Sat, July 10, 2004
Jim from Mission Viejo, you stated that, "NCO is usually pretty good at following the Fair Debt and Collections Practices Act". What on earth ever gave you THAT idea? Have you not read all of the complaints about how they VIOLATE the FDCPA? I was contacted by these knuckleheads and screamed at and called names like other posters here. They asked for my social security number which they had no need for, I had an account number, one that THEY assigned to me. Maybe you should visit consumer advocate Bud Hibbs site. Here is what he has to say about them. He has them listed under Agencies To Avoid...And for GOOD REASON... NCO Financial Systems**** ALL ZILLION OFFICES Horsham (Hdqtrs), Pennsylvania 19044 Bud Says... A ZILLION OFFICES Horsham (Hdqtrs), Pennsylvania 19044 Bud Says... For Release: May 13, 2004 NCO Group to Pay Largest FCRA Civil Penalty to Date One of the nation's largest debt-collection firms will pay $1.5 million to settle Federal Trade Commission charges that it violated the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) by reporting inaccurate information about consumer accounts to credit bureaus. The civil penalty against Pennsylvania-based NCO Group, Inc. is the largest civil penalty ever obtained in a FCRA case. According to the FTC's complaint, defendants NCO Group, Inc.; NCO Financial Systems, Inc.; and NCO Portfolio Management, Inc. violated Section 623(a)(5) of the FCRA. The law specifies that any entity that reports information to credit bureaus about a delinquent consumer account that has been placed for collection or written off must report the actual month and year the account first became delinquent. In turn, this date is used by the credit bureaus to measure the maximum seven-year reporting period the FCRA mandates. The provision helps ensure that outdated debts debts that are beyond this seven-year reporting period do not appear on a consumer's credit report. Violations of this provision of the FCRA are subject to civil penalties of $2,500 per violation. The FTC charges that NCO reported accounts using later-than-actual delinquency dates. Reporting later-than-actual dates may cause negative information to remain in a consumer's credit file beyond the seven-year reporting period permitted by the FCRA for most information. When this occurs, consumers' credit scores may be lowered, possibly resulting in their rejection for credit or their having to pay a higher interest rate. NCO is so bad, that in 2003, they have been sued 40 times for violations of the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA). These suits are usually filed when consumers are abused in violation of state and federal debt collection laws. NCO is a money-mill, gobbling up competitors, buying portfolios of old debts for pennies, and expanding globally. These money-beggars are making their bottom-line profits at the expense and abuse of consumers. One wonders how many lawsuits are NOT being filed because consumers do not know their rights or that NCO CAN be held accountable for their illegal debt collection practices. Apparently, NCO is not spending enough time and money to properly train their debt collectors in accordance with law, the FDCPA. Do they hire any derelict that may be in-between court and treatment dates simply to harass, abuse, and oppress consumers? There is no mention of drug testing at their web site, so can you be hired at NCO if one has bad habits and a need for fast-cash. This must be a 'dream-job' for anyone with a prison record, drug habit, or any con artist out to defraud some fast money off unsuspecting consumers. Are you aware of the personal consumer information these money beggars have access to? I shudder to think how much information is being illegally used at agencies such as NCO. You should be VERY nervous about the type of individuals who have this unprecedented and open access to ALL of your personal information. It may be just a matter of time until collectors start calling with accents from country's like India, Pakistan and ....(ooohhh my gawd!!) NCO's CEO, Michael J. (kinky) Barrist seems to be astonishing Wall Street (NASDAQ:NCPM) with his financial wizardry. He certainly appears to be pumping up the bottom line. (One lawsuit at a time?) In my experience, this type of greed and consumer abuse will catch up with NCO, just as it did with Commercial Financial Systems (CFS) and Outsourcing Solutions Inc (OSI). Both operations were out of control just prior to their filing for bankruptcy protection. CFS's top brass is facing federal criminal charges in highly anticipated court proceedings scheduled for later this year. One sure method to stop NCO's consumer abuse is for well-informed consumers to use the law to their advantage. There are three things you can do to slow down the NCO collection process: 1) Within the first thirty days of receiving a written NCO collection notice, send a dispute notice, making demand for all documentation that substantiates their claim. 2) Use the FREE cease-comm letter on ANY NCO debt collector who threatens, intimidates, or abuses you. 3) Tape all debt collector calls (where legal) to use in future civil or criminal proceedings. If you are receiving abuse from NCO, contact me for referral to a local consumer law professional in your area. NCO, with $800+million in revenues last year, has more money than a South American drug cartel, so use the law to make them pay when they violate the laws and your consumer rights. Do not let NCO's under-trained, uneducated and FDCPA lacking debt-collectors make a paycheck at your expense. Big agencies pay big salaries to their ego-driven brass. NCO should spend a lot more time training their collectors and dealing with consumer complaints, in this case BIGGER does NOT mean BETTER! (Except for Kinky and his top brass team of money beggars) NEVER give a debt collector your banking or credit card information. NEVER trust a debt collector; they will lie to cheat you out of your money. NEVER do 'checks by phone' as debt collectors could empty your bank account with little or no accountability. REMEMBER: Debt collectors have NO power and NO authority and should NEVER be trusted. They will lie and cheat you to get at your money.
Sat, July 10, 2004
If the NCO collector in fact did threaten to call your employer, he violated the Fair Debt and Collections Practices Act by making the threat. If he did call your employer, you can sue for damages. You can also file a complaint with the FTC against NCO for the threat and have them disciplined. Send them a "Cease Communications" letter, and then make a record of every phone call you get. Then file a complaint with the FTC for that violation. They are required to send you a letter, stating their collection activity in writing and give you an opportunity to dispute the debt. That is how you will learn their address. If you send the letter, the only communication you should get is notification in writing of their next course of action. There are legal sites on the internet, published by colleges, that you can look up United States Codes (USC). Look at USC title 15 Section 1666 (Fair Credit Billing Act). You can find it on the FTC website, and on Cornell's law website. I can't give you the links here, because it isn't allowed. Also see USC Title 15 Section 1692 (Fair Debt and Collections Practices Act). Never verify any information with a collector, they could be a scam artist trying to collect information to steal your identity. In fact, that could be the case here, because NCO is usually pretty good at following the Fair Debt and Collections Practices Act. And they appeared to be calling about a debt you didn't have, and it was old enough that it may have passed the statute of limitations in your state. If you get a letter in the mail. You need to protect your rights and respond with a dispute in writing, sent via certified mail, return receipt. Put the number of the mail certificate on the letter, to prove it is related to the receipt. Keep a copy on file with the mail reciept. They can't do anything until they have verified the debt. If it isn't yours, they won't be able to verify it, and will go away. If their verification is in error, respond as such, by certified mail. They should then go away. If they don't and you get a summons served to you. You have a legal argument to get the case dismissed. I am not an attorney, just an educated consumer. Consult an attorney for the particulars of your situation.
Fri, July 09, 2004
Does the account appear on your credit bureau report? That is the 1# question to have answered. If it is the account is handled thru the Internal Recovery Unit [DELETED]. Please call and ask then to search with your informaion for an account. If not no harm done..?? just request NCO fax# and send them a cease and desist letter. The letter should simply state to contact via mail only. No phone calls. This is a start. TO ALL CHECK YOUR CBR!! DO NOT GIVE ANYONE $$$ THAT YOU ARE NOT CONFORTABLE WITH, JUST BECAUSE THEY SAY YOU OWE IT.