LONDON, ENGLAND -- I am so glad to have found this site after receiving an emotional bashing from these sick people who are employed by NCO Europe. I have somewhere I can take out my frustrations because if I kept it all in I would be in danger of having a heart attack. NCO had been taking payments from my bank account for four months but I noticed a few weeks ago the payments had stopped so I tried ringing them to see what the problem was as there were sufficient funds in my account to cover the debt. As normal I spent over an hour trying to get through to them with no avail so left a message for them to call me back.
They did ring me back and explained it was a problem on their part and it would be be rectified and I would be contacted to assure me the payments were still being taken. I never received this call from them and after checking my account on the arranged payment date realized they were still not taking out the payment so decided to call them again to sort this out once and for all. I left it till just before closing time hoping I might get through to them.
After a few minutes I did manage to speak to someone, at this point I was very calm and collected and tried to explain the situation to which I was told they didn't care who I had spoken to previously and what I had been told and that I had not been making the payments as arranged and that I would be taken to court and bailiffs would be sent to my property. I continuously tried to explain that it was not my fault but was spoken to with such contempt I could not believe what I was hearing. I ended up losing my temper and asked why he was treating me this way to which I was told "because I can."
I told the man to take me to court and that it would just let the judge see what a heartless ** company they were. He continued to speak to me in this way until I began to cry at which point it was obvious he was getting a sick kick out of hearing me upset. He also called me a cry baby and said he would only speak to me if I apologized for swearing at him.
At this point I just wanted to resolve the situation and did apologize to which he taunted "I cannot hear you" three times in order for me to say it louder then laughed and I could also hear other people laughing in the background, so I quickly took back the apology as I told him the situation was upsetting my children as they do not like to see their mum get upset. He said he didn't care.
I also told the man that he was harassing me and that I would be taking legal action against him and would be contacting the police about these unorthodox practices to which I was told that was the funniest thing he had heard all week. At this point I realized I was wasting my time speaking to these sick people who thrive on upsetting people and terminated the phone call before he had chance to do so and in order to get back some control, which is half of the problem with these kind of people, they like to control.
Anyway I have taken legal advice and found out a bit more about this company and the fact they are trained to act in this way. All I can say is what is this world coming to it frightens me the mentality of some people. Will let you know what happens anyway, these people need to be challenged.
A few simple points to consider before complaining... If you have never had an account with the creditor they represent, the creditor is who your complaint is with not the collection agency; they simply pursue you based on the information provided by the creditors. If you are not the right party, cooperate with the collection agent to confirm this and they will not call you again. Are you the person their looking for? If so, then you have an obligation that has not been fulfilled, and you must do so in a timely fashion.
If the collector you are talking to is unprofessional ask for an officer of the company, most agencies have a compliance officer. Without the agencies aggressively pursuing debtors who have not paid, every "of age" citizen is now carrying the burden of the debt by paying higher interest rates and tougher qualification requirements. Not to mention more taxes for the bailout of these larger corporations.
If you are the indebted party and are upset with the calls to reach you, you need to reevaluate your efforts to resolve the issue. If you truly are unable to pay the debt back, the bankruptcy courts will bring the account to its final conclusion, whether it is a personal debt or a business debt.
The problem in my opinion is people get frustrated with the embarrassment of their inability to pay and have learned in our society that if you complain loud enough you can sometimes avoid the obligation all together as the creditors are not looking for a fight and will stop pursuing the debt as a course of least resistance. Most of the people who complain on these blogs fall into this category. If the collection agents are threatening action outside the abilities of actual legal recourse they are acting criminally and your complaint is best addressed by Law Enforcement.
My suggestions are as follows: If you owe a debt: pay it!!! If you can't pay it: file the relief the creditors are entitled to by filing Bankruptcy!!! It is a tough job to be a collection agent, most parties are in denial and attack the collector and the methods legally approved by The F.D.C.P.A. in an effort to avoid their obligations. ON the flip side if more people would talk to the collectors they would find that they have insight on ways to resolve the issue to the satisfaction of the creditor and the debtor.
I have been in the industry 25 years and have been able to help THOUSANDS of parties resolve the problem of not only the creditor I was representing but other creditors they had in delinquency as well. Collectors are not the problem, people hiding from or ignoring their creditors are the problem. If you have any questions on how to address debt issues please reply to my blog - I will be happy to assist in any way possible, and it will not cost you a dime, only your time to research the best solution available.
Back in the mid 1980's I attended one of the National Education centers school of electronics, National Institute of Technology, henceforth NCE/NIT. These schools later were labeled "student loan farmers", and had one of if not the highest default rates in the nation. NEC was sued by a number of state over the years according to my Google search. The latest is California, in 2007. The school NEC, no longer exists. It was bought out by Olympia. I found this out recently, as I was considering suing them for fraud.
Over the years I have asked DEPT of Ed to send me copies of the records. They never did, nor did they reply. Only recently have they done so. Like in the last 30 days. At one time I had the State of Michigan, through its student loan program Michigan Direct, was willing to pay off my loans and take them over even though they were in default status. I even paid for a 3 way call between Michigan Direct (as it was called back then) and the Dept of Ed, and again DOE refused to cooperate. I still live in Michigan, the state that has one of the worst economies in the nation.
In July of 2007, NCO financial contacted me about the loans. At the time, this was the first contact from either Dept of Ed, or any 3rd party collections agency in over 10 years. Realizing NCO was a 3rd party collections agency, I did my usual demand for validation form letter, demanding they provide a copy of a contract between myself and NCO financial named as primary parties. NCO failed to respond, and I sent them the default letter at the end of August of 2007.
Now in November of 2007 I get letters from Dept of Ed, claiming I went to a school called Olympia. I never attended that school, and demanded a full copy of all records concerning the same, to validate their claim. I was sent over 150 pages of documents. Not one names Olympia as the school I attended. Furthermore, the Dept of Ed's record keeping is completely messed up.
The most recent copies of the so called "promissory notes" do not show a valid signature. Where the signature goes, is covered by various stickers and stuff. And most of the P-notes are incomplete, and have no back side to them. If there is no valid contract, how can they file a claim? How can they Validate their claim?! Can I challenge their claim for lack their being able to show a valid contract?
The loans are growing faster than my paycheck, and for me to pay the minimum, would be the equivalent to my housing costs or nearly 70 percent of my take home pay. I cannot afford to do both. I have an IRS garnishment on my check (hey, my screw up, and I'm paying for it) and the government is taking nearly 1/3rd of it. Any more and I might as well quit trying.
Now I get a letter from Dept, in an envelope that has Dept of Ed's name and address on it, and it says I have to contact NCO financial. BULL. Since researching NCO financial, I have found a lawsuit that was settled that said 3rd party collections agencies cannot use false envelopes to make the consumer think the information is coming from a government source, such as Dept of Ed.
If the Dept of Ed thinks I'm going to pay NCO an extra 10K just to collect money that I would be sending to a US DEPT of ED address, they are totally INSANE. Why should I pay NCO if Dept of Ed is collecting the money? Will post more on this as things develop.
PENNSYLVANIA -- I have read the entire first page of reviews and complaints regarding this company. No need for me to read further. I have received numerous phone calls from NCO Financial in the past month to get in touch with my husband who is never home because of his over the road trucking job. I've advised them of this, but they still check in. I've offered to speak to them before, but they gave a speech about their policy regarding only speaking to the debt holder due to the federal privacy act. I was always told it was "personal business."
Well, today they called and again he's not home so I guess the federal privacy speech went out the window because they started chatting away giving me details of his overdue account and asking me to set up a payment plan. Well, I told her I could not pay in one lump sum today, but I did agree to the $50/month repayment plan, however I would set it up through online Bill Pay with my bank. This would allow my bank to send them a designated amount that we agreed to directly to NCO each month.
I refused to share my bank account/routing number with her and stated for fear of identity theft. She assured me the transactions were secure. I told her no company is exempt from unlawful misuse of personal information. If they can send me something in writing that would guarantee that, I may consider sharing my personal financial information, but not on the say so from someone I don't know and a company I am not familiar with. At any rate, the collections rep refused my offer and stated they would pursue with reporting it to the credit bureaus.
I thought I would share my experience. The woman was neither rude nor kind. She was "business-like." I guess I got lucky there. At any rate, I called the people we actually owed the money to and I've offered a payment schedule I could handle to them to satisfy my debt to which they kindly stated that would be acceptable. I have taken the advice of a previous poster in here regarding the federal letter which I generated immediately and will mail out to them certified with receipt.
You know, we incur debt due to various reasons in life. Ultimately we will also be responsible for that debt no matter whose hand it falls into or how much time passes. That is what directly affects our credit report/rating, not the company who's handling our account. It is their obligation to report it. A collection's agency purpose is to provide a final effort to collect a debt before it reaches your credit report so it's usually in your best interest to satisfy the debt. However, with the rising concerns of identity theft, no company is exempt from an unlawful employee misusing confidential information for personal gain.
How often that happens, we'll never know but it's for certain the risk is present. With that type of access, it's too good to pass up for some people. So what do we do when we really want to satisfy a debt but don't want to compromise our personal financial information? Well, if you truly owe the money they cannot refuse you sending them money to repay your debt if you send it on your own. If you do that, I would always send it certified and with return receipt. That is your proof payment was sent and received. I would also keep a copy of the payment you sent and a letter as well as any banking transactions to go with it.
On the payment I would indicate your policy/account number related to the debt (not your bank). I would suggest you send money order or cashier's check instead of personal check to keep your personal banking information secure completely. This also prevents any bounced payments since money orders are prepaid. Please make sure this will be accepted otherwise you've wasted your time and money.
If available, you may also try online Bill Pay through your bank. You'll need your account # for the collections agency, their full business name, address, phone number and payment amount. Of course you can also call them and ask to pay a certain amount via credit card. If they refuse, then ask for a supervisor. They are the ones bugging you to pay your bill. Too bad if it's not the way they want it. Paying a bill shouldn't be a hassle if one really wants to fulfill their debt obligation. That is the primary function of their business. If that doesn't work, seek legal advice. There are various sources online and some local offices will take the time to give you direction.
In the end, we'll never know what started this consumer war between debtors and collections agencies. The general opinion regarding collections agencies are "pushy" people who will do whatever it takes to get your debt settled. It makes the collection agencies money to settle a debt. They buy delinquent accounts from companies who cannot get people to pay their debts. If you incur a debt for any reason, say hospital, they generally give you 90 days to pay your bill. After that, they forward it to collections.
That is to say your account is "sold" to a collections agency to then collect the debt. They get paid to collect that debt. That would mean the company would have to be aggressive in obtaining payment for that debt so you get the numerous calls for debt collection. Somewhere along the line, this aggressive way of doing business has gone beyond customer service and grown into threats, name calling, demeaning conversations, misrepresentation, etc. I'm not saying all that is reflective of NCO, but I've dealt with a few other companies that have done so. The collections market is competitive.
Bottom line is, don't incur debt if you don't have to. Crawling out from underneath is a very nasty job. Nothing justifies their treatment of people, but they won't stop. So instead of complaining, let it be a new revelation to stop debt putting yourself in debt and get rid of collections agencies for good. Only one who will care about you truly is "YOU."
NCO Financial started calling me very soon after I went delinquent on my American Express card. Before I go any further, YES I do owe the debt, but due to financial reasons, I was unable to make any payments at the time. So, they called me all day, every day... Called my cell, my wife, anything they could. Even after talking to them and explaining my issue, they would call me back the same day hoping that I miraculously won the lottery and could pay them. They all spoke horrible English and eventually started talking down to me and trying to put words in my mouth.
After months of this, we finally came to terms on a settlement, but they REFUSED to put anything in writing. After talking to 4 supervisors and catching them all in lies about their company's practices (they all contradicted each other), I finally got to feeling that I was being scammed and just felt very uncomfortable. I called American Express with an attempt to settle directly with them, however they said I could not. I then learned that NCO was contracted out to collect the debt and that it WAS NOT SOLD TO THEM. The lady with AMEX asked if I would like to file a complaint with their actions, I did and she removed them from negotiations.
Within a week's time, NCO stopped calling and Nationwide Credit took over. After a 20 minutes phone call, I came to terms with Nationwide and within 3 weeks, the settlement was COMPLETE!!! NCO has not called me since. I am more excited to see NCO go down than I am to settle that account... lol. So if you are in the same boat as I was, call your original creditor and see if you can have them removed from the account.
About 2 months ago, I started getting telephone calls from NCO Financial at ALL times of the day. Starting at 8am and not ending until 9pm. I finally got tired of it and called them back. They told me that I had a debt that needed to be paid. When I inquired from whom this debt was for, they stated it was from Sears Roebuck. Here's the kicker... I haven't had a Sears account since 1989 when my credit cards were stolen.
When I asked the guy at NCO what the date of the debt was. He stated, 1989. I then told him, that under the laws of Florida, this is a non-valid debt as it was from stolen credit cards AND extend past 7 years. I told him to stop calling me, and if they continue, they will be sued for harassment and fraud. That actually seemed to work.
Then, I jumped on the phone with Sears's Fraud Department. Of course they asked me for my account information... which I didn't have and haven't had in 20 years! I informed them that selling an account that they had a police report on for theft, was illegal and I demanded that they ceased NCO Financial immediately, or they will also face a lawsuit. Their fraud department "disconnected" my call THREE TIMES!!!
I decided to pull my credit reports. Sure enough, NCO Financial is listed on my credit report SEVEN TIMES. TWO are for the same account (for which proof of theft was given). The other FIVE accounts were from companies that go back 15 years or more!
This is very frustrating as I DO NOT OWE ON THESE ACCOUNTS. I spent three years of my life fighting credit card companies and proving the theft of my credit cards and identity theft. Now, thinking that I can start to get my life back, NCO Financial decides to repost old debts to my credit file. Regardless that I do not owe them anything! Now, I have to go back 20 years, find the police report and dispute all the items on my credit report.
This is a never ending cycle and I am so fed up with it, that I am going to fight fire with fire. I'm not only posting as much negative information about NCO Financial and the companies that sell their accounts to them, all over the internet... I am going to every single BBB and Government Consumer Department known to man.
NCO Financial, needs to stop being greedy and buying up accounts! They need to actually research the "zombie" accounts that they are buying before they find themselves out of business for good. I think a Class Action Lawsuit is in order. And I believe, that any company that sells its old and closed accounts to NCO Financial, should have to pay as well. Selling fraudulent and old accounts should be against the law! It's fraudulence on a corporate level.
PENNSYLVANIA -- This company keeps calling me saying I owe a debt to a university in Pennsylvania for charges incurred in 2002. I left this particular university and transferred to another college in 1999. I DIDN'T ATTEND THIS UNIVERSITY IN 2002!!! They also claim that I have made payments on this debt in the past but stopped in August 2008. The only payments I have ever made regarding education are the ones for my federal student loans, which I ALWAYS pay on time and directly to the US Dept of Education.
I called the university and they say I have no outstanding debt with them. I also know this to be true since they released my transcripts to the college I transferred to in 1999. They would not have released my grades if I owed them a debt, and the Bursar confirmed this with me.
I also spoke to a neighbor who is a federal prosecutor and he told me to cease all contact with NCO and check my credit record IMMEDIATELY. They had not posted anything to my record as of yet. He said their practices are fraudulent and assured me I had done the right thing in contacting the university directly. He also told me that any remaining debt I may have had (which I don't) is beyond the statute of limitations for both Pennsylvania and Virginia, where I currently reside.
Yesterday NCO contacted me again, still trying to collect on a debt that doesn't exist. When I called the woman out on the fraud, she became belligerent and threatened to report the debt to my credit record. She offered to send me a statement of the debt to prove it existed. When I asked her to confirm my address and social security number, she said she was unable to procure this information on her own, so she had nothing to repeat back for my verification.
Then she asked me for my address and social. NEVER GIVE ANYONE YOUR SOCIAL OVER THE PHONE!!! When I informed her that it would be hard for her to report me without my social security number, she became more indignant. She also didn't have an answer when I asked her how she got my phone number. She would know where she got the phone number (which, by the way, is listed to my father - not me - who has a different last name since I have been married for 8 years) if the university actually gave it to NCO.
I told her not to call again and that I would be reporting NCO to the FBI's financial fraud division. She hung up on me. Also, she sounded like she was eating a sandwich while we were speaking over the phone.
A few years ago, I was contacted by NCO Financial about unpaid credit card debts from several years prior. They tried all the tactics I've read about here. From my experience, I have the following advice to offer: Before you talk to a debt collector, you must read and understand the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act. Google it. There are also several books available which explain the act in plain language and provide sample letters to use in communicating with collectors. It is imperative that you understand your rights before you talk to debt collectors. Accepting their statements as fact is just stupid.
Do not be scared by debt collectors' aggressive tactics. Don't fall for their lame attempts to inject a sense of urgency into your situation. By the time a company like NCO has purchased your bad debt, there is nothing urgent about it. You've certainly got time to look into it. And whatever you do, don't let let them talk you into making an immediate payment... no matter how small. Making a payment on a debt on which the statute of limitations has expired will reconfirm the debt and make you responsible for it.
In my particular case, NCO started harassing me about 90 days before the statute of limitations ran out. By requesting in writing that they confirm the debt and by insisting that we communicate only in writing, I was able to delay them until the statute of limitations expired. I then sent them a letter explaining that they'd just missed the statute deadline and invited them to move on to another victim.
I still get calls from third party debt collectors now and then, but instead of worrying about what they might do to me, I toy with them until they get frustrated enough to hang up. I must admit I've come to actually enjoy it. I get frustrated reading accounts of the harassment these vultures subject people to. If you're in a situation where you must deal with these companies, invest the time into arming yourself with the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act.
TEXAS -- NCO Group agreed to pay $250,000 to the state of Texas to resolve an enforcement action that focused on the company's debt collection practice in the state. Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott announced Friday that his office had reached a settlement with accounts receivable management giant NCO Group in an enforcement action targeted at NCO's work on behalf of its debt buying unit, NCO Portfolio Management. Horsham, Pa.-based NCO agreed to pay $100,000 to the state's general revenue fund and $150,000 to the state's attorney general's office to cover legal fees incurred in the investigation.
Under the settlement, NCO admitted no wrongdoing. Abbott's office said in a press release that NCO violated the Texas Debt Collection Act by making “harassing and sometimes profanity-laden telephone calls to Texans” and not verifying the validity of the debt when challenged by consumers. “Today's agreement protects Texans from unlawful debt collection practices,” Abbott said. “Texas law prohibits collection agencies from using unlawful threats and coercion to collect debts. With today's agreement, the world's largest debt collector agreed to implement safeguards that will protect debtors and ensure full compliance with the law.”
NCO said in a statement that it would spend $300,000 over the next three years on compliance programs. The company said it would spend the money on “technology designed to further strengthen its communication with consumers and to assist consumers in resolving disputes that arise from time to time in the collection process.” NCO will also establish a $150,000 restitution fund.
Michael J Barrist, NCO Chairman and CEO, commented in the statement, “NCO is proud of its record on consumer compliance. We are pleased to be able to resolve Texas's concerns within a framework that will allow us to improve our consumer interaction not only in Texas but within all of our markets. As the largest provider of accounts receivable collection services in the world, we truly believe that our new initiatives will set the standard for the entire industry.”
April 3, 2008. In a conference call to discuss financial results, NCO said that it is seeing labor costs drop due to offshore hiring, and that it plans to expand its presence in other markets. NCO Group is realizing cost savings benefits by leveraging offshore labor, and the company has plans to open more international collection offices, company executives told investors during a conference call Wednesday.
The announcement follows the release Monday of 2007 annual and fourth quarter results by the global accounts receivable management and business process outsourcing provider. NCO reported that its collections, or ARM, unit payroll and related expenses dropped more than 11 percent to $95.8 million while revenue in the unit increased by $4 million to $204.3 million in the quarter.
CEO Mike Barrist said yesterday that labor costs had been reduced because the company is placing more collections work at centers in near-shore and offshore locations, and that improved technology platforms were creating labor efficiencies. The company is planning on opening a new office in the Philippines – its third in that country – and is looking into opening a new office in Latin America. NCO currently operates an office in Panama in Central America and offices in Barbados and Antigua in the Caribbean.
The company's most recent SEC filing underlines the shift to locations outside of the U.S. In its annual report filing for 2007, NCO said that last year, it counted revenues of $76.4 million from locations other than the U.S. and Canada, a 163 percent increase over the total in 2006.
NCO noted that the work performed in locations outside of the U.S. is typically for clients in the States, but that it was increasing the work it does for foreign clients. In 2007, 8.1 percent of the company's revenue came from work for clients in Canada, the United Kingdom and Australia. NCO said that at the end of 2007, it counted approximately 22,400 full-time employees and 1,600 part-time employees, of which approximately 19,000 were telephone representatives.