Debt collectors are seen as a necessary evil: by collecting overdue accounts, they help companies remain solvent and sustain the economy. While this may be a valid point, it can be hard to justify the tactics used by too many collection agencies.
If you’ve been contacted by a debt collector who appears to be trying to intimidate you into paying, educate yourself about your rights.
Your Rights Under the FDCPA
The Fair Debt Collection Practices Act, or FDCPA, imposes strict standards regarding what a debt collector can and cannot do when communicating with you. Any acts that appear to be calculated to deceive or bully you, like those below, are illegal.
- Accusing you of breaking the law by not paying your debts
- Leaving voice messages that don’t identify them as debt collectors
- Pretending to be attorneys, police officers, or federal agents
- Calling you before 8:00 a.m. and after 9:00 p.m. in your time zone
- Calling people you know to embarrass you into paying
- Suing you to collect a time-barred debt
Company Profile: National Collection Systems, Inc.
If you are being called by National Collection Systems, Inc., here are some additional background details about the company.
National Collection Systems, Inc., which also does business as National Credit Management, is a collection agency located in St. Louis, Missouri. It was founded in 1960, has 52 employees, and is managed by its President, Bernard Fagin.
According to the company website, the company specializes in collecting debts for colleges and universities. Records archived at the PACER website reveal that consumers who felt that they were being harassed by National Collection Systems, Inc. quickly took steps to protect themselves.
Alleged Violations against National Collection Systems, Inc.
According to PACER, on or around January 9, 2015, National Collection Systems, Inc. sent a collection letter to a Maryland consumer. It advised him that if he disputed the debt, he had to send a letter within 30 days after receiving the notice when the law required him to respond within the 30-day period.
This letter was followed by a second one dated February 19. Although it stated that interest, collection costs, and late fees were all “$0.00,” the letter stated that a “finance charge” of $86.01 had been applied to the debt every month for over five years.
There were also two different amounts demanded on the two letters.
When the consumer called National Collection Systems, Inc. to inquire about the finance charge, he was allegedly told that it was part of the contract with the creditor and included court costs and attorney fees, although there was no reason to believe court and attorney involvement were in the picture.
Feeling harassed by National Collection Systems, Inc., the consumer filed an FDCPA lawsuit against the agency for:
- Using false, deceptive and misleading means to collect a debt
- Using unfair and unconscionable means to collect a debt
- Using aggressive and abusive means to collect a debt
The matter was later settled.
Hire a Consumer Lawyer
The phone numbers for National Collection Systems, Inc. are:
Any time you see them on your caller ID, it is confirmation that you are being called by National Collection Systems, Inc. If they mislead you on your dispute rights and are deceptive regarding how much you actually owe, hire a consumer lawyer and file a claim against National Collection Systems, Inc. for deceiving you.
If your claim is successful, you could be awarded $1,000 per FDCPA violation, so don’t hesitate to fight back.
Case taken from PACER (pacer.gov). File number is Case 1:15-cv-00625-WMN from the United States District Court for the District of Maryland.
*Disclaimer: The content of this article serves only to provide information and should not be constructed as legal advice. If you file a claim against National Collection Systems, Inc., or any other third-party collection agency, you may not be entitled to any compensation.