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!!!
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!!!
TEXAS -- I have had the same experience with NCO as the rest of the comments here. The comments from their employees are snide and condescending as stated. Being a low life does not hinge on how much money one makes but the character of one's self. These people show they have very little character by their rude behavior. Their loss, not ours since many of us will not take their rudeness without returning the same - not everybody turns the other cheek. The fact that there is some outstanding debt does not give cause for disrespect especially not knowing each individual circumstance.
Their rudeness to third parties, not connected with the object of their search is even more unacceptable. I don't know about the legal. In my case an NCO rep called my HR department and was very rude to one of their personnel, eventually hanging up the phone - this jerk ** called her, not the other way around. All the complaining bodies and people need to come together in concert against such practices and those who support such practices, not just NCO but all such entities. Part of the problem lies in our "representative" system.
It was suggested that I try an organization called NACA that works with consumer issues. Know that NACA will not work with a student loan. They claim to have over 1000 lawyers in their database but not one of them will work with a student loan. Most won't even answer your request when they see that you are having a problem with one of these. NCO takes advantage of this and they don't care what your particular problem is or was with the default. There are a lot of people with a lot of actual legitimate issues with NCO.
Those who have defended NCO need to look in their own back yard. As exemplified by the fellow I talked with and the lady who recorded the conversation - even though she tried unsuccessfully to steer that conversation, there are some nice folks in there. You may not be the culprit but the fact that is that there are some very negative, despicable folks in NCO who evidently have little to no self respect, and feel they can push that sickness off to everyone they deal with over the phone in itself, needs adjudicating for everybody that's received their condescension and threats.
They also seem to think they will never run into any of the people they have been abusive with face to face, but as the world "shrinks" that probability increases. The kind of treatment they exhibit needs to be illegal but since it is not, there is no choice but rebuff this kind of behavior. Those who support this travesty are also part of the problem.
In my case there is a legitimate grievance with the debt in that the original default was illegitimate. The bill in question had been paid off several years before by the University as part of the entry process and I attended school almost to graduation after it was paid. It is a commonly known fact that one cannot register for any college anywhere in the country with an outstanding unpaid student loan. When I explained this to the collection agent at that time he called me a liar because he claimed "had the papers that said otherwise."
Also the unavailability of anybody of assistance with this from day one through now, the negative effects this caused - both immediate and long term from this, and collections process in which NCO is trying to be involved in the manner they are trying to be involved, totally oblivious to any possibility of dispute is of issue. There can be no dealings with them at all in face of their rudeness.
Since the original writing of this I have been contacted by a more civil NCO representative with whom I explained that the default was in dispute and has been since inception. I told him of the rudeness of the people who previously called then gave him my address and told him that all further contact needed to be in writing in order to maintain a paper trail. He agreed and we hung up. Later that afternoon another NCO rep called who wanted the same information so I told him I had already talked with Mr. So-and-so a couple of hours before that and he had all the information, and I had requested all further contact be by mail. I politely hung up.
The next day another NCO rep called. She was polite and said she was recording the conversation when it ended but not at the start. I explained to her the illegitimacy of the original default before she could cut in and attempt to guide the conversation and again asked that all further communications be by mail both for a paper trail and due the rudeness of various NCO reps who have called. Over the next several days there have been 2 to 5 calls a day from 800 and unidentified numbers all of which if and when answered are calls from various NCO people.
A few days later I received a bill in the mail for the full amount, over half of which is interest. A detailed explanation of the nature of the original default and the problems this caused has been sent to them. In this case the action of a callous, misinformed, collection agent threw a wrench in the gears of my college. If this debt had not been paid the school would not have allowed me to enroll at all. The original debt was paid through the university's internal mechanism during registration process. I went though registration 10+ more times without any problem.
Once this happened I went to the Financial Aid office to find out what to do and they gave me their contact info to give to this jerk to call them to verify the debt had been cleared. When I called and tried to convey this, he started railing me about being a "deadbeat" and refused to contact the school altogether. I gave them his number and he refused to talk to them too. He had the upper hand and I was kicked out of school. This led to a series of hardships not counting the change in direction generated by not being allowed to finish.
I did not have the cash payment he was demanding and could not borrow it as he also demanded especially in the face of the debt having been paid off several years before. This person was not an NCO employee but another collection company that did what NCO does today and apparently with the same rudeness and condescension. (This seems to be endemic in the collections business.)
I have sought lawyers for over a decade now and nobody will touch this. My only choice has been to refuse to pay until this is settled equitably considering the damage done. I work for myself mostly for cash on the barrelhead at this time and my wages can't be garnished in the manner they are trying. I figure my Federal tax exactly and pay the IRS directly so there is no excess for NCO to take.
The more you pay, the more they earn. Collectors get commissions -- usually 30 to 50% -- on money they bring in, which often double or triple their salaries. This means they have a strong incentive to press for a big "down payment" from you, even if this deepens the cycle of debt. Collectors hoping for a big commission may claim that the boss insists on a big down payment. In fact, blaming it on a mythical manager is designed to deflect your anger away from the collector.
Payment deadlines are phony. Payment deadlines set by collectors are meaningless. Collectors simply want to create a sense of urgency, because the longer it takes to get you to pay, the less chance there is of collecting the debt.
They don't need a 'Financial Statement'. Collectors often claim they need a "financial statement" from you, so they can work out a realistic repayment plan. You'll notice, though, that the information they ask for -- bank account numbers, references, place of employment -- is far more than they need for that purpose. They're fishing for information that will help them find you if you move or sue you if you don't repay the debt.
The threats are inflated. Collectors always graphically detail the disastrous consequences of failing to pay a debt. "Your credit rating will be ruined," they warn. (Not mentioning that it's probably already not so good, since a collection company is after you.) "Your personal possessions, including your car, could be seized and sold at a public auction!" (Never mind that this virtually never happens; it's illegal in some states and impractical because of the expense.) Probably 95% of the time, collectors go after only bank accounts and wages.
You can stop their calls. You have the right, under federal law, to tell a collection agency to stop contacting you. Just do it in writing, and contacts must stop, unless they're to tell you that collection efforts have ended or the agency is going to take a specific action (like filing a lawsuit) against you.
They can find out how much you have in the bank. A collector who has your bank account and social security numbers can probably easily find out the balance of the account. Because big banks now have automated account inquiry systems, the collector doesn't even have to speak to a human being; all it takes is a phone call to the automated voice-mail service. When the account number and social security numbers are punched in, the computer promptly supplies an up-to-the-minute account balance.
If you're out of state, they're out of luck. Collection agencies routinely call out-of-state debtors to demand payment. But if a creditor has sued you and won, you are probably safe from enforcement action if you bank and work outside the state where the lawsuit was filed. That's because to collect, the collection agency must transfer the judgment to your state, which is prohibitively time-consuming and expensive.
They can't take it all. Certain income, such as social security, pensions and 75% of your take-home pay, is exempt from enforcement action. You can file a claim of exemption from a garnishment of the other 25% of your wages if it would cause you or your family severe hardship.
They may not know a thing. Sometimes a collection agency lawyer, trying to collect a judgment debt, sends questions on a court form asking about your income and assets. (These are called "post-judgment interrogatories" or "information subpoenas.") This is good news for you -- it means that the agency has no information and is hoping you will be intimidated enough by this legal questionnaire to complete it. Many people do, because the forms list sanctions, such as fines, for not doing so. But normally, it is too expensive and time-consuming for an agency to go to court and force compliance.
You can pay student loans in installments. If you are behind on student loans, you can apply for what every collection agency hates: "reasonable and affordable payments" under the 1992 Higher Education Act. If you can document financial hardship, a collection agency must accept as little as $10 per month for at least six months. As long as you make the payments, you are eligible for Title IV Student Aid, and you can continue the payments unless your circumstances change.
Who runs this place and why do creditors continue to put up with the incompetence? Here's the buildup. An auto accident in 2000 had put me in the hospital. The other driver's insurance company was responsible for all related medical bill. State Farm paid each medical bill forwarded to them.
I start receiving collection notices some point in 2001 for $215. A payment was mailed and cleared 5/01. Collection notices continue and correspondence seems to have no effect. 3/02 There is a collection added to my credit report. With cancelled check and bank statement in hand, I begin calling NCO to correct the record.
That brings us up to present. 12/03 I place 6 calls to NCO at 800-541-2742.
Call #1 The operator disconnected the call after placing me on hold.
Call #2 Sherl answered and transferred me to Cortney. Cortney says the account has been transferred to "ACLQ" and she had no info and could not help. I asserted that NCO processed payment and insisted on speaking with a supervisor. Placed on hold and disconnected
Call #3 The 3rd operator would only say that I needed to talk to "AQ". Wouldn't transfer me to a supervisor, give her name nor the number for "AQ" or "ACLQ".
Call #4 Monica answered and I immediately insisted on speaking with a supervisor. I was instructed to hold. I did for nearly 20 min. Meanwhile I picked up my second line and placed call #5.
Call #5 Was transferred to "Tanja's" voice mail where I left a message with complete details.
Call #6 The next day I spoke with Celest who transferred me to a supervisor, Tyra. Tyra gave me the same line about not having any access to any information regarding my account at NCO. However Tyra was able to give me a number to Attention LLC or "AQ" as 888-662-7547.
NOTE: The supervisors don't seem any better at their job than any of the other operators. Called Attention LLC at 888-662-7547 the number seemed to be out of service. It would ring once or twice then change to busy. Call #6 Yolanda answered and could only give the inoperable number to Attention LLC and could help no further. Looking on the internet I found that Attention LLC has an office in Georgia and in Texas. Attention LLC is the same company as Sherman Acquisitions. Phone numbers for Georgia and Texas are 877-623-3097 and 877-370-8739 respectively.
Call #7 I called 877-370-8739 and Cleveland answered the phone. Cleveland had no access to the NCO accounts and had a colleague, Antonio Bacon, pick-up the phone. Antonio said that he would need to pull up the account at another location within the office and gave me the number of the location 888-517-7852x539.
Call #8 I called Antonio and explained that I had the cancelled check in hand as proof that the debt was settled. Antonio was the only person I spoke to that actually seemed that they cared about their job and was willing to help in the resolution. He also informed me that NCO had just transferred the account to Attention LLC in 10/03.
Antonio instructed me to copy the front and back of the check and fax it to 770-432-9920. He also stated that he would handle the internal steps required to have a "Zero Balance" letter sent to me. He also said that it would be easy to retract the strike against my credit report. I faxed the copy of the payment along with a thank-you note for his help. I will call to confirm receipt of the fax. We'll see if Antonio and Attention LLC are any more helpful than NCO.
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.