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Dealing with Mercantile Adjustment Bureau Debt Collectors? Here’s What You Need to Know

Debt can be a major source of stress and anxiety; and when debt collectors like Mercantile Adjustment Bureau start calling, it can feel overwhelming. As experienced debt relief attorneys, we understand how intimidating these situations can be – but want you to know, you have rights. In this article, we’ll cover everything you need to know about Mercantile Adjustment Bureau, your rights as a consumer, and the steps you can take to deal with them effectively.

Who is Mercantile Adjustment Bureau?

Mercantile Adjustment Bureau (MAB) is a debt collection agency based in New York. They purchase defaulted debts from original creditors and attempt to collect the outstanding balances. MAB is known for their aggressive tactics, which often involve repeated calls, threats of legal action, and even contacting friends/family about the debt.It’s important to note that while debt collectors have certain rights, they cannot violate the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA). This federal law prohibits abusive, deceptive, and unfair practices by third-party debt collectors. More on your rights under the FDCPA later.

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Understanding the Debt Collection Process

When you default on a debt (miss payments), the original creditor will attempt to collect for a period of time. If they’re unsuccessful, they may sell or assign the debt to a third-party collection agency like MAB. At this point, the debt collector becomes the new “owner” of the debt and has the legal right to pursue you for payment.Debt collectors make money by collecting more than they paid for the debt. So they have a strong incentive to collect as much as possible, using whatever tactics they can get away with. This often leads to aggressive and sometimes illegal behavior.It’s crucial to understand that paying any amount to a debt collector can restart the statute of limitations on your debt. This means even an old, expired debt could potentially be revived and pursued in court. Tread carefully.

Your Rights Under the FDCPA

The Fair Debt Collection Practices Act is a powerful consumer protection law that governs how third-party debt collectors can operate. Here are some key rights it grants you:

  • Debt collectors cannot call you before 8am or after 9pm
  • They cannot use profane language or threaten violence
  • They must identify themselves as debt collectors on all communications
  • They cannot discuss your debt with third parties (except your spouse)
  • They must provide validation of the debt if you request it in writing

If a debt collector violates the FDCPA, you may be able to sue them in federal court. Statutory damages of up to $1,000 plus attorney fees are available for violations.It’s also worth noting that the FDCPA only applies to third-party debt collectors, not original creditors. So if Mercantile Adjustment Bureau has purchased your debt, they must follow these rules – but your original creditor may not be bound by them.

How to Deal with Mercantile Adjustment Bureau

When dealing with aggressive debt collectors like MAB, it’s crucial to know your rights and take the proper steps to protect yourself. Here’s what we recommend:1. Request Debt Validation
Under the FDCPA, you can request that MAB provide validation of the debt they’re attempting to collect. This means they must send you proof that you actually owe the debt, including the original creditor’s name, an itemized accounting of the alleged debt, and more.To request validation, you must send a debt validation letter within 30 days of MAB’s first communication with you. This stops all collection efforts until they provide proper validation. Many debts fail validation due to lack of proof or expired statutes of limitation.You can find sample debt validation letter templates online (e.g. on Reddit’s r/personalfinance or Avvo.com).2. Understand Your State’s Laws
In addition to the FDCPA, many states have their own debt collection laws that may provide additional protections. For example, in New York the statute of limitations on most debts is 6 years from the date of default or last payment. This means MAB cannot successfully sue you for debts older than 6 years.Other state laws may limit the interest rates or fees debt collectors can charge, prohibit certain collection tactics, or require debt collectors to be licensed. Do some research on the laws in your state.3. Negotiate a Settlement
If the debt is valid and you have the means to pay something, you may want to attempt negotiating a settlement with MAB for less than the full balance. Debt collectors often purchase debts for pennies on the dollar, so even settling for a fraction of what you owe can be a win for them.Any settlement should be documented with a written agreement stating the settled amount will satisfy the debt in full. Get this in writing before making any payments. You’ll also want to get removal of the debt from your credit reports included.4. Cease Communication
If MAB continues to violate the FDCPA or state laws after you’ve taken steps to assert your rights, you may want to simply cut off all communication. Under the FDCPA, you can send a cease and desist letter demanding they stop all further contact, aside from confirming they will cease communication or notifying you of intended legal action.This doesn’t make the debt go away, but it can provide relief from the harassment while you explore other debt resolution options. Just be sure to send it via certified mail to create a paper trail.5. Consult a Consumer Protection Attorney
If you’re being subjected to egregious violations by MAB or feel your consumer rights have been trampled on, it may be time to speak with a qualified consumer protection attorney. Many take these cases on contingency, meaning you owe no fees unless they win your case and recover damages.An experienced debt collection harassment lawyer can not only put a stop to the abuse, but potentially get you compensated via a FDCPA lawsuit against the debt collector.

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Debt Relief Options to Consider

Dealing with debt collectors is stressful, but you have options for resolving your debt issues in a way that works for your situation:Credit Counseling – Nonprofits like the National Foundation for Credit Counseling provide free counseling and debt management plans to consolidate payments.Debt Settlement – Companies like Freedom Debt Relief can negotiate to settle debts for less than owed, though their fees can be high.Bankruptcy – Filing for Chapter 7 bankruptcy can eliminate many types of debts entirely when you qualify.Debt Consolidation Loans – These allow you to pay off multiple debts with one new loan, ideally at a lower interest rate.The path that’s best for you depends on your specific circumstances. But exploring your options can provide a way out of the debt collector harassment cycle.

When to Hire a Debt Collection Lawyer

For many dealing with aggressive debt collectors like Mercantile Adjustment Bureau, hiring an experienced debt collection defense lawyer is the best solution. An attorney can not only put a stop to the harassment, but can:

  • Analyze which debts are enforceable and which are past the statute of limitations
  • Demand debt validation and proof from the debt collector
  • Negotiate favorable settlements to resolve valid debts
  • File suits against debt collectors for FDCPA violations to recover damages
  • Defend you against any wrongful lawsuits the collector may file
  • Advise you on bankruptcy or other debt relief options when appropriate

Having a knowledgeable legal advocate on your side levels the playing field against unscrupulous debt collectors. It allows you to resolve your debts through the proper legal channels while avoiding abuse and violations of your rights as a consumer.

The Bottom Line on Mercantile Adjustment Bureau

Mercantile Adjustment Bureau has a reputation for using aggressive, unethical collection tactics that often cross legal lines. But you have rights as a consumer that debt collectors like MAB must respect under the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act.By understanding your rights, sending debt validation letters, negotiating settlements carefully, and knowing when to consult a lawyer – you can deal with MAB effectively while avoiding harassment. Don’t let unscrupulous collectors take advantage of you. With the proper knowledge and actions, you can resolve your debt issues through legitimate means.

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