|Received:||4/24/2007 12:05:39 AM|
|Agency:||Federal Trade Commission|
|Rule:||Debt Collection Workshop|
Comments:While I understand the necessity of debt collectors and the circumstances which they face in daily attempts to collect legitimate debts, not all debtors are lousy, non-paying people and therefore should not be treated as such. As a consumer with home telephone service and previous experience with NCO Financial, a debt collection agency, I would voluntarily like to have input on this hearing. My personal experience with debt collection is one which left me rather annoyed. This debt collector contacted me via the phone indicating they mailed me a notice for which they were trying to collect a debt. I honestly had not receive this notice and advised them of such. They assured me they mailed it, doing so in such a manner as to make you out to be a liar. I assured them there were individuals that might do this, however, I did not receive their information and please mail me another notice of what this collection was for. At such time, I was advised they were required to notify me only once, which they had done and would not do again. Of course, if you can't and won't provide me with information with your attempt to collect a debt, I am not going to pay you nor do I feel this is within the guidelines of what I would call Fair Credit Practices. In addition, as a consumer with a home phone service, after recently changing our home phone number, I started receiving calls from NCO Financial for the individual that previously had the phone number. For 3 months, call after call, I attempted to get them to remove my phone number from their records. I asked for the persons full name or reference number so that I could call their corporate office in an effort to get this taken care of. Of course, this was private information due to the privacy act. Yet it's okay to harass me for 3 months and not remove a phone number that you've been advised is incorrect. In 1 of the multitude of calls, I was advised to find out which NCO Call Center was calling me. I live in but one house and have but one home phone number. NCO Financial is NCO Financial, one company, multiple call centers. Surely a large debt collection company such as NCO Financial has computer staff capabale of finding my phone number within their system and removing it. If their computer staff is capable of writing, running and repairing computer program problems, with the complexity it must take to run multitudes of call centers and reporting back to corporate.. However, I was finally able to get through to somebody that would answer just that question on one of the multiple calls and this particular call center was located in the Virgin Islands calling for collections in Missouri. After being so frustrated with NCO Financial and our failed attempts of removing our phone number from their system, we changed our phone number again. Needless to say, the 1st day of having our new phone number, NCO begins calling for the person who had this number previously. In total, we've had 3 phone numbers and each number without fail, calls from NCO Financial for other people have been received. It is almost impossible to get your phone number removed. As a consumer dealing with NCO Financial, they're excellent at reporting you to credit bureaus on collections, good at giving you the run around in their collection process to the point of getting you upset and so frustrated you hang up on them and very poor at providing information requested by the consumer in writing. Put the blame where you may for each situation here, but the fact remains, debt collection agencies are no longer doing a service to their customers, they are refusing to provide documentation, harassing the debtor and/or the poor person that got stuck the debtor they're calling for and their last known phone number. PLEASE TAKE A STAND,MAKE IT FAIR FOR THE CONSUMER TO VERBALLY REQUEST WRITTEN INFORMATION FROM THE DEBT COLLECTOR AND ESTABLISH GUIDELINES FOR REMOVAL OF INCORRECT PHONE NUMBERS WHEN NOTIFIED!