MJ Hecker and Associates / Unprofessional Business Practices
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.