Tate and Kirlin Associates Scam or Legit? Unveiling The Truth

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  • Post published:March 13, 2024
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Tate & Kirlin Associates is a debt collection agency based in Pennsylvania that has received its fair share of complaints and negative reviews online in recent years. But is Tate & Kirlin Associates truly a scam, or are they a legitimate company trying to operate in a heavily criticized industry?

This in-depth article will take an unbiased look at Tate & Kirlin Associates to determine if they are scamming consumers. We’ll explore who they are, their history, the services they offer, whether they sue consumers, legal action against them, as well as analyzing online complaints and reviews.

Overview of Tate & Kirlin Associates

Tate & Kirlin Associates, Inc. is a third-party debt collection agency headquartered in Trevose, Pennsylvania. The company was founded in 1993 by Richard Kirlin and William Tate and has been in business for over 25 years.

Tate & Kirlin Associates specializes in collecting on delinquent or unpaid commercial and consumer debts. They work as a contingency agency, meaning they only get paid if they successfully collect on an overdue account.

According to their website, Tate & Kirlin utilizes “various state of the art systems and technologies ranging from automated collection systems to predictive dialer applications and the latest industry software.”

The company states that they maintain a strong focus on regulatory compliance and cites affiliation with several professional associations, including the Association of Credit and Collection Professionals (ACA International).

Tate & Kirlin Associates collects debt across the nation and has a workforce of around 240 employees, with estimated annual revenues of $21 million.

Tate and Kirlin associates

Tate & Kirlin Associates Services

As a debt collection agency, Tate & Kirlin Associates provides the following services:

Early-Out Programs: Also known as first-party collections, Tate & Kirlin contacts consumers on behalf of clients to try to collect unpaid debts before they get severely delinquent. This includes sending letters and making phone calls in-house rather than outsourcing early collections.

Third-Party Collections: Tate & Kirlin collects on severely delinquent or charged-off accounts that the original creditor has given up on collecting themselves. The agency takes on these bad debts on a contingency basis.

Credit Reporting: The company reports unpaid debts to the major credit bureaus on behalf of their clients in order to motivate consumers to pay.

Debt Litigation: Although less common, Tate & Kirlin Associates will initiate legal proceedings against consumers if the debt goes unpaid. This includes filing lawsuits and obtaining judgments.

Credit Monitoring Services: Tate & Kirlin offers comprehensive credit monitoring services to business clients to identify slow-paying accounts early.

Overall, Tate & Kirlin Associates provides full-service accounts receivable management and collections for a variety of industries including healthcare, financial services, utilities, retail, and more.

Is Tate & Kirlin Associates Legitimate?

Tate & Kirlin Associates is a legitimate collections agency that is fully licensed and bonded to operate in all 50 states. They are incorporated in Pennsylvania and have been in business for nearly 30 years.

Some key facts that point to Tate & Kirlin Associates being a legitimate company:

  • Fully licensed and bonded to provide debt collection services in every state.
  • Member of the Association of Credit and Collection Professionals (ACA International), the industry’s association representing 3rd party debt collectors.
  • Registered with the Better Business Bureau and maintains an A+ rating despite complaints.
  • Appears in good standing with the Pennsylvania Corporation Bureau and Pennsylvania Department of State.
  • Has not been successfully sued by any regulatory agencies such as the FTC or CFPB.
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So while Tate & Kirlin Associates has its share of unhappy customers and controversies, they do appear to operate legally within the debt collection industry. There are no signs they are a scam or fake company.

Now let’s take a closer look at some common concerns surrounding Tate & Kirlin Associates.

Does Tate & Kirlin Associates Sue Consumers?

One common question surrounding debt collectors like Tate & Kirlin is whether they actually take consumers to court for unpaid debts.

The answer is yes – Tate & Kirlin Associates does sometimes sue debtors as a last resort if the account goes severely delinquent.

A search of public records reveals numerous lawsuits initiated by Tate & Kirlin Associates against consumers across various states. Most of these lawsuits sought to obtain a court judgment against the debtor for the unpaid amount.

However, it’s important to note that while Tate & Kirlin does sue consumers, legal action is not very common. Lawsuits make up only a small fraction of their overall collection activities.

For the most part, Tate & Kirlin Associates utilizes letters, calls, credit reporting, and negotiation tactics to get consumers to pay without having to go to court. But if these methods ultimately fail, they may consider a lawsuit.

So can Tate & Kirlin sue you over an unpaid debt? The possibility definitely exists if you owe them money. But it’s not an everyday occurrence and would only happen down the road after exhaustive collection efforts fail.

Tate & Kirlin Associates Lawsuits & Legal Issues

A common accusation against Tate & Kirlin Associates is that they routinely violate consumer protection laws like the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA) and Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA).

A review of public legal records reveals Tate & Kirlin has in fact faced numerous lawsuits over the years accusing them of illegal collection practices including:

  • Harassing consumers with frequent phone calls.
  • Calling third parties like family members and employers.
  • Threatening legal action they did not intend to take.
  • Attempting to collect wrong or fraudulent debts.
  • Failing to verify alleged debts when disputed.
  • Reporting inaccurate information to credit bureaus.

While Tate & Kirlin Associates has certainly been accused of shady practices, it’s important to note that most of these lawsuits were settled or dismissed, and very few resulted in the company being found officially liable.

For example, in 2013 Tate & Kirlin failed to respond to an FDCPA lawsuit and had a default judgment issued against them. But beyond situations like this, most lawsuits get resolved before anything is proven illegal.

So in summary – Tate & Kirlin Associates has faced numerous legal issues over their debt collection tactics, but they have avoided any major penalties or judgments against them as a company. Their litigation issues appear on par with other major debt collectors.

While consumers can and do successfully sue Tate & Kirlin for violations, calling them an outright scam or illegal enterprise would be inaccurate based on the available court records.

Analyzing Tate & Kirlin Associates Reviews & Complaints

Now let’s examine what actual customers are saying about Tate & Kirlin Associates by looking at online reviews and complaints:

Better Business Bureau (BBB) – Tate & Kirlin Associates currently holds an A+ rating with the BBB despite over 60 complaints on file over the past 3 years. Most complaints relate to issues like:

  • Attempting to collect incorrect or fraudulent debts.
  • Continued collection efforts after a debt was disputed.
  • Harassing communications and phone calls.
  • Taking payments without authorization.
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The company does respond to most complaints filed on BBB and issues resolutions like ceasing collection activity and removing accounts.

Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) – Since 2015 the CFPB has received 9 complaints against Tate & Kirlin Associates primarily citing issues with false statements or information about debts and communication tactics. However, the low complaint volume indicates most issues get resolved directly without needing to involve the CFPB.

Google Reviews – Tate & Kirlin currently has 13 Google reviews resulting in a very poor 1.9 out of 5 star rating. Negative reviews accuse them of scams, harassment, and illegally obtaining banking information.

Online Review Sites – Tate & Kirlin Associates has been reviewed on several trusted consumer sites like Trustpilot, PissedConsumer, and Complaints Board. They have faced accusations of using predatory tactics and collecting bogus debts. However, some positive reviews praise their professionalism and efficiency when dealing with legitimate unpaid accounts.

Based on these various online sources, common complaints about Tate & Kirlin Associates include:

  • Attempting to collect fraudulent or inaccurate debts.
  • Harassing communications and frequent phone calls.
  • Empty threats to damage credit or take legal action.
  • Lack of debt validation when requested.
  • Calling third parties like family or employers.
  • Unauthorized bank account withdrawals.

How to Handle Debt Collection by Tate & Kirlin Associates

If Tate & Kirlin Associates contacts you attempting to collect a debt, here are some tips on how to handle it:

✅ Ask for written validation – Under the FDCPA you have the right to request written validation for any debt in collection. Require Tate & Kirlin to prove you actually owe the debt and that they have the authority to collect on it.

✅ Dispute inaccurate information – If you believe the debt is fraudulent or inaccurate, send a written dispute letter and demand that collection efforts cease until it is verified. Get proof before paying anything.

✅ Stop unwanted calls – Per the FDCPA you can send a cease and desist letter to stop unwanted calls or letters from Tate & Kirlin. Clearly state you wish no further contact regarding the debt.

✅ Report violations – If Tate & Kirlin engages in illegal practices like calling your workplace, report them to enforcement agencies like the FTC or CFPB to initiate an investigation.

✅ Consult with an attorney – If Tate & Kirlin violates debt collection laws or causes you harm, consider consulting with a lawyer about your case and legal options. An attorney can deal with them legally on your behalf.

Is Tate & Kirlin Associates a Scam? The Verdict

Based on all the available facts, while Tate & Kirlin Associates certainly has its share of controversy and unhappy customers, labeling them as an outright scam or illegal company seems unwarranted.

By all accounts they appear to be a legitimate, licensed debt collection agency that utilizes aggressive but legal techniques to recover on defaulted debts. While some consumers accuse them of harassment or predatory behavior, no enforcement agencies have deemed their practices inherently unlawful.

As with any debt collector, consumers should exercise caution and verify any debts Tate & Kirlin attempts to collect while being aware of their rights. But the company does not exhibit the clear signs of a scam such as lack of licensing, no business history, or being subject to major legal action.

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In summary:

  • Tate & Kirlin Associates has operated legally for nearly 30 years.
  • They maintain proper licensing and bonds as required in the debt collection industry.
  • While accused of violations, Tate & Kirlin has avoided major penalties from enforcement agencies.
  • Consumer complaints are reasonable in volume for a debt collector of their size.
  • They communicate and attempt resolution of complaints filed against them.

So based on these factors, Tate & Kirlin Associates does not appear to be a scam or fraudulent company despite online accusations. They qualify as a legitimate collections agency that utilizes aggressive techniques while generally operating within the law.

Consumers who feel wronged by them should exercise their dispute and validation rights and consider reporting any truly illegal actions. But the available evidence does not point to Tate & Kirlin Associates being an outright scam company engaged in systematic fraud or deception.

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Conclusion: Exercise Caution but Don’t Assume Scam

In conclusion, Tate & Kirlin Associates is a real debt collection agency that should be approached cautiously – but they do not definitively qualify as a scam. While some consumers truly feel abused or harassed by their collection efforts, as a whole they operate legally within the debt collection industry.

If contacted by Tate & Kirlin, you should verify any debts, carefully review your rights under federal and state law, and not hesitate to dispute or report any legitimately illegal practices. But unsubstantiated claims that they are a total sham or fake company appear unfounded.

Tate & Kirlin Associates toes the line with aggressive collections, but available information indicates they are a real company trying to profit within an inherently unpopular industry. While reasonable complaints against them exist, outright accusing them of being a scam lacks clear evidence.

So in summary: Proceedings with caution, but don’t assume scam. Verify debts, know your rights, and don’t be afraid to push back on truly illegal behavior – but accusations of Tate & Kirlin Associates being a complete fraudulent enterprise seem overblown based on the totality of evidence. They qualify more as an aggressive debt collector than an outright scam ruining consumers’ lives through deception and fraud.

Key Takeaways: Is Tate & Kirlin Associates a Scam?

  • Tate & Kirlin Associates is a legitimate debt collection agency, not a scam company. They maintain proper licensing and credentials.
  • The company does sometimes sue consumers for unpaid debts but legal action is not very common.
  • Consumers have accused Tate & Kirlin of illegal practices like harassment and inaccurate information. But major penalties have been rare.
  • Tate & Kirlin receives a large volume of complaints for a debt collector but appears to address most issues.
  • If contacted by Tate & Kirlin, consumers should verify debts, know their rights, dispute inaccuracies, and report truly illegal behavior.
  • While the company elicits reasonable complaints, they do not exhibit clear signs of being a fraudulent or scam enterprise. They operate legally in a controversial industry.