The owner of a funeral home in Illinois is among several business people nationwide who have reported to the Better Business Bureau that they see no evidence they received any services after paying a California collection agency thousands of dollars to recover customer debts.
The high volume of complaints against Financial Adjustment Solutions of Woodland Hills, Calif. prompted the BBB to issue a warning for companies across the U.S. Michelle Corey, BBB president and CEO, said the case against the collection agency is unusual in that the complaints are coming from small businesses that hired the agency. Typically, the BBB receives complaints from consumers.
The unnamed funeral home based in Sparta, Ill. reportedly paid Financial Adjustment Solutions $16,000 on promises the agency would collect past-due funeral bills from three families. The owner of the funeral home said he agreed to hire the agency after several "unsolicited and high-pressure" phone calls.
Financial Adjustment Solutions assured the owner that they had found bank assets and life insurance proceeds they could freeze in order to collect the debt. The funeral home was asked to pay upfront for legal fees. The funeral home owner said Financial Adjustment Solutions told him that the company also could recoup the legal fees.
Since the payments were made in February, Financial Adjustment Solutions has provided no evidence that they have made any effort to collect the debt, the funeral home owner said.
Other recent complaints against Financial Adjustment Solutions include:
- A Farmington, Mo., businesswoman said she paid the company $750 more than a year ago for debt collection work but never heard from the firm again.
- A heating and cooling contractor from Twin Falls, Idaho, said he paid the company more than $8,600 for debt collection work in July 2012 after receiving several calls from the firm soliciting business. He said he received no services.
- An Aberdeen, Md., diesel engine repair business paid the firm $7,400 for legal fees to help collect past-due bills. A year later, a company official said, he has no proof Financial Adjustment Solutions has done anything.
The BBB has left telephone and email messages for the company, but they were not returned. The company could not be reached for comment on Tuesday.
This company is taking money saying they will collect on bills, but then offering no evidence that they are doing anything, said the BBB's Corey. No business can afford to pay for empty promises.
BBB complaints against Financial Adjustment Solutions are similar to complaints filed against a group of now-defunct California-based collection companies. Those companies and their operators and managers were targets of court action by the Federal Trade Commission.
Earlier this year, the last of the defendants in the case against Rumson, Bolling & Associates agreed to a court settlement that permanently banned them from the debt collection business. The FTC case alleged that three debt collection companies, their owner, David M. Hynes II, and the companies principals subjected consumers to abusive debt collection practices and deceived small business clients. The defendants were ordered to pay a total of $1.1 million.