Valentine & Kebartas prides itself as a collection agency with a difference. On their website they identify that they started with three employees in 1994 and have grown to over 400 employees with offices in, Massachusetts, Idaho, and Florida and in the country of Panama.
They vow to make a difference from other collection agencies by their commitment to the client. They reveal an impressive list of clients and industries they serve. Their site is easy to navigate and has an accessible link where you are encouraged to speak with a representative about your delinquent accounts.
The Better Business Bureau (bbb.org) gives Valentine and Kebartas, Idaho office a rating of F. This is partly because there is insufficient information to determine a rating and also because of the 17 complaints filed against it, 10 of them have reportedly not was responded to at the time of review.
The Massachusetts office has a rating of C. With a record of 112 complaints in the last 36 months and of those 44 were in the last 12 months. Of the 112, sixty-four percent were related to credit, billing or collection issues. This is not surprising considering that Valentine and Kebartas are a collection agency.
Harassing telephone calls and bad manners are some of the complaints posted on complaintsboard.com. The mandate of the agency is to collect on the debt for their clients. Remember that they are hired agents and will get paid a portion of the proceedings collected. That is what drives them. With the desire to collect and get paid they are determined to obtain the bad debts.
Often shady practices of intimidation are used to pull money from dry coffers. Threads and bullying are common techniques used to try to draw money from debtors. There are rules and regulations regarding contact and telephone calls. They are not allowed to contact you after 8pm and repeated calling is not allowed. As are threats, name calling, implying that you are lying, and other tactics such as threat of garnishee wages and repossessing items.
What to Do
If this happens and you are at the end of a series of calls from a collection agency then you must write a 'cease and desist' letter to the collection agency. It must be sent via registered mail and signed that they have accepted it. This is important to have a signature so they are unable to say that "I never got it" type of thing.
Sample letters can be obtained with a simple internet search and in the meantime, debts should become familiar with the Fair Debt Collection Act to get a handle of the 'do's and don'ts' of collection and what rights those who owe money have against debt collectors and original creditors.