Heed the warnings.....
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 who's 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".