On the heels of the recent settlement with the FTC and DOJ by Asset Acceptance, NCO Financial Systems has announced a settlement with a number of states over “irregularities” or problems.
The states included in the settlement are: Alaska, Arkansas, Idaho, Illinois, Iowa, Kentucky, Louisiana, Michigan, Nebraska, Nevada, New Mexico, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Oregon, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Vermont, and Wisconsin.
Debt collection company NCO Financial Systems has agreed to some similar terms as Asset Acceptance did. NCO agrees to:
- Comply with the federal Fair Debt Collection Practices Act, the federal Fair Credit Reporting Act, and all applicable state laws.
- For debts reported to the credit reporting agencies, notify the credit reporting agencies within 30 calendar days of (1) any verbal or written consumer dispute or (2) receiving the results of an investigation into the accuracy or completeness of previously reported information.
- Provide notice to consumers about their debt collection rights under federal and state law.
- Monitor compliance, including training and monitoring its representatives and independent contractors, creating written policies and procedures for handling consumer complaints, and submitting compliance reports to the states every 6 months for 18 months.
Consumer in the included states that feel they were not treated fairly by NCO Financial Systems should contact their State Attorney General Office.
Valid consumer claims must meet one of the following criteria:
- Consumer paid NCOF a third party debt that the consumer did not owe;
- Consumer overpaid interest on a third party debt that was not supported by the underlying agreement between the debtor and the original holder of the debt or as otherwise permitted by law; or
- Consumer paid more on a third party debt than the amount NCOF agreed to settle the account.
“We believe this is a fair settlement that will help uphold consumers’ rights under the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act,” Ohio Attorney General DeWine said. “NCOF is agreeing to provide restitution for eligible consumers, to provide stronger notifications to credit reporting agencies and consumers, and to implement policies to ensure compliance with federal and state law.”