PENNSYLVANIA -- I called NCO Systems today because I had been getting a lot of letters and phone calls and was curious as to why they had my phone number and address. I thought at first, they were some type of marketing company and ignored them. Since I am retired and have not charged anything, I called the main number, inquiring as to how they got my number and why were they calling me.
One of the first things they asked was my social security number!!! Can you believe that??? I refused naturally, and they asked how I could be helped. The man was nice enough. He asked if I knew a certain person, and said the name. I explained that was my grandson and he had purchased a phone at Sprint "on his own at the age of 16" with no problem, just a show of his driver's license. When I heard about the phone bill, I agreed to pay his current basic service, but no added services because he had not asked for that.
However, after we called Sprint and said we wanted nothing but basic service, they added unwanted services back to the phone, after they had removed them. I had to pay the huge phone for him, since he could not. I told him "No more, he would have to cancel," which he did. He was living with me for a time after he purchased the phone and that is how my address became involved. Apparently NCO got my number through my address. He has since gone away to college and I did not respond to the mail, since it was in his name. I just thought it was "junk mail" and threw it away.
The man I spoke with at the main number of NCO Systems gave me this number 1-800-709-8625 to call. He told me to tell them exactly what I had told him and they could handle it. I thanked him politely and dialed the number.
HAH!!! I thought I had entered into the script of a horror movie. I got the shock of my life!!!
The person who answered the phone was the rudest, loudest, most unprofessional person I have ever spoken to in my entire life, especially for an employee of a large corporation. NO ONE has ever spoken to me the way this person did. At first I was totally speechless! I tried many times, but never got the chance to explain my case. She refused to let me.
This woman went into me immediately, like dynamite, yelling and screaming like a "Banshee!!!" She was trying her very best to keep me from saying one word, but I did manage to add a few phrases the whole time she was yelling at me. I doubt very seriously she heard anything I said, she was ranting and raving so. I was trying to tell her to PLEASE just let me talk. She refused! She was in her own world of rude people. She had no reason whatsoever to treat me in such a deplorable manner. I did not owe her one cent! I did not even have an account there. They were abusing my phone and address.
Where did they find this person? She has to rate in the top 20 "Rude People in the United States!" Has she been trained by her company, NCO Systems to act in such an unacceptable way??? I certainly received the shock of my life. I did not know anyone would hire someone like this, especially a large company like NCO. I was awakened to the facts of life!!! Apparently she had been on the phone and had heard everything I had told the gentleman, because she went into me before I could get anything out of my mouth. She knew my grandson's name before I even told her anything.
I asked her over and over to please let me explain the situation, but she kept ranting over and over. I told her how in the world she was able work for this company was beyond me and I hoped her boss was listening to her. I just hung up the phone with her yelling all the while.
I hope no one goes through the nightmare I just experienced at NCO Collections, a part of NCO Systems. Needless to say the issue was never resolved. She did not want a resolution!!! She just wanted to "blow off steam" and I, unfortunately, was her victim!!!
Bud Hibbs Helps America Hold Debt Collectors to the Law!
AGENCY COLLECTORS (Beggars)
Agency collectors have correctly been deemed the worst-type of collection agents! They operate from a computer database containing all your personal information, provided to them by the original creditor. When an outside agency gets your account, it has been 'charged-off' for non-payment. They make calls as fast as the auto-dialer can (in excess of 250 a day). Commission
is their livelihood; they don't have time for pleasantries or obeying the law.
An agency collector's commission ranges from 15-25% of what they can extract from you. Most are paid bonuses if they hit a quota and steady, hard-working collectors can make $40-60K per year. The majority will bring in much less because they routinely step over the line to increase their take.
Who Seeks a Career as a Debt Collector?
In a industry where deception, craftiness, and deceit are rampant, you might imagine most honest people would seek work elsewhere. And you're right. My experience says the average debt collector is male, has a large ego, bounces from job to job, suffers low self-esteem and enjoys using the telephone as an instrument of empowerment. You' shouldn't be surprised
to find most of them have great debt problems themselves.
The debt collection business is plagued with high employee turnover. Constant training of new collectors puts great strain on the agencies and the employees. Every moment someone is in training is time lost on the phone. You can imagine the shortcuts that are taken to get a new caller on the floor as soon as possible.
Collectors see themselves in a position to take advantage of those they deem weaker, in
an effort to overcome their own insecurities. They normally will talk-over any issues you may have, threaten and intimidate you, lie, misrepresent themselves, abuse, annoy and attempt to push you as far as they can. After all, a portion of what they collect from you becomes theirs. Unfortunately, far too few consumers complain about debt collectors overstepping their bounds, because they are intimidated or embarrassed about their dilemma. Over the years I've dealt with literally thousands of collectors and suggest that only 2 out of 10 are honest and hard working. The greater percentage are deadbeat scum either just out of, or heading back into a jail cell. Collecting is a male dominated business and because of the shortage of skilled workers, agencies are hiring anyone who can walk and chew gum to make their calls. Social skills, education and career orientation are NOT normally the prerequisites for a debt collector – money beggar position.
What Techniques Do They Employ?
You'll hear standard phrases such as: "what is your intent" or "I'm going to recommend that our client take immediate legal action against you." The innocent unsuspecting consumer feels threatened,even terrorized by the antics of unscrupulous debt collectors. The really bad ones will call you at work, violate third party disclosure, or worse, threaten you with arrest or wage garnishment if they don't have the money today! They'll try to persuade you to pay off old debts using your new credit card, via Western Union wire transfers, bank drafting, debit checks and cash. They will tell you your credit report will be clean and your soul will be saved from hell, (halleluiah!) if you just send them the... $$ MONEY $$.
The National Consumer Law League, (NCLC) and the National Association of Consumer Advocates, (NACA) assist attorneys across the country in pursuing agencies and collectors who violate the law and your rights. Collectors are learning that the phone name they use and the perceived anonymity of hiding behind a telephone can easily be overcome with today's modern technology and investigative techniques. Some collectors are learning first-hand that they too, can be charged with making threats over the phone and that their employers don't provide bail money or legal representation. Creditors are increasingly becoming less tolerant of agencies that allow abuse and will drop those that don't comply.
I urge you to complain about collector abuse by contacting the FTC, the American Collectors Association, the original creditor and your state bar association (against attorneys), or me if
you feel your rights are being violated. There is a nationwide group of professional consumer attorneys, skilled in debt collection laws that passionately defend the rights of consumers
against these illegal collectors. No consumer should ever suffer abuse from a debt collector.
The laws WILL protect you!
What do you think?
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.
COLORADO SPRINGS, COLORADO -- I received a letter from NCO Financial Systems, Inc stating that my America Online account had been turned over for collections. I have NEVER had an account with AOL so I immediately called the # given on the letter (1-866-372-8498) only to find out this # was not valid, it rings with long tone's just as if you are calling an international #. It will ring for a while and then hang up on you. I have attempted this same phone # 10-12 times now.
I attempted going to the website given on the letter: www.ncofinancial.com but it asks for a passcode (which the letter does give me) but I was uncomfortable putting that in as I think this is a fraud and attempt to phish for my information. The website will not allow you past the main page without this passcode which I find very odd.
I called the state of Colorado department on collection agencies and debt collection. They in turn gave me a valid phone # to the NCO. I spoke with a woman named ** and faxed her the letter I received and they confirmed it was a valid letter and she said she spoke with someone at the phone # on my letter (866-372-8498), I told them that phone # had not worked for me all day. They tried calling again with no success saying the # was down and not working and they would call me back in a few minutes.
I then received a call from some man with an accent so thick I could barely understand saying he was with NCO (I guess ** with the NCO must have given him my phone #). He told me to "hold the line" - I did so for 2 minutes and then he came back saying "You contacted us?" I explained to him the situation and then he told me he was not with the NCO and hung up. I tried calling the NCO again and asked to speak with ** again (the woman with whom I spoke too numerous times and faxed my letter too). Each time I called her she would put me on hold and then hang up on me.
I have contact the billing department at AOL and they cannot find record of me because I obviously do not have a screen name. They stated they would send me a fraud affidavit but that was all they could do for me since I could not provide them with a screen name (since I don't have one).
I am at my wit's end, I have NEVER had an account with AOL. The phone # on my letter is not valid, I can't verify information off the website given on the letter and AOL cannot do anything for me because I can't confirm a screen name (because I don't have one). I do not want this hitting my credit but I do not want to send a check to clear my name (just to keep my credit clean as it's perfect right now and I don't want to have it be hit with something that doesn't have anything to do with me) as I can't verify where I am sending a check to and I am afraid it's mail fraud.
I have filed a complaint with the Better Business Bureau but it can take up to 30 days to hear from them. The letter I received states I need to respond within 30 days. I also filed a complaint with the FTC and AOL is sending me their fraud affidavit form. All this trouble for something I haven't even done, what a NIGHTMARE!!!
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."
HOUSTON, TEXAS -- Last Saturday 5/12/07 - I received a bill that was for my father for $6500.00 (after all fees were assessed) that he supposedly made in 2005. The only problem is my father died 7 years ago this May. The original amount was a credit card I am assuming because they won't send me anything information on the account or who originally sent it either. The original bill was for approximately $2,200.00. The bill my father received from NCO was $6500.00. Penalties and all.
First, this was the first time any bill was ever sent or we heard of, and especially since he was dead at the time of the original bill, which I tried explaining that to the very arrogant woman, and tell her he did not owe this as he was dead at the time this was made. Besides calling me a liar, which was pretty much insensitive, the lady (who by the way, talk about a dead beat she was) wouldn't even listen to me. She first tried to hang up on me and I told her she had better not that I needed to get this settled.
My husband said it doesn't make any difference - he is dead and they will never get any of the money they billed for but I believe that this wrong and it is the principle of the matter. I was defending my father's good name, since he did pay his bills on time and was a model citizen and no Mr. NCO financial person that was complaining about cry babies. You are 100% wrong.
There are times when people have problems beyond their control and cannot help what happens, however, in this case it was absolutely wrong as my father never made the debt in the first place and your dead beat company that you are so proud of wouldn't even listen. It was obviously an identity scam/theft which was made after he died and I understand happens all the time. It doesn't seem to matter that they are going after the wrong person for the money. And what is really so funny about this is NCO financial was scammed too.
NCO purchased the original debt so they are out whatever they paid for it as I spoken to my attorney and he said by law they cannot harass me or send anything to him, especially since it obviously is not his debt. Of course upon telling NCO of this they refused and wanted my power of attorney for my Dad. Hey, NCO I am not as stupid as you are if you think I am giving you my POA.
I have contacted my attorney and he will be contacting you. People these are the true scumbags as they obviously cannot get a halfway decent job themselves or they would not be working for this terrible place. We all need to contact our attorney general's office to stop this scam for good. I won't let my father be scammed even in death. Shortribs in Texas.
BRICK, NEW JERSEY -- After months of non-stop phone calls from NCO at precisely 8:30 AM EVERY MORNING, I had finally graduated and had started my first full-time job. Since I was finally able to make payments toward my debt, I called NCO and asked to set up a plan. They were nice enough on the phone, at least when they were trying to get me to set up post-dated checks (which is illegal, everyone out there). Since post-dated checks was the only way NCO would allow me to set up a payment plan, I had no choice.
For the next few months my payments were taken from my checking account like clockwork. One day I was called and offered a settlement that was too good to pass up. I borrowed the money the next day - those slimeballs made sure I know it was a "limited time offer" and HAD TO GET THEM THE MONEY BEFORE THE END OF THE WEEK. Well I did, and I called them with the UPS tracking code just like they asked.
Now, here's where the story gets good (if you're even still reading then thanks! This was more for me to vent my anger) - ** at NCO had assured me my payment for this month would not be deducted from my account, so long as I got them the money for the settlement by the end of the week. Well the day of payment rolled around and wouldn't you know it - the money was taken from my checking account!! I called, furiously, and was handed off back and forth between rude reps until finally I was able to convey to one of these mental midgets that I had already settled my account.
Finally I reached **, a good twenty minutes later (and this is dealing with REAL people, not an automated system!!!). She offered NO apology, basically her explanation was "someone screwed up." She said they could refund the money, but they needed me to fax them a copy of the check as well as a copy of my statement showing the post-dated check had cleared.
Yes, that was exactly what I wanted to do after a long day at the office - stop at the bank and try to get the ** there to fax something to the ** at NCO. Well the bank was closed, so that meant printing out the statement and copy of check from my online banking and running across the street to the pharmacy to pay $3 to fax everything over.
After waiting a good half hour (I should note that ** told me if I faxed everything to her by the end of the day my refund would be issued the next day) I called and got ** (another twenty minutes with the mental midgets). **'s response? "Oh.. I haven't even walked into the fax room yet." Well, this didn't surprise me ONE BIT. When I asked if she could call me after retrieving the fax, she said "I'm sure it's there." So, no call.
Two days later I called NCO, got ** on the phone, and asked the status of my refund. ** told me it had gone to accounting, and would probably be issued Monday or Tuesday (it was Thursday, by the way - they had received my fax on Tuesday). But wait, "issued?" Silly me, I had assumed they would just credit my checking account. Nope, turns out they are mailing me a check. When I asked if they were overnighting it to me, they hesitated, put me on hold, apparently checked with a supervisor and responded "I believe we can do that." I WOULD HOPE SO!
Anyway, moral of the story? 1) NCO is a bunch of slimeballs. 2) They will make sure you pay THEM on time, but you getting money back from them? That's another story. 3) There is no avoiding any of it, so enjoy!
NCO Group CEO Makes Offer to Buy Company for around $1 billion. May 16, 2006 NCO Group (Nasdaq: NCOG) today announced that its Board of Directors has received an offer from NCO Chairman and CEO Mike Barrist, in a letter sent Monday, to purchase all outstanding shares of the firm for $27.50 each in cash. The Board said that they plan on meeting today and will form a special committee to evaluate the offer.
Barrist has partnered with One Equity Partners II on the deal. According to the letter from Barrist, One Equity manages over $5 billion in capital and has “extensive experience with management-led leveraged buyouts.” Barrist also stated that he and his group have received financing from Morgan Stanley to complete the deal. According to NCO's first quarter earnings release, the firm had 36,259,000 diluted shares outstanding as of March 31. Based on those numbers, the total offered for all shares in the letter is a little more than $997 million. NCO's stock jumped more than 40% in early trading on Tuesday.
The text of the letter sent to the NCO Group Board of Directors is below:
May 12, 2006
CONFIDENTIAL - Sent Via Federal Express
Board of Directors NCO Group, Inc. 507 Prudential Road Horsham, Pennsylvania 19044
I propose to acquire by merger all of the outstanding common stock of the Company for $27.50 per share, on the terms and conditions more fully set forth below (the "Proposed Transaction"). This price represents a 42% premium above today's closing price of $19.36 and a 33.8% premium above the 90-day average price of $20.56 per share.
I intend to partner in this transaction with One Equity Partners II, L.P. One Equity Partners II and its affiliated funds manage over $5 billion in capital, have acquired over 20 portfolio companies for aggregate consideration of over $7 billion, and have extensive experience with management-led leveraged buyouts. Given the extensive work that has already been completed by One Equity and Morgan Stanley, the fact that we have committed financing and our collective knowledge of the Company and its industry, I believe we can quickly and with great certainty complete an acquisition of the Company at what I think is a very attractive price.
The Proposed Transaction would be financed through a combination of approximately $388 million of equity and approximately $815 million of debt. Morgan Stanley has provided to One Equity Partners II a commitment for the full amount of the debt financing (including, if necessary, a bridge facility) required to fund the Proposed Transaction which One Equity Partners II is prepared to accept if we move forward with the Proposed Transaction. A copy of Morgan Stanley's commitment is enclosed.
I would make a significant investment in the transaction and would expect to provide other members of the Company's senior management team with the opportunity to participate as well. I would continue as chairman and CEO of the Company following the transaction, and I expect that our senior management team would also continue with the Company.
I know you are aware of my strong belief that the Company would be best served by a prompt resolution of this process. Accordingly, if we promptly enter into the Proposed Transaction, our proposed merger agreement would expressly permit the Company to solicit superior alternative transactions for a period of 21 days after execution of the merger agreement (the "Go Shop Period") and, at any time prior to shareholder approval of the transaction, to terminate our merger agreement to accept a superior proposal, subject to customary "matching rights." Further, if the Company terminates our merger agreement to accept a superior proposal that was received during the Go Shop Period, the Company would be required to pay a break up fee equal to only 1% of the transaction value, plus reimbursement of actual expenses. If the Company terminates our merger agreement to accept a superior proposal received after the Go Shop Period, the Company would be required to pay a break fee of 3% of the transaction value. Under this arrangement, the Company will be able to guarantee a high premium value for the Company without foreclosing the possibility, which I believe is unlikely, of obtaining an even greater value from a third party.
This proposal is subject to satisfactory completion of confirmatory due diligence by One Equity Partners and Morgan Stanley and the negotiation and execution of acceptable definitive documentation. Based on discussions I have had with One Equity Partners and Morgan Stanley, I am confident that their diligence will confirm their assumptions. Further, given the extensive work they have performed to date, I believe that, with your cooperation, their diligence can be completed within 7 to 10 days, concurrently with the negotiation and finalization of definitive documentation.
I anticipate that you will promptly establish a special committee of independent directors to review this proposal and consider how the Company should proceed. To facilitate this process I enclose a copy of our proposed merger agreement.
Of course, no binding obligation shall arise with respect to the proposal or any transaction unless and until definitive documentation has been appropriately approved, executed and delivered by the parties.
I believe that this proposal is in the best interest of the Company, its shareholders and its employees and I look forward to discussing this proposal with you in the near future.
Very truly yours,
/s/ Michael J. Barrist
Michael J. Barrist