Is National Enterprise Systems calling you? Here’s what you need to know.
The Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA) was passed by the US Congress in September 1977 in response to abusive collection tactics by third-party debt collectors. The government was concerned that these behaviors were causing personal bankruptcies to increase, so the new law gave consumers certain rights while restricting what debt collectors could say and do when collecting a debt.
Under the FDCPA, it is illegal for debt collections to do any of the following while collecting or attempting to collect a debt:
- Contacting someone who has formally requested that all communications cease
- Calling at unreasonable and inconvenient times, such as before 8:00 a.m. or after 9:00 p.m. in the consumer’s time zone
- Calling someone at work when they have already been advised that such calls are not allowed
- Using profane and obscene language
- Threatening physical violence or damage to someone’s reputation and credit rating
- Pretending to be police officers or government agents
- Telling someone they can arrested or imprisoned for nonpayment of a debt
- Disclosing the existence of the debt to anyone except the debtor, their spouse, attorney, or co-signers
Alleged Violations against National Enterprise Systems, Inc.*
Many debt collectors ignore the law, either because the harassment gets results or they’re convinced that the consumers will be too embarrassed to report them, or both.
Established in 1987, National Enterprise Systems, Inc. (NES) is headquartered in Solon, Ohio and has an employee count of 500 to 999, making it one of the country’s bigger collection agencies. A search of the PACER (Public Access to Court Electronic Records) website indicates that it has appeared on court several times for allegedly violating the FDCPA when dealing with consumers.
On or about April 20, 2009, a debt collector from National Enterprise Systems, Inc. called a consumer at home because he had co-signed on a student loan for his son, and his son later defaulted on the loan. The plaintiff was not home, so the plaintiff’s wife answered the phone.
She later alleged that the female debt collector made the following statements to her:
- The debt had to be paid in full by 4:00 p.m. that day
- If the debt was not paid by 4:00 p.m., the plaintiff’s wages and their property would be attached
- The plaintiff could charge the debt on his credit cards
- The couple’s credit score had significantly decreased as a result of the debt
The plaintiff’s wife, in a panic, called her husband, who realized that his wife was so upset that he needed to go home. After consoling her, he hired an attorney to handle the matter on his behalf.
The complaint the the plaintiff filed accused National Enterprise Systems, Inc. of the following FDCPA violations:
- Contacting the plaintiff for purposes other than obtaining location information for her husband (15 U.S.C.§ 1692c(b))
- Engaging in conduct the natural consequence of which was to harass the the plaintiffs (15 U.S.C. § 1692d)
- Using false and deceptive tactics to collect a debt (15 U.S.C. § 1692e)
- Employing unfair or unconscionable means to collect or attempt to collect debts (15 U.S.C. § 1692f)
The matter was later dismissed.
The phone numbers for National Enterprise Systems, Inc. are 1-440-542-1360 and 1-800- 973-0600. If you receive a call from either number, a debt collector is calling, so ensure that you fully understand your rights under the FDCPA.
If the agent makes legally unsupportable threats and is otherwise abusive, contact a consumer attorney with experience in FDCPA matters. They can assist you in taking National Enterprise Systems, Inc. to court and if you win, you could receive $1000 per FDCPA violation, plus actual damages, court costs, and attorney fees. It’s illegal to abuse consumers while collecting a debt, and some agencies need a firm reminder of that fact.
*Case taken from PACER (www.pacer.gov). File number is 2:09-cv-00902-PCE-TPK, from United States District Court for the Southern District of Ohio, Eastern Division.
Disclaimer: The content of this article serves only to provide information and should not be construed as legal advice. If you file a claim against National Enterprise Systems, Inc. or any other third-party collection agency, you may not be entitled to any compensation.