Commonwealth Financial Systems is a debt collections agency that was founded in 2001 and purchased Northeast Credit and Collections that same year. The company, located in Dickson City, Pennsylvania, describes themselves as Northeastern Pennsylvania’s “premier collection agency,” though they are licensed nationwide.
They offer a number of services, including first party outsourcing, third party collections, billing services, on-site collections, debt purchasing, and credit bureau reporting as well as work with many different industries, like debt purchasing, financial, retail, commercial, government, and medical. Commonwealth Financial Services is involved in the American Collectors Association and the Mid-Atlantic Collectors Association.
Because of abuse suffered by consumers at the hands of debt collectors, the Federal Trade Commission passed the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA). The act lays out rules that debt collectors must follow when trying to retrieve debt from consumers. In addition to identifying themselves, the original debt owners, and informing consumers they are attempting to collect a debt, they must mail you a notice describing how to dispute the loan and a validation letter if you request it.
The FDCPA also lists practices collection agencies are not allowed to use, including intimidation, abusive or obscene language, falsifying amounts, lying about their identity or the name of their company, threatening legal action they can’t or don’t intend to take, revealing your debt to third parties, harassing friends, family, or coworkers, and excessive calling, especially between 9 p.m. and 8 a.m.
Laws Commonwealth Financial Systems Has Been Accused of Breaking*
Commonwealth Financial Systems is not an accredited company with the Better Business Bureau (BBB) and have received over 200 complaints through the BBB over the last three years, as well as other consumer websites. The agency has both sued and been sued many times for alleged violations of the FDCPA with many successful consumer outcomes.
Commonwealth Financial Systems has been accused of many violations, including:
- Trying to collect debt that was already paid.
- Falsely reporting to credit bureaus
- Using very rude and obscene language
- Calling before 8 a.m.
- Trying to collect debt from the wrong person.
- Refusing to verify debt.
- Hanging up on consumers in the middle of conversations.
- Lying about fees.
- Withdrawing more money from bank accounts that agreed.
- Impersonating a government or other agency.
What to do if Commonwealth Financial Systems is Trying to Collect a Debt from You*
If you are contacted by 678-487-8393, this could be Commonwealth Financial Systems. You should immediately ask for verification of the alleged debt. If the debt isn’t yours, or your feel you’re being treated unfairly, you have the right to force the agency to stop contacting you. You have to send the stop contact request in writing, and it’s best to send it by certified mail so you know when they receive it.
After they’ve gotten it, they are only allowed to talk to you again to inform you they’ve gotten it and won’t contact you again or to take legal action against you, such a sending a court summons. If they call you for any reason other than those, it’s a violation of the FDCPA. Especially if Commonwealth Financial Systems is mistreating you, you should write down the time of every call and record the collectors if they are consistently rude.
You can also stop getting phone calls and settle your debt with the help of a qualified FDCPA lawyer. Your lawyer will be the only legal point of contact for Commonwealth Financial Systems. If you and the company can’t come to a settlement or you’re sued, your lawyer can help you negotiate manageable monthly payments or if you want to sue your lawyer can help you get the damages you deserve.
The size and nature of your debt have nothing to do with how you should be treated as a human being. If third-party collectors are subjecting you to the type of harassment outlined in the FDCPA, you should consider completing a free case evaluation and filing a claim with the help of an FDCPA attorney. Winning your claim could mean netting $1000 for each FDCPA violation, along with additional damages, and having an attorney increases the likelihood that you’ll have a successful claim. Your attorney can aid in gathering evidence, arguing on your behalf, and knowing exactly what is required at each point in the case. In other words, your attorney will be in the best position to help you navigate this complex process and finally get the peace of mind that you deserve.
*The content of this article is not applicable solely to Commonwealth Financial Systems, but to any third-party collection agency by which you claim to have been harassed.