FLORIDA -- NCO is so bad, that in 2003, they have been sued 40 times for violations of the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA). These suits are usually filed when consumers are abused in violation of state and federal debt collection laws. NCO is a money-mill, gobbling up competitors, buying portfolios of old debts for pennies and expanding globally. These money-beggars are making their bottom-line profits at the expense and abuse of consumers. One wonders how many lawsuits are NOT being filed because consumers do not know their rights or that NCO CAN be held accountable for their illegal debt collection practices.
Apparently, NCO is not spending enough time and money to properly train their debt collectors in accordance with law, the FDCPA. Do they hire any derelict that may be in-between court and treatment dates simply to harass, abuse, and oppress consumers? There is no mention of drug testing at their website, so I assume you can get hired on at NCO if one has bad habits and a need for fast-cash. This must be a 'dream-job' for anyone with a prison record, drug habit, or any con artist out to scam some fast money off an unsuspecting consumer.
Are you aware of the personal consumer information these money beggars have access to? I shudder to think how much information is being illegally used at agencies such as NCO. You should be VERY nervous about the type of individuals who have this unprecedented and open access to ALL of your personal information. It may be just a matter of time until collectors start calling with accents from countries like India, Pakistan and... (ooohhh my gawd!!) NCO's CEO, Michael J. (kinky) Barrist seems to be astonishing Wall Street (NASDAQ:NCPM) with his financial wizardry. He certainly appears to be pumping up the bottom line. (One lawsuit at a time?)
In my experience, this type of greed and consumer abuse will catch up with NCO, just as it did with Commercial Financial Systems (CFS) and Outsourcing Solutions Inc (OSI). Both operations were out of control just prior to their filing for bankruptcy protection. CFS' top brass is facing federal criminal charges in highly anticipated court proceedings scheduled for later this year. One sure method to stop NCO's consumer abuse is for well-informed consumers to use the law to their advantage.
There are three things you can do to slow down the NCO collection process: 1) Within the first thirty days of receiving a written NCO collection notice, send a dispute notice, making demand for all documentation that substantiates their claim. 2) Use the FREE cease-comm letter on ANY NCO debt collector who threatens, intimidates, or abuses you. 3) Tape all debt collector calls (where legal) to use in future civil or criminal proceedings.
If you are receiving abuse from NCO, contact me for referral to a local consumer law professional in your area. NCO, with $800+ million in revenues last year, has more money than a South American drug cartel, so use the law to make them pay when they violate the laws and your consumer rights. Do not let NCO's under-trained, uneducated and FDCPA lacking debt-collectors make a paycheck at your expense. Big agencies pay big salaries to their ego-driven brass.
NCO should spend a lot more time training their collectors and dealing with consumer complaints, in this case BIGGER does NOT mean BETTER! (Except for Kinky and his top brass team of money beggars.) NEVER give a debt collector your banking or credit card information. NEVER trust a debt collector; they will lie to cheat you out of your money. NEVER do 'checks by phone' as debt collectors could empty your bank account with little or no accountability. REMEMBER: Debt collectors have NO power and NO authority and should NEVER be trusted. They will lie and cheat you to get at your money.
To start off, back in December of 2008 I was laid off from my job. I immediately had to cancel my cellphone service, because I could no longer afford it. I was subject to an early termination for each of the two phones that were on my account. I had a bill of approx 520$ that I needed to pay. I did not receive my unemployment compensation till the middle of February so I did not pay for those two months. I stopped receiving my bill and when I called the cellphone company they informed me that my debt had been sold to a collection agency.
I assumed that I could not pay my bill through the cellphone company anymore and that's how they portrayed it also. I did not receive nor did I hear anything from any collection agency until this past Friday when they called my husband's phone saying that they were NCO Financial trying to contact me about an important matter. They told my husband that I had listed him as a contact (not true). He gave them my information then called me to tell me that I needed to call a number and ext with a code that he also gave me. I called and looked up the company while I was waiting to speak to a representative.
When I found out that it was a collection agency I knew it had to be about the cellphone bill. After being on hold for over half an hour, I left a voicemail with my name and number for them to call me. They did not call me back, but instead called my husband again on Saturday. I called them and got a hold of a representative that same day. The first woman I spoke to was polite and asked me some questions (which I wish I had not answered now but I legitimately thought that it was just a means to get the debt cleared up), among them where my husband worked and who our checking account was through (I am so angry that I gave out that info! I feel like such a sucker).
She then told me that my debt was over 800$ and I told her that I disagreed with that amount and that I need something in the mail stating proof that I owe that amount before I pay them anything. I also told her that due to my unemployment I would not be able to pay the debt in full, but could make monthly payments or at the very least 200$. She asked if I would hold (had no idea she was transferring the call to a manager).
A man who said he was a manager comes on the line and demands to know my plan to pay off my debt. I told him that my plan was to get the paperwork in the mail that stated proof of what I owe and then to make the payments that I could make till it was paid off. He then went on to say "So I'm going to read between the lines and guess that what you're saying is that you'll pay it when you have the money," and I was so taken aback at his rudeness that I was kind of flustered after that and said, "No. That's not what I said at all."
Then he said "Well why can't you put this debt onto your credit card that you have through your bank," and I said that the card is actually primarily my husband's and he won't allow me to do that. The manager then said in a tone of disbelief, "Your husband and you do your finances separately?" and I told them that in this matter of a debt that was mine, yes. He then went on to basically say that he had heard this excuse a million times and that all I am going to do is take one look at a paper statement and decide not to pay then screen my calls and that they would never hear from me again.
He told me that I could write a check to the cellphone company, that he couldn't care less what I did, and that he was referring my care for "further action." He then told me to have a nice day and hung up on me. I was really upset after this phone call, I just want to get this debt cleared up and never be in this situation again. I just don't feel like I can get anywhere with this company. I don't even feel safe giving any money to them now.
If anyone could give me any advice as to what to do now I would really appreciate it. I was under the impression that I could not go back to cell phone company to pay them, but he made it sound like I could. Thanks to anyone in advance for any advice or knowledge shared.
OXFORD, NORTH CAROLINA -- NCO FINANCIAL SYSTEMS attempted a Fraudulent Debt Collection "from HughesNet Internet Services" 1.11.07 - UNTRUE. No past due notices or payments in arrears! This company called my husband at work and said that our HughesNet satellite internet service was “two months delinquent (total: $200.00),” and that if we did not "pay either a $300.00 partial payment to terminate the 15-month agreement" or “pay in full $900.00 to have the service reinstated in 5-7 days,” we would be disconnected immediately. They insisted that a credit card payment over the phone was the only way to resolve this problem, and it had to be done immediately.
None of this made any sense, as I had not received any past due notices or email notices from HughesNet.com. When I said this, they said "We don't agree with HughesNet policies regarding overdue accounts, but that is how they handle delinquencies. And you are delinquent and scheduled for disconnect immediately.” When I continued to question them, they said the account was two months past due, at $100.00 per month, would only mean that I owed $200.00, if in fact it was past due (which it was not).
As I had been out of the country for the past four months AND had changed my credit card # of one of my cards, I thought this must be the problem and finally gave them my credit card #. Immediately afterwards, I was transferred to the “supervisor” who got my card code # and when he said I was to call HughesNet in 5 to 7 days to have my service turned back on a week later, I said "Wait a minute. Why is the service being disconnected for a week if I am paying half of the entire year's contract in advance?" When I refused to authorize the charge, they put the $900.00 through anyway after stating that they wouldn't!
I contacted Capital One Fraud Dept. who made a three-way call to them, including me, and they said it would take “7-10- days to issue a refund.” This is also not true. The following day I was able to reach HughesNet who said I was NOT delinquent, bills were being paid by my credit card account, and that they did not do business by calling people at work on the phone. Capital One has now cancelled my card since the number has been “stolen,” as NCO also had the three digit code on the back. I will be issued a new card expedited, so my own stupidity cost me $16.00. I can't believe that I finally got scammed!
I had been out of the country, could not find any account information while I was being threatened with “immediate disconnect” and caved in, since the girl on the other end kept saying “she didn't agree with HughesNet's policies, but even if I contacted them, I would just be referred back to her.” I could not get through to HughesNet at the first three numbers I found on the internet, did not have a reply to an email and had not received any contract information from them, so I ultimately believed the lies I was being told.
Luckily I contacted my credit card company immediately after and found that NCO had in fact run the $900.00 charge through immediately, and then I was able to contact HughesNet at 866-347-3292, and then report NCO. What a mess! I have seen that this company has scammed many, many people who have reported this all over the internet. They are blaming HughesNet, as I was, until I got in touch directly with HughesNet. I hope this terrible company can be put out of business, but I have found complaints lodged against NCO Financial Systems 1-800-688-3370 filed as far back as 2003. I am sure there are even earlier accounts.
NCO has the nerve to not even change their phone number! Luckily I don't believe that these criminals will profit from their lies. I hope this is the straw that breaks this devil's back! I have reported NCO Financial Systems (billed as “NCO FACS R. Meadows”) to Capital One, HughesNet and on various locations on the internet. I should report this to our Attorney General as well. What a bunch of crooks!
Alright, I've worked for NCO for a while now and I'm come to notice that in online forums and other places people complain ALL the time about the debt calls. Since I know how NCO works, I'm going to make it easier on all of you on how to either resolve your debt or stop being "harassed" with phone calls.
Learn the FDCPA. For those of you that know it, go on to the next section. For those of you that don't read it. It stands for the Fair Debt Collection Practice Act. It's the laws that surround collection activity. If you know the laws about it, you can take control over the call. When a debtor brings up the phrase "FDCPA" it makes my skin crawl, because I don't want to get sued, and I don't want to lose my job so it makes me very edgy, and I'm a VERY confident person. By knowing the laws you can use it to your advantage to either stopping the calls or getting a 'case' against said Debt Group.
Demand cease calls and all communication be done through mail. This will completely stop the calls because it's an FDCPA violation if you request us to stop and follow the procedures of said debt agency to have them stopped, you'll get no more calls.
DO NOT HANG UP RIGHT AWAY. If you hang up before the debt collector says his/her Mini-Miranda, monitoring/recording disclosure, you WILL get called back. Debt collectors can call the CUSTOMER once per day IF they speak with the customer and REVEAL the information on the account. Hanging up means you don't know what it's about, you'll get called back later.
DO NOT GO THROUGH DEBT CONSOLIDATION. These companies WILL NOT help you. They only pay your minimum payments and will not help get you out of collections. Most of these companies say they are non-profit but how do the people that work there get money? They take yours, bundle up a bunch of cash, and then wait until your account can be settled, settle the account for LESS, and keep the rest of your money while your CBR (credit bureau report) is now affected with negative feedback. If you can pay them, you can pay your bill which leads to the final part.
Pay your bill. Seriously, this is the easiest way to get out of collections. Just pay your damn bill and you won't have to worry about the calls. I know you're going to be out some money, but tough **. You agreed to a service, you didn't oblige to the contract/conditions that YOU ARE aware of, be responsible about it.
That's it. If you do any of those steps you can get yourself either out of collections or stop the annoying calls. As collectors we have THE RIGHT to call you, as well there are state laws that do override the FDCPA so learn your state laws. As of 2 days ago, North Carolina can now be called by ANY country while before it was just inside the U.S. Enjoy.
COLORADO -- Okay.....Long story short. A few years ago, my wife and I both lost our jobs, on the same day (we worked for the same company that went under with no notice) and could not pay our bills (we have 5 children, are on rent assistance/food stamps, etc.) and could no longer afford to pay a credit card bill. No one would work with us at the original creditor ($25/mo was not good enough after missing two payments and getting charged 2x $25 late fee and 2* $35 over limit - which the late fee put us over the limit). Then comes NCO. Calls all the time. I stopped answering my phone if Caller ID says Unavailable or Blocked Number because it was always them.
They know I have gotten their letters - how? Are they spying on me, watching when I open my mail or listening in? Oh, and we changed our phone number to a completely different carrier, are unlisted and they have still magically found what it is. Scary, scary, scary -- especially since they did it in less than a month. They will take $25 a month (after I told them I would willingly pay $20 a month but no one had ever accepted that arrangement yet, which was the monthly minimum on the account to begin with anyway). I say, "Okay, lets do it, where do I mail the payment?" She says, "Oh, we have to take it out of your checking account." I say, "I don't have one."
She says, "Well, I see here you have paid other bills you have with a checking account in your name." I say, "Really?" I am flabbergasted at this point. I tell her, okay, but that is a business checking account for a small computer repair shop I started after finishing school about a year ago. It is not enough to pay all our bills yet, but for not putting any money up front to start it, it is getting my family out of debt and on track finally.
Anyway.... I say, "I am not the only signatory on that account, so I cannot authorize anything right now over the phone." which my wife and I both are signatories, but I was not going to jeopardize my biz account with these fools on an auto pay. You know, take the $25 in month one, in month 2 and then month 3 take double what the original debt was and not give it back and then take another $25 in month 4 because the interest accrued the day after they took the payment out of my checking, but the day before it posted on their system - never mind you don't get a monthly statement as you do from any other normal creditor.
Collection agencies should be required by law to send monthly statements of your account, if it is in their possession, whether you are actively paying them or not. They make enough money screwing everyone to pay for sending out the bills.
So she says, "Well, I am sorry then, I cannot accept payments other than the full settlement amount." I say, "Well, I am sorry then I do not have that much cash on me. In fact I have about $20 right now." She says, "Well, go ahead and make a payment and it will credit to your account, but I can't guarantee it will help, or that it will lower the balance. We will also call everyday and send letters too, even if you do start making payments." I say, "Okay." She asks, "When will you be sending your first payment?" I say, "Around the end of the month....or the first of the month in about 1 1/2 weeks". She says, "Okay, I put that in there."
So, why should I send a payment if it will not help the balance or stop the calls and I cannot get a written statement with the final agreed upon settlement amount? I am sending a letter to them to have them stop calling me and stop writing me, and I am contacting the original creditor, (which from other messages on here is better and has not actually authorized NCO as their collection agency in the first place).
Should I be afraid that they somehow know I have paid some of my other bills with my business checking account (I just write the check to the bill instead of writing myself a paycheck and then putting it in my personal account) and seem to think that they can have access to that, which is not wholly mine? Do they have my account number now? I bet they probably do. ID theft from a collection agency is a sad a pathetic day for America, but I feel it has arrived. What grounds do I have at this point? I wish to resolve this issue, with someone who will work with me...would I have better luck with the original creditor?
I have thought about a CCS (consumer credit service, counseling), debt reduction or similar alternatives (I still am trying to pay off some older debts that accumulated when I was unemployed and also from going back to school).
Should I just immediately seek legal counsel at this point? How do they know this information? How can they find out from other creditors that I have paid by check? Is that not illegal? What do they do, call up and ask them, "So **, how did customer X pay their bill last month?", ** says, "Oh, they paid with a check." Freaky, too much power..... It is time to afraid.
SAINT CHARLES COUNTY, MISSOURI -- March 11, 2005 -- Saint Charles County, Missouri -- So it's a cruddy Friday out there and I'm sitting at my computer, doing what I do at my computer, and the phone rings. I let the machine get it. It's Mr. ** and he's "not calling to sell anything" but he has "important information" for me that he has to "act on immediately." What the heck, I'm feeling feisty today. 1-888-475-6741 is the number he left; it's the number I called. What fun ensued!
Not only was the non-native-English-speaking-gentleman on the other end of the phone rude and condescending, he seemed to be absolutely shocked to hear that I wasn't going to discuss repayment of my defaulted student loan. I explained that I was currently unemployed and receiving government assistance, and this twit had the audacity to ask why I wasn't going to pay off the loan. I explained (when I could get a word in over him) that repaying student loans was WAY down on my list of priorities behind food, electric, water, phone, gasoline, auto insurance, those kind of things.
But the twit is persistent. "This is a bill just like any other. You have to pay this bill also," he said. He asked how I paid my rent for over a year without a job and I told him, flat out, "I live in the house my parents used to live in." which is true. It's paid for and I get to live here now. They have moved on to bigger and better things. But I digress. Then the questioning moved on to my mysterious ability to pay my other bills. I explained it very simply. "I'm a drain on society. The Feds pay my bills."
Then Mr. Supervisor jumped on the line. What a peach! Mr. Supervisor asked me why I couldn't ask my parents for the money, seeing as I was living in their house? Or better yet, why didn't I just go out and get a job? It was at this point I got fed up. The man wasn't even bothering to breathe between questions. I couldn't get a word in edgewise, so I told him that he knew nothing about me or my circumstances, and that he should just "Have a nice day." Then I hung up. I fully expect to go through something like this on Monday the 14th. I plan to call back. I'll probably call back on the 15th, 16th, 17th, and 18th too. Who knows, maybe I can find a new friend this way.
I guess the gist of my complaint is this: NCO Financial Systems, Inc. (part of the larger NCO Group http://www.ncogroup.com/ ) claims -- and I'm Quoting from their own freaking web site here: "Our representatives have the specific training and experience to successfully service education receivables. They are familiar with the requirements of Title IV student loan programs, including FFELP and Perkins loans. They are trained to perform with sensitivity to the circumstances of student borrowers while observing the best interest of our collection partner.
We have designed, implemented, and successfully provided collection programs according to the unique requirements of our clients and in strict compliance with all applicable laws and regulations." [ http://www.ncogroup.com/industries/education_guaranty.aspx] - They are trained to perform with sensitivity to the circumstances of student borrowers while observing the BEST INTEREST OF OUR COLLECTION PARTNER. It gets better, they BRAG about how they hound people.
Read on: NCO's "collection service imparts a sense of urgency upon seriously delinquent customers," and results in "reducing net write-offs and the cost of collecting after charge-off." And how do they manage to do this? I'm glad you asked. You know what? Just read the whole [http://www.ncogroup.com/services/finance_third_party.aspx] page. In fact, browse around NCO's entire site and see what scum they are. "Whether eliminating positions or reallocating staff, selling bad debt portfolios will open opportunities for our clients to refocus on core competencies."
Sell them your in-house debt and you don't need those people in accounts receivable anymore. Get rid of 'em! Ship their jobs to India, or Antigua, Barbados, Panama, the Philippines, or Puerto Rico. You know what? If you get a call from "Mr. **" and he tells you to call 1-888-475-6741, just let it go. ***** A copy of this was sent to NCO Group, let's see if they have anything to say, shall we? *****
OHIO -- Just a few hours ago, I ended one of the most ridiculous phone calls I've ever received. My husband and I received a letter from NCO Financial Systems 2 days ago regarding a debt supposedly owed to a medical imaging company. We both looked through our paid medical bills and could not find a bill, letter etc. from this particular company. And considering that we both pay our bills on time, this collections letter came out of the blue. I received a phone call from NCO this morning. At first this woman did not identify herself, just asked to speak with my husband.
As I was taking down her first name and number, I asked if she was calling from a business since she was giving me a 1-800 number. She didn't answer, but asked who I was. I told her I was his wife, and then she told me she was calling from NCO. I told her that we received their letter, that we had no record of ever owing a bill in that amount, or close to that amount, that I hadn't heard of this medical imaging company, and could she give me some more info? She told me the date of service, which didn't match one of my child's hospital stays, but was close from 2 years ago. I asked her if she could tell me what specifically the bill was for.
She first told me X-ray, then ultrasound, then CAT Scan. Our child had none of those tests performed. I informed her of this, then she replied, "Oh, this is actually regarding..." Either she's a very confused young woman, or she wasn't willing to give me the correct information up front. And what was she doing with that type of personal medical info in the first place? Are they actually allowed access to medical records? I then told her that my husband and I paid all of the medical bills we received from the hospital stay close to the date she was giving and also the last admittance, and that we have no outstanding bills we're aware of.
I told her we never received a bill from this imaging company. (Duh, if we had we would have paid it). She then told me I must be mistaken, they sent out 3 bills, (over the last 2 years?), and upon not receiving payment turned it over to collections. I asked her if we could get a copy of the bill, she replied no. I asked if this was a legit bill, why our insurance wasn't billed. She said this particular company doesn't take insurance information. (What??) I asked for contact information for the imaging company, she said they would not wish to speak with me since I owe them money.
I told her I was not willing to pay a bill for a service I don't remember occurring from a company I've never heard of. She replied that we had 30 days to pay the bill in full or further action would be taken. I asked "What action?" and she replied, "Do you really wish to find out, or would you rather take care of your responsibility to pay this bill?" I then asked for her supervisor and she told me none were in the office - this was early Saturday morning after all, what was I thinking? Unbelievable!
This phone call went on for another 10 minutes or so with me trying to find out how a bill (if we do in fact somehow owe this) could be sent to collections without us receiving notice that money was owed. The questions that this representative answered, were answered with sarcasm and disrespect. Other questions she just ignored altogether. I plan on finding out contact info for the original company to sort this out. I will not answer NCO's phone calls or letters. And I feel very sorry for anyone who has to talk with employees there.
I don't understand how any company, even a collection agency like this one who's known for this type of behavior, can get away with treating people in such a manner. Those poor souls who actually owe them money for one reason or another, shouldn't have to pay anything until they get a representative on the phone who's trained, knows what they're doing, and acts in a professional manner. I bet they would never collect anything if that were the circumstance though.
Here's what happened... I had a credit card account that was closed in 11/2004 and sold to NCO in 3/2005. NCO had contacted me soon afterwards, and I spent a month attempting to negotiate a settlement with NCO. On 4/30/05, I paid $1100 in order to settle the account which had a $1900 balance at the time. I now realize that I made a huge mistake by giving them my account information and paying over the phone. I also never received a letter from NCO stating that the account was settled.
I didn't hear from NCO for over 3 years, until they sent a letter to my parents' address in 11/2008. (I called the phone number on the letter and got transferred to several people. Each person told me that they had no information on this account or that I needed to call Citibank.) I made another mistake of assuming that this letter was a bogus letter. I recently went to a bank on 4/14/09 and found out that this isn't bogus. According to my credit report, I now owe about $2700 to NCO! I spent about 5 hours on the phone yesterday, trying to figure out what is going on.
NCO admits to receiving a $1100 payment from me, and I have requested my past statements from my bank as proof of payment. However, NCO will not acknowledge my $1100 as settlement. They are asking for me to provide things that don't exist -- a receipt/letter documenting the settlement (which I never received) & a copy of the front and back of a check that I never wrote (because I paid using account numbers over the phone). What do you suggest I do? Should I continue to dispute this balance with NCO directly? I can send a letter summarizing everything that has happened and requesting that NCO acknowledge my 4/30/05 $1100 payment as settlement.
I can also let them know that I will go to the State Attorney General. Should I dispute the current $2700 balance on my credit report with the credit reporting companies directly? I have been told that the balance might be removed from my credit report early, because NCO isn't acknowledging my $1100 payment as settlement.
Should I attempt to settle the balance AGAIN with NCO in order to get rid of the balance and save time & headache? (This is assuming that I can get NCO to provide everything needed in writing.) Is there another better option? Am I screwed until the balance is removed from my credit report in 2011? Will NCO still be able to take any assets from me after 2011? NCO Financial is the worst company that I've ever dealt with! Of course, I wish I had never gotten into this situation to begin with. I don't know what the best thing to do is now.
***CORRECTION: The $1100 amount above is incorrect. The number was given to me by NCO staff during my numerous phone calls with them on 4/15/09. (The dates are correct however.) I received a copy of my April 2005 bank statement today (4/17/09), as well as copies of two checks made out for $2000 and $1400 in 4/2005. So I now have proof of payment! I have asked NCO to fax me my account history, showing original balance, payment history, and current balance due. I am waiting for a response...
NCO Financial Services must by now be at the top of the new evil and hate regime. They totally disregard the laws we have had to make to prevent abuse by their industry. while most collection services work with their clients to solve the problem, NCO attacks...13 phone calls inside a ten-minute period because hung up on them after I was verbally abused with things like.... told what a low life-loser and idiot I was and "YOU signed the contract idiot, we don't care anything about the debt nor the circumstances. Except that you must pay it now!"
I called the company I owe Choice One Communications which is now part of CTC Communications, which does not deliver the promised services, for the stated prices after signing the contract, after you sign the contract, but I immediately sent a payment and told them on the phone I was doing so.
Today the phone calls from NCO, Kansas started again, so I called their corporate headquarters in Horsham, PA, to see if I could get the abusive calls to stop and who to file a complaint with IE the FCC or whomever or at least get them to remove what feels like a fascist jackboot from my neck so I can resume operating my business and pay this rip-off regardless of the circumstances. Corporate gave me the run around, obviously they have absolutely no regard for anyone else in our society except themselves and their predatory need to attack people that are already down or in trouble.
That have their Email addresses encrypted so that we cannot communicate with them Via-Email, they would then lose control over their battlefield against us. Lucifer must be dancing. Here are fines and such that have been levied against NCO yet they continue to wreak havoc on our lives. News report: ** Payment to State of Pa. (where they are headquartered), January 30, 2006. NCO Group, Inc., a leading provider of business process outsourcing services, announced today that it entered into an Assurance of Voluntary Compliance with the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.
Under the terms of the Agreement, NCO specifically denies that it has engaged in unlawful or inappropriate business practices, and has agreed to pay the Commonwealth $300,000 to be used towards the costs of the investigation and/or future public protection purposes. The Agreement also requires NCO to comply with consumer protection laws and to maintain certain policies and procedures designed to facilitate and monitor its ongoing compliance.
Commenting on the Agreement Michael J. Barrist, NCO Chairman and CEO stated; "It has always been our policy to work with regulators to assure that we are promptly and effectively responding to consumer issues. As the largest provider of Accounts Receivable Collection services in the world, NCO contacts consumers approximately 400 million times per year.
Although we provide our services on a national basis, a disproportionate number of consumers look to the Commonwealth for assistance because we are headquartered in Pennsylvania. I am very pleased we were able to reach this Agreement with the Commonwealth since it resolves all issues to date and, more importantly, provides for a positive working relationship in the future."
PENNSYLVANIA -- I have had credit cards since 1987 and have paid them all on time. In June of 2004, I ran into some serious financial problems. The result was either pay my home and cars or pay the credit card companies. When I immediately realized I was in trouble, I searched the web and found a Credit Counseling Company called MMI (Money Management International). They took all my information and were very helpful. It took some time, but I eventually got responses back from all my creditors and the news wasn't very good.
Of the cards I owed money on the following were PERSONAL.... (Amex Platinum), (Amex Platinum Signature Loan), (Citibank Visa), (Discover) AND the following were BUSINESS (Amex Blue - Sole Propietorship), (Amex Blue - Corporate). It would be worth mentioning that my sole proprietorship was taken over by the corporation. Anyway... when MMI came back to me with a negotiated payment, it was MORE than my regular payments to the credit card companies that I already couldn't afford AND it didn't include any of the AMEX Business cards. I tried in good faith to work out a deal with both MMI and the credit card companies to no avail. No one would budge.
So I was only left with one thing to do, and that was to not pay anyone. I received calls and letters from many collection agencies since June of 2004, but I have been able to avoid speaking with them directly. One collection company NCO Financial called all my surrounding neighbors, have been calling my family members repeatedly after being told not to call, and they have contact my employer over and over again. My boss told them not to call, yet they play this game that (the person who called) had never called before, yet they hand it off to another person to call the company. I live in Pennsylvania which I think has a statute of limitation of 3 years.
I have about 14 more months to go before I reach the 3-year mark. I have several questions since everyone here seems so knowledgeable..... How do I get NCO to stop calling my friends, family, employer and neighbors? Should I wait the 3 years? Should I contact a lawyer to see if he can get affordable terms for repayment? Should I file personal bankruptcy? Right now with my breather of time since June 2004, I would be able to pay about $1000.00 per month. My total credit card debt with interest and penalties and late fees is approaching $78,000.00.
In a five-year repayment plan at 1000.00 per month, that would be 60,000 which is about the original principle. It's sad because I truly wanted to make a deal in June 2004, yet the credit card companies wanted to play hardball. I could have filed bankruptcy prior to the law change and had it all wiped out, but I really feel obligated to repay my debts. I am not a dead beat, just someone who feel on hard times. What do you all think?