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MJ Hecker and Associates / Unprofessional Business Practices

1 Englewood, CO, United States Review updated:

I was contacted today by an employee of MJ Hecker and Associates. They were trying to collect on a debt that I was unaware was still outstanding. I confirmed my birthdate and name for the employee, and requested a tangible statement of the debt be mailed to me...indicating that this must be a medical bill that slipped through the cracks...and I would take are of the debt immediately upon receipt of that statement. I did not deny that the debt was mine, nor did I refuse to pay at any time during the conversation.

Mr. Hecker's employee, who spoke so fast that I did not catch his name, refused to send me a statement and demanded my banking information. I explained that I do not give out my banking information over the phone, and again requested a printed statement of the debt. Mr. Hecker's employee again refused and said "we're not a billing company". Then he stated that they had sent a letter to me. Since this was the first time I had ever heard of MF Hecker and Associates, and had never received any piece of mail from them, I requested AGAIN that they reissue the request and I would be more than happy to send them a check. Mr Hecker's employee said it was not his problem that I did not receive his letter, and AGAIN demanded my personal banking information.

This employee was rude, aggressive and threatened to begin court proceedings and damage my credit standings if I was refusing to settle the debt. I restated that I was more than willing to pay the amount owed...if he would provide me with a statement, mentioning that I would like to have tangible evidence should I need to present it to my lawyer or my accountant. At this point Mr. Hecker's employee said "Oh, you have a lawyer. Should we talk directly to him?" I indicated that in this day and age everyone has a lawyer, and that I would prefer to settle the debt without involving attorney's fees. Then we ended up back in the endless loop of him requesting my banking information, and me explaining that I will not give out that sensitive information over the phone and to please send me a statement. He talked over me, interrupted me and raised his voice in a most unprofessional manner, implying that I was stupid to not give him the information he requested.

When Mr. Hecker's employee finally stopped ranting I aked him "Are you finished?" and again requested a statement, and quoted the Fair Debt Collection Act. I then asked for the physical mailing address for MJ Heckler and Associates, and the account number that they listed this debt under. Mr. Heckler's employee gave me this information, and when I said "I will have a check in the mail to you today" he stated that I shouldn't bother, as they would simply return it to me. I said, "Are you refusing to accept payment?" This is when Mr. Hecker's employee said something to the effect of "We're done here" and hung up on me.

If you have had a like experience with MJ Hecker and Associates, do yourself a favor and call The Attorney Regulation Counsel [protected]. They were very helpful and professional, and seemed to know all too well of this firm. They will take your statement, assign you a case number and give you the name of the attorney who will be handling the case.

MJ Hecker and Associates is a law firm, so calling the Collection Agency Consumer Complaints and Info line [protected]), who were also very nice and very professional, won't get much done as they have no jurisdiction over MJ Heckler. The person I spoke to there DID indicate that I was 100% in the right to not give out my personal banking information over the phone EVER. But if you are just feeling froggy a call to them as well might not hurt ;-) The squeaky wheel and all that ;-)

I also left a message on MJ (Marty) Hecker's voicemail, which evidently does ring at his desk [protected]) indicating my disapproval of his employee's behavior and requesting a statement of my account to be sent to me immediately. I left my name and phone number...so we'll see if he, or one of his flunkies, even bothers to return the call.

Funny, I've never had such a difficult time getting someone to take my money.

KL Pinson
Orlando, FL

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Comments

  • Ho
      13th of Apr, 2010
    +1 Votes

    MJ Hecker is not registered as an Attorney in Colorado. The Attorney General's website shows him as being suspended since 2007. Please contact the AG's office with your complaint.

  • Kl
      13th of Apr, 2010
    +1 Votes

    Ahhh, very interesting. Would you happen to have the number to the AG's office handy? I would be more than happy to add to what is surely a pile of complaints against this company.

  • Kl
      13th of Apr, 2010
    +1 Votes

    Also, would you happen to have a link to anything online that indicates that MJ Hecker is no longer an attorney?

    Many Thanks.

  • Mb
      17th of May, 2010
    +1 Votes

    I, too, was contacted by MJ Hecker & Associates and was talking to a person who identified his name as SCOTT SANDERS, probably fictious, and I offered to pay them $10.00 a month on a $200.00 claim. He said fine and then asked me for my Banking records, which I declined. He then got very LOUD and said he was going to take further action. Now that I have a few numbers in Colorado to complain and from other information obtained, I would like to know if anyone out there knows if he is still suspended in 2010?? I will also call the AG to find out a little more about them. It's not like I'm refusing to pay, I called them with my offer and I am paying 4 other lawyers like this. I am only trying to clear this matter up and they make it difficult. MB ANDREWS

  • Kl
      18th of May, 2010
    -1 Votes

    Just sent you a message. Hope it is helpful.

    KL Pinson

  • Kl
      18th of May, 2010
    -1 Votes

    BTW, Mr. Sanders? I dealt with him as well. When I spoke with him he was playing good-cop to the previous collection guy who had called's bad-cop routine. So he is capable of being a professional when he chooses to. Don't let them push you around and demand everything (agreements, payment receipts, etc...) in writing. A paper-trail is your best friend :-)

  • Mb
      27th of May, 2010
    0 Votes

    My Lawyer informed me that MJ Hecker filed for Bankruptcy on May 8th, 2010. Did anyone out know that????

  • Kl
      27th of May, 2010
    0 Votes

    No way!! Huh...maybe all those complaints actually got some notice. I know it isn't good karma to enjoy someone else's misfortune...but wow...that company had it coming! A company can only do bad business for so long before it catches up to them.

    I'll put this in the "win" column for the the consumers :-)

    Thanks for sharing that info.

  • Bm
      23rd of Jun, 2010
    0 Votes

    ANY information anyone has on this lawfirm I'd love to know about. I have them calling, demanding payment in full before the 30th, had me in tears this morning saying they were going to sue us. I told them I could pay them the settlement in full on the 9th of July, and the lady told me they would start court action to sue me before then. Told me I needed to borrow money from my family or even the CHURCH! Are they still suspended? They refused to let me pay in two weeks.. I did find it bizarre.

  • Wo
      26th of Jun, 2010
    0 Votes

    Know your rights

    A federal statute known as the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (often called the "FDCPA"), 15 USC 1692, gives you specific legal rights to sue debt collectors who unlawfully threaten, berate, intimidate or harass you; call you during odd hours, make false representations about the debt or their intentions, or otherwise act in ways proscribed by the act (and their are many). False statements may include (and this list is just a small example) threats to:

    * Attach your wages when unlawful or not intended-this includes threats to take more wages that is permitted by the federal limitation (wage attachment for a credit card debt, a non-student loan or for an obligation that is not support is generally illegal in Pennsylvania, however, now that law has been expanded to rent and lease damages in some cases-you should check the statute to be sure);
    * Contact your employer about the debt;
    * Call you "everyday until the debt is paid;"
    * Sell the debt to another company for the purposes of continuing collection on a time-barred debt;
    * Contact neighbors about the debt;
    * Contact the Department of Homeland Security about your alien status;
    * Threaten imprisonment or criminal punishment;
    * Report a financed vehicle as "stolen" because you missed one or more vehicle payments;
    * File or threaten to file criminal bad check charges on a post dated check that the collector solicited from you;
    * Immediately evict (by an agent for a landlord); lockout, or seize personal property where such relief is limited by state law;
    * Sue, where no suit is intended, e.g. a collector requested "settlement prior to possible legal action" where the collection agency had no authority to sue, or to retain counsel. This action was held to be deceptive and violative of the FDCPA by a federal court in Connecticut.
    * Or, a threat implying that the collection agency has multiple employees or investigators working to collect the debt, where only one or two people work for the agency.
    * Collect or sue for "collection costs, " "attorney's fees, " (see also below) interest not pre-agreed to in excess of that allowed by statute, "fines, " or any other fee in excess of the actual amount due, unless the original agreement provides for the amount the collector threatens to collect. For instance, the collector cannot threaten to add attorney's fees or his fees where the agreement you signed does not specifically provide for them. Let's say you went to the dentist and just signed consent form and a medical history. You agreed to pay for all charges if your insurance did not. Nothing is mentioned about anything else. The collector cannot add any other fees or even and especially, his costs, late fees or other charges.
    * Add "collection costs, attorney's fees" and similar additional charges have also been held to be deceptive and misleading, because they do not state exactly what debt is being sought.
    * Sue or bring any kind of legal action where the threat is not followed through (i.e. a scare tactic), or any number or other threats designed to demoralize, humiliate, degrade; embarrass or intimidate a debtor into payment.
    * Or any threat where the collector says he is legal counsel or an attorney/lawyer when he is not;
    * Or a threat or attempt to mislead a debtor that a claim will be transferred to an attorney or separate department of a collector (e.g. "This will be transferred to our legal department for further action"). Letters misrepresenting that the account has been transferred to an attorney may include an attorney's letterhead with threats of legal action. Have you ever received a letter from a lawyer who purportedly collects for a major creditor? Has the lawyer been out-of-state? Has the lawyer threatened to sue if payment was not made?

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