Valentine & Kebartas, Inc., began in 1994, when two veterans of the collections industry decided to get together and form their own business. The company is headquartered in Lawrence, Mass., with satellite offices in Florida and Idaho, and an international location in Panama.
Address: 15 Union St # 6, Lawrence, MA 01840
Phone: (978) 975-0799
The owners, Cheryl Valentine and Robert Kebartas, say that they work to help their clients achieve their collections goals. However, it appears that the consumers tend to suffer during the process. Though the company maintains an A+ rating on the Better Business Bureau’s website (they are not accredited with the BBB), they have receive several complaints and negative customer reviews on the BBB’s site.
When consumers ask Valentine & Kebartas to provide proof of the money they owe – a billing statement or some official document that proves the agency is collecting a legitimate debt – the company will either not provide such documentation or will claim that the information was sent in the mail and that the consumer must not have received it. Consumers report that employees make repeated calls, sometimes several in a row, and they harass people, often calling them “losers” or “deadbeats.” Employees will threaten that they can garnish your wages, sue you for nonpayment, or even go after your home.
There have even been reports from ex-employees that Valentine & Kebartas take certain liberties when trying to get debts paid. Often, they will tell a consumer that their payments must be a certain amount to avoid a lawsuit, even if the consumer has advised that he or she can’t afford the amount and have instead suggested a lower payment. Former employees of Valentine & Kebartas say that these practices are not condoned by the companies with whom the original debt resides, and that consumers should avoid contact with Valentine & Kebartas and should contact the original debt holder instead.
Consumers have filed complaints with the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) against Valentine & Kebartas, saying that they are receiving as many as ten calls a day from the collections agency. Valentine & Kebartas has also been sued for violations of the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA). Often, the company settles with the plaintiff outside of court.