A New York debt collection agency will pay $550,000 in restitution and penalties for violating state collection laws, said New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman on Wednesday.
Med-Rev Recoveries, located in Liverpool, N.Y., has also been permanently banned from operating as a debt collection agency, a state court ordered on Wednesday. The company's owner John St. Denis, and former president Jamie Fortino, signed a stipulation agreeing to the settlement.
“Living with medical debt is difficult enough as it is, without the added stress of being bullied by debt collectors,” Schneiderman said. “This settlement sends the message that debt collectors that employ abusive tactics will be held accountable.”
Schneiderman said dozens of consumers contacted his office and the Better Business Bureau claiming Med-Rev collectors had verbally harassed them, and the collectors refused to give an account balance or verification of debts that the company was trying to collect. Both consumers and medical providers stated the company failed to submit payments to creditors.
Other consumers were denied medical treatment and later learned they were denied because their payments hadn't been credited to their past due accounts.
This is the second time the company has come under fire. In 2009, Med-Rev signed an agreement with the state attorney general's office over allegations of deceptive practices and breaking Consumer Protection and Debt Collection laws.