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Malcolm S. Gerald and Associates, Inc.


Illegal Debt Collection Practices

Complaint Rating:  83 % with 6 votes
83% 6
Contact information:
Malcolm S. Gerald and Associates, Inc.
332 South Michigan Avenue, Suite 600
Chicago Park, California
United States
Phone: 1-800-265-3796
Illegal debt collection practices on non-validated zombie debt past SOL. Obscure billing of inflated amounts. Repeated, harassing phone calls.
Complaint comments Comments (8) Complaint country United States Complaint category Collections Agencies


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 22nd of Oct, 2009 by    0 Votes
Illegal debt collection practices on non-validated zombie debt past SOL. Obscure billing of inflated amounts. Repeated, harassing phone calls.
 30th of Mar, 2010 by    0 Votes
these people are scammers. they tried to get information from us and claim we had a debt due. We have no outstanding debts. they tried to get our address as well. I don't know how they got our name.
 30th of Mar, 2010 by    0 Votes
@ JC53

I made complaints stating that this Collection Agency had violated State and Federal Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA) regulations with the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), Better Business Bureau (BBB), and the Office of Atty General - State of Illinois. They are a collection agency located in a nice area, South Loop, Michigan Ave, Chicago, IL. I highly advise against using their website to access your account (listed on notices) as that seems just to be a trap for naive consumers to get them to accept ownership of the debt and to engage in the collection process on the Collection Agency's terms. Their other business website states that they offer Financial Recovery services.

The specifics of my complaint were the following: 1) They rang and engaged in a telephone conversation repeatedly, or continuously with the intent to annoy, 2) Their representative showed a rude attitude/poor customer service (i.e. sarcastic harassing tone/language), 3)They were attempting to collect of a non-validated debt past the statute of limitations (in other words, "old debt" which is illegitimate and therefore unethical to attempt to collect), and 4) They misrepresented the debt (by inflating the amount with their own charge, not providing itemization - I attached proof of the original, true and lesser amount of the 8+ yr. old debt).

I didn't want this collection agency to resell this old debt to another collection agency in response to my complaints, so I demanded that they expunge this debt collection account and have the records deleted/destroyed. This is also why I chose not to go down the path of writing and mailing (by registered mail), a Cease & Desist letter. I didn't just want them to cease contact, I also wanted them to refrain from passing this account along (btw, these accts are sold for pennies on the dollar between collection agencies). I wanted it to go away completely and not be harassed by subsequent collection agencies who would buy my debt. I was able to move forward this way confidently because I examined the law and was absolutely sure that they couldn't sue or legitimately attempt to collect on this debt. No negative entries were being made to my credit report so there was no need for me to ask them to validate the debt - but I knew they couldn't, if they wanted to anyway b/c of the nature of the debt.

The State Attorney General's Office has limited authority but they will respond to your complaint. Some State Atty Gen Offices will just record the info in their complaint files for future reference in the event of subsequent complaints by other parties. Other State Atty Gen Offices will actually send correspondence with your request directly to the company on your behalf which will almost always yield a written response from the collection agency (most of the time, it's favorable).

Basically, in most cases, third-party collection agencies that contact consumers are regulated by the state where the consumer is located. Your State's regulatory agency would have the authority to take disciplinary action against a collection agency that violates the law. Some States however, do not have a separate regulatory agency for third-party collection, like California. Since I'm in CA, I could've also complained with the CA Dept of Consumer Affairs. I may have done this too, and am not remembering just now.

In my case, it was my complaint to the Chicago, IL BBB which resolved my issue with this account. It took 3 notices from the BBB to this collection agency, over the period of approx. 2 months. The collection agency finally responded with the following "we will close this account with our office immediately." I haven't received anymore calls or letters from them. BBB has an online complaint process where you can track the progress of your complaint.

In your situation, it may be a case of mistaken identity, identity theft, or that someone else provided your phone number, name, or some other piece of information as a backup contact to the original creditor when entering the agreement. Also, collection agencies often use investigatory search tools. If they find your name somehow associated with that of the debtor's through a residence or phone number listing, they will attempt to use it in locating the whereabouts of the debtor.

Before they contact you as the debtor yourself by phone calls, they're supposed to notify you of the debt in writing first with a notice of your right to contest the debt. However, be careful, because if you do contest the debt and then they prove that it is indeed certified/validated debt and belongs to you, it will look worse for you on your credit report and they can move to sue. I wouldn't do that unless you're absolutely sure that they wouldn't have the ability to validate the debt. If you know that they'll be able to prove the debt is yours, it may be better to take a more measured approach with them in writing to negotiate removal of negative entries to your credit report.

Good luck with this!

This was my complaint:

Illegal debt collection practices in violation of the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act, including, but not limited to, failure to comply with the following:

-Section 806, (5) Causing a telephone to ring or engaging any person in telephone conversation repeatedly or continuously with intent to annoy, abuse, or harass any person at the called number.

-Section 808, (1) The collection of any amount (including any interest, fee, charge, or expense incidental to the principal obligation) unless such amount is expressly authorized by the agreement creating the debt or permitted by law.

Attempts to collect on non-validated junk debt past state SOL, non-itemized/inflated collection amount not in accordance with original creditor agreement, inappropriate attitude by a customer service agent, and obscure placement of regulatory statements on collection notices.
 5th of Apr, 2010 by    0 Votes
received another two calls from this company in the last 3 days...they are now officially harrassing us. My husband told them they have the wrong guy..with many other explitives and we wonder how they got our name. We had been getting lots of calls for some deadbeats named gonzalez in varying forms of first names in regards to collecting debts..this has been going on for 7 years on this phone number and now somehow they got our name because of a reverse phone number trick I'm assuming and they are now harassing us. I'm telling you we will own that company if they continue to harrass us for no reason...and if they even think about messing up our outstanding credit record we will sue them to high heaven...they had the nerve to ask my husband what his social security number was and when my husband said I'm not going to give you that they then gave us someone who we don't know security number (brilliant)!!! and he said no that's not even close...wouldn't take no for an answer. Seriously thinking about changing our phone number.
 19th of Jan, 2011 by    0 Votes
I loaned my phone to a friend, who called them thinking maybe this was possible employment offer, as she has been sending out resumes right and left. This was 1/13/2011

It was this company, for a debt.

The very next morning, 1/14/2011 my cell rings, and it is this company, wanting to talk with her. I asked them how they got this number? They said she had called them. I told them I had loaned it to her, and they kept asking me why I had loaned it to her. They identified themselves, although not what they were. While the man was semi belligerent? I just let it go.

Tonight, 1/18/2011 7:09pm, the phone rang and when I answered an extremely rude man said "TAMMY", I asked where he got my number? He gave his name and company name. He kept being rude, and when I asked for his first name, he wouldn't give it. I asked for the address, which he gave in a smart aleck tone.

I told him I had told him this number was not Tammy's, nor was it associated with her, and that it in fact had a Alabama area code. He asked me why she had used it? He did not believe I was not Tammy, and proceeded to tell me that "you said you would take care of this debt by Jan 31st) and wanting to know what "you are going to do about this."

He also told me "we're not going to play games with you Tammy" even after I had told them I wasn't Tammy. He also told me when I began raising my voice over his yelling at me, that I would be filing complaints. He said the phone calls were being recorded.

I then talked to his "boss" Perry Krisil, who is apparently one of the main people at this company, according to their website, who also did not seem to believe me either that I had only loaned my phone, and wasn't Tammy. He also told me the calls were recorded, and I told him to make damn sure and not lose them.

I guarantee I will get more calls from these moron. But I will own this company, or my friend will.
 10th of Apr, 2012 by    0 Votes
I agree, they just called me about a credit card debt that I have no knowledge of and they can't provide me with any verification plus the SOL has expired. It's 12 years old! Called on Friday and now calling again on Tuesday after I told them i would call them in a week. I'll stop this BS!
 16th of Jan, 2015 by    +1 Votes
This company called me stating they were attorneys and that I owe for a magazine account. After careful research we have found they are not attorneys, a violation of Federal and State Law. I live in Massachusetts and have found they are not licensed to collect in my state. I am working with the Massachusetts attorney Generals office and the Federal Trade Commission to prosecute this firm for criminal actions. I also have 7 other consumers who paid this company and we are filing a class action suit against "Malcolm S Gerald" and it's principal David Stein. If anyone else has been effected please contact the Massachusetts Attorney Generals office to get involved with the class action. David Stein used a false name filing in the state of Illinois as a corporation. Another Felony in the state of Illinois. These criminals have messed with the wrong person and I will take this all the way until they are in a federal prison. All of the employees in this company will be held liable as well. I believe it falls under a conspiracy/ Rico case as they all are conspiring to fraud consumers together. I will be at every hearing. See you soon.
 30th of Jul, 2015 by    +1 Votes
M S Gerald has called me repeatedly but won't leave messages. I answered the phone today, and they claim I owe $1100 on a 22 year old finance company matter (this site won't allow the l o a n word!). The finance company ended up owing me money after a class action lawsuit for their lending practices. They got nasty with me, demanding the money now, stating that I could afford to pay it and they knew I had the money. Tried to be nice. Tried to explain the class action lawsuit. They said we aren't attorneys, we are a collection agency and you owe this. Told them to research my comments. They told me "actions speak louder than words. You owe us money, You won't pay it, and that says a lot about what kind of person you are!" So I'm a disabled loser. I told them to stick it up their ass and never call me again. Then I hung up on the arrogant butthole (says I can't use the word I really said, so you get my drift!). I am so upset that I can barely function. I wanted to speak to a manager, but again it was put back on me for not paying my debts!

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