NCO Financial Systems: A dreadful third party collection agency
Third party debt collectors break the law by violating the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA). The FDCPA is enforced by the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) to direct and monitor debt collection practices by third party collectors.
The FDCPA has laid down the guidelines for fair collection practices in order to protect consumers from being harassed by mean debt collectors. A creditor has a right to collect payment from you. But, debt collectors by no means are creditors; they are third party collectors and should not be allowed to browbeat you into believing their superiority.
In reality debt collectors are employed for a meager salary by debt collection agencies and are paid based on their collection abilities. Some debt collection agencies buy debts from original creditors for a discounted amount of the original debt. If a debt collector is actually successful in collecting money from you, the collectors take the major share of the money and give the creditors a share of the collection. Some creditors wash their hands off the debt by completely selling the debt. To collect payment on such debts, and to make the most of the debt, collectors resort to unethical means.
Some large financial institutions have large receivable departments like mortgage, home loan and health care companies. These companies employ ‘in house’ collectors to collect their debts. These collectors are not considered as ‘debt collectors’ by the FDCPA and therefore do not have to follow many rules under the FDCPA.
In a recent debt collection case, a consumer from Richmond, Virginia, was harassed by NCO Financial Systems for a zombie debt to such an extent that she ended up seeing a psychiatrist for depression. An NCO Financial Systems agent called her many times during the day and even night. He left messages on the voice mail box if his calls were not attended to. He called neighbors and disclosed details about her debt. He threatened to sue her, seize her vehicle and have her arrested.
NCO Financial Systems agent is a third party collector and not an ‘in house’ collector. NCO Financial Systems violated the FDCPA and can be sued by the consumer in the above case. NCO Financial Systems has countless rip off reports against it. It is considered to be the worst debt collection agency which creates zombie debts.
The FTC watches over the collection industry with eagle eyes but with so many collection agencies mushrooming in the market, the FTC acts if there are a substantial number of complaints about a particular agency.
In 2004, the FTC penalized NCO with 1.5 million dollars fine for reporting inaccurate information to the credit bureaus. Reporting wrong information to the credit bureaus is one of the violations of the FDCPA. Despite a regular array of complaints about it, NCO Financial Systems continues to violate the FDCPA.