If someone is facing debt collection proceedings, the number of communications from third-party debt collectors can seem extremely overwhelming. Many of these communications may end up being both harassing and threatening.
If one of those companies is NCC Business Services, it is important that the debtor understands his or her rights.
The Fair Debt Collection Practices Act
The Fair Debt Collections Practices Act (FDCPA) offers protection for debtors against unfair debt collection practices of third-party debt collectors. The FDCPA is part of a larger act, which is the Consumer Credit Protection Act, enacted in 1977.
The FDCPA gives rules that third-party debt collectors, like NCC Business Services, must follow when collecting on a consumer debt. If the debt collector violates one of these rules, he or she can seek compensation for damages sustained against the collector.
About NCC Business
NCC Business Services is a collections company based in Jacksonville, Florida. NCC Business Services has been in operation since 1986. The company handles collections for companies focused on financial, housing, credit, education, small business and education markets.
NCC Business Services prides itself in being able to track down debtors who do everything in their power to not be found, even if using what are considered unconventional methods.
Determining If a Claim Exists
The FDCPA prevents debt collectors from behaving in a certain manner when collecting on a consumer debt. This behavior includes:
- If NCC Business Services has contacted the debtor at “odd hours,” either before 8 a.m. or after 9 p.m.;
- If NCC Business Services made threats or used violent language when speaking with the debtor or anyone connected to the debtor;
- If NCC Business Services has threatened to sue the debtor when they have no intention of pursuing a legal claim;
- If NCC Business Services has made threats to garnish the debtor’s wages when they have no legal right to do so or have no intention of pursuing a garnishment;
- If NCC Business Services has called the debtor at his or her place of business or employment after being told to no longer contact the debtor there;
- If NCC Business Services has communicated with third parties connected to the debtor to get information on the debt or disclosing information about the debtor; or
- If NCC Business Services has threatened to file criminal charges against the debtor while collecting on the debt.
If this behavior has occurred to the debtor by NCC Business Services, he or she may have a valid FDCPA claim to be filed. Prior to filing a claim, however, the debtor needs to send a written notification to NCC Business Services, informing them that they have violated the FDCPA and that a claim will be filed.
At that point, if NCC Business Services continues to contact the debtor at this point, an FDCPA violation can be filed.
What Damages Are Available?
If the debtor believes he or she has a valid FDCPA claim against NCC Business Services, he or she must then determine what types of damages he or she has a right to seek. In all FDCPA claims, the debtor can receive statutory damages in the amount of no more than $1,000.
The debtor can also seek actual damages, which include both physical distress and emotional distress. If the harassment caused the debtor to lose time at work, the actual damages can include lost wages.
The debtor must be successful in showing the connection between the behavior exhibited by the NCC Business Services and the injury sustained. In addition, attorney’s fees needed to pursue an FDCPA claim can be reimbursed with the final award given, on top of filing fees and court costs.
Speaking with an Attorney
It is always recommended that the debtor contacts an attorney before going forward. A consumer attorney can advise the client on what needs to happen to prove a successful case. If the debtor files a case and is not successful, he or she may end up having to pay NCC Business Service’s attorney’s fees.
NCC Business Services will likely come to court with legal representation. It can help the debtor to even the playing field by having representation.
*DISCLAIMER: The content of this article is for information purposes only. It should not be used construed as legal advice. If you choose to file a claim against NCC Business Services or any other third-party collection agency, your claim may not be successful, and you may not be entitled to any compensation for your alleged injuries.