CHICAGO (CBS) — What happens when you need to collect money from a debt collector?
A small business owner in Chicago reached out to the CBS 2 Morning Insiders, and Vince Gerasole takes us inside his wait for payment from the people supposed to be on his side.
Damion Perry is a contractor who is now trying to collect a debt from Bowen and Associates, the very collection agency that took in thousands on his behalf.
Last year Perry’s company, Proven Crown Builders, replaced the doors on a North Side condo. The association paid Perry half of the $14,000 bill up front, but was months late with the second half.
“Kind of out of frustration, I responded to a cold call from a collection agency,” he said.
In February, Perry entered into a contract apparently signed by Bowen’s senior sales executive Edward Thedford.
It says Bowen keeps a 25% fee for any funds collected, and pays its clients “by the twentieth business day” of the following month.
“They were assertive, they were aggressive, and they were able to negotiate a settlement,” Perry said.
By May 15, Bowen informed the condominium association the collection agency had received their $5,900 negotiated settlement payment, but Perry said he never received the money he was due.
He didn’t get the payment in June.
“Edward personally answered the phone and said, ‘The check’s in the mail. It’s in the mail,'” Perry said.
No payment came in July.
“He said, ‘You know, let me look into it. and I’ll get back to you.’ And he never returned my phone call,” Perry said.
And there was still no payment in August.
“In a phone call he promised to FedEx it overnight, which didn’t happen,” Perry said.
That’s when CBS 2 reached out.
Gerasole spoke with a man who said he was Edward Thedford and said the matter was “none of our business.”
“Well, it is our business now since he’s asked us to do that. Is there a reason you haven’t paid him?” Gerasole asked.
Bowen and Associates is based in Lewisville, Texas. A quick check shows it has an F rating with the Better Business Bureau.
But then Perry reached out again, saying Edward from Bowen and Associates contacted him, promising his payment in full as long as CBS 2 didn’t go ahead with the report.
Perry decided it was more important to tell his story than collect the money.
CBS 2 doesn’t pretend to be debt collectors, but now after ,repeated calls, Bowen and Associates sent a check about three months late to Perry just before this story was set to air.
Prior to receiving his check, Perry registered a consumer complaint against Bowen and Associates with the Texas Attorney General’s office.