so there’s no reason I should have ANY medical bills anywhere. They don’t answer the phone unless you leave your full name & other personal details that I’m not willing to give to someone I do not know. Further, if you go to their site, they won’t even let you in unless you click “I Understand” & then click “Check or Credit Card”. What kind of business operates like this? “The Outsource Group?” Can you say dummy corp? This has to be one of the shadiest “businesses” I’ve EVER heard of. Has anyone even been able to get rid of these people? They lied about my so-called “debt” & have given my credit rating a direct hit for nothing!

  • Michael A. DiMarco

    As Mr. Rhode states in his article, there are many good, fair, reasonable, and law-abiding debt collectors out there who would never think of engaging in the alleged behavior he writes about. And The Outsource Group, along with its wholly owned subsidiary, MediCredit, Inc., is in that category. In fact, the BBB in Eastern Missouri & Southern Illinois gives our MediCredit subsidiary an A- rating.
    Michael A. DIMarco, CEO, The Outsoruce Group (d.b.a. MediCredit, Inc.)

    • GuessWhoMotherFucker

      One of ur employees just made my day.. (not, im not even employed).

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