If you have unpaid credit card bills, student loans, or other debt, you may have received 112 calls from MRS Associates. If you have a caller ID and blocker, MRS is probably clogging up your spam inbox.
MRS BPO LLC, also trading as MRS Associates, bills itself as a full-service accounts receivables management (ARM) firm—a very fancy way of saying they’re debt collectors.
In fact, MRS goes to great lengths to avoid calling itself a debt collector. The closest the company comes to admitting it is in its 250-word LinkedIn “about” section where it mentions “powering industry-leading debt recovery solutions that enhance brand and reputation.”
What is MRS BPO?
MRS is a debt collection company based in Cherry Hill, New Jersey, a suburb of Philadelphia. The MRS tagline is: “Innovative Solutions. Real Results.” Their tactics are anything but. They just call and call and when you ignore them they text and threaten lawsuits. Real innovative solutions right there.
MRS BPO’s business model isn’t too complicated. The company buys delinquent debt for pennies on the dollar from other businesses then does its damnedest to collect whatever amount is owed in full.
Is MRS BPO LLC a scam?
MRS BPO is a legitimate debt collection agency. It buys bundles of delinquent debt from other businesses and pesters you until you pay. It also takes contracts to collect debt on behalf of other organizations for a fee.
In addition to aggressive collection methods, MRS BPO’s been accused of using some scam-adjacent tactics. One such tactic is bait and switch. If you have delinquent debt, you might be motivated to pay it off for the sake of your credit score. MRS BPO tries to “help” you by sending an enticing offer letter.
Let’s say, for example, that you owe $1,000. But then MRS BPO sends you a letter saying they can write off the whole debt if you just pay $400. That sounds like a good deal, right? Wrong. Customers have complained that upon calling MRS BPO, they were informed that the offer had expired and they needed to pay the amount owed in full.
This is because the entire point of the offer is to gauge your intent to pay. Some defaulters just don’t care. When they receive a demand letter, they crunch it up and dump it in the trash. There is nothing MRS BPO can do for such people. But then there is you. A decent person who only defaulted because you fell on hard times and now wants to get the stain of default off your record. This is exactly the kind of person MRS BPO seeks to exploit.
Obviously, if you borrowed a thousand dollars, it’s only fair that you pay back a thousand dollars. But by the time your debt gets sold to MRS BPO, the original lender has forgiven the debt and moved on.
If you owe a thousand dollars, MRS BPO probably paid only $40 to $100 for the right to collect that $1,000. If you pay in full, you are subsidizing the guys who use their demand letters as toilet paper.
MRS BPO tries to squeeze as much money as it can from the few defaulters who are willing to pay because the majority are either incapable of paying or unwilling. This scheme is technically not a scam but the ethics are highly questionable.
Where does MRS BPO buy debt from?
MRS BPO buys debt from whoever is willing to sell it. They include banks, credit card companies, payday lenders, hospitals, and all sorts of businesses that offer credit facilities to their customers. MRS BPO specializes in buying delinquent debt for pennies on the dollar and then aggressively pursuing repayment.
Who owns MRS BPO?
MRS BPO is a family business. It was founded in 1991 by two brothers, Saul and Jeff Freedman. They still run the company as co-CEOs to this day.
MRS BPO lists 700 employees and brings in $180 million in annual revenue, making it one of the largest debt-collection agencies in the United States. If you want to work in the debt collection industry and live in the Philadelphia-Camden-Wilmington metropolitan area, MRS BPO is hiring.
Do you have to pay MRS BPO?
It depends on the age of the debt. States have varying statutes of limitations on different kinds of debt. The statute of limitations on credit card debt, for example, varies from two years in California to ten years in Rhode Island. Other kinds of debt have different statutes of limitations so you should check your state’s laws on them.
Whether or not you have to pay MRS BPO depends on whether the statute of limitations has expired. Failing to pay a bill because of the statute’s expiration is not some debt avoidance cheat code, however. Delinquent debts still impact your credit score.