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Debt Collection

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NEWS
November 20, 2013
IF YOU OWE a debt, you should make every effort to pay it. After all, you've enjoyed the services or goods that your debt bought. And companies have a right to try to collect or even sell that debt to recoup their money. The more they can collect, the less likely they are to pass on their debt troubles to other consumers in the form of higher prices or the cost of credit. But consumers have a right to accurate documentation to back up the collection efforts. And certainly folks who don't owe a debt shouldn't be harassed or bullied because of some computer error or faulty debt data.
BUSINESS
November 7, 2013 | By Jeff Gelles, Inquirer Staff Writer
Help is coming for consumers who complain about mistaken or abusive debt collectors, as the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau prepares to overhaul the nation's collection standards for the first time in a generation. The CFPB will announce Wednesday that it is seeking public input on how to balance business' rights to be repaid against consumer concerns over collectors' excesses. It was authorized to oversee debt collection by 2010's Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act, the same law that established the new bureau.
NEWS
October 19, 1995 | By George Anastasia, INQUIRER STAFF WRITER
Murder and mayhem took a back seat to money yesterday as jurors in the racketeering trial of mob boss John Stanfa and seven associates heard about the bookmaking and debt-collection operations that federal prosecutors contend are the lifeblood of organized crime. A series of secretly recorded tapes, made by gamblers and bookmakers allegedly targeted for mob extortion, were played for the jury during a daylong session that focused almost entirely on the economics of gambling. Admitted bookmaker Russ Ausburn told how mobster Joseph "Joey A" Altimari solicited a $5,000 payment from him in 1993 in what was part of a general shakedown of independent gamblers in the Philadelphia area.
BUSINESS
September 4, 1997 | By Leslie Gevirtz, REUTERS Inquirer staff writer Jeff Gelles contributed to this article
Sears Roebuck & Co. formally entered into a $290 million nationwide settlement with all 50 states yesterday stemming from the retailer's illegal debt-collection practices. The settlements, filed in Boston's U.S. Bankruptcy Court before Judge Carol Kenner, affect an estimated 146,000 consumers nationwide. Kenner has set an Oct. 28 hearing for action on the suits by the attorneys general and separate class-action lawsuits brought against the Illinois-based retailer. Pennsylvania Attorney General Mike Fisher was among attorneys general who announced settlements yesterday.
BUSINESS
May 17, 2006 | By Benjamin Y. Lowe INQUIRER STAFF WRITER
Shares of NCO Group Inc. rose 36 percent yesterday after the Horsham company said its chief executive officer had made an $889 million offer to buy the business. The debt-collection company's lackluster earnings growth in recent years has weighed down the stock price, making it an attractive takeover candidate, especially given its ability to generate cash, analysts said. The $27.50-per-share offer by Michael J. Barrist, NCO's chairman and chief executive since 1986, and a partner, One Equity Partners II L.P., represents a 44 percent premium to Monday's closing price of $19.05.
NEWS
July 12, 2013
I HAD A "DIE HARD" moment when I saw that the Federal Trade Commission had slammed a debt collector for various infractions, including trying to collect money that people didn't owe. When Bruce Willis is after a bad guy and he says "Yippee-ki-yay," you want to pump your fist and cheer because justice is being served. That's my reaction to the announcement from the FTC that it has levied a $3.2 million civil penalty against Expert Global Solutions - which the agency says is the largest debt collector in the world - and its subsidiaries.
NEWS
January 14, 2016
FOUR MORE DOWN, so many more to go. The Federal Trade Commission recently smacked down four debt-collection outfits and their affiliates that the agency said engaged in abusive practices. This latest round of action is part of a federal, state, and local effort around the country to target deceptive debt collectors. I've personally been on the other end of a telephone call with a collector trying to bully me into paying a debt I didn't owe. The person was attempting to collect some medical payment that he claimed was owed by my deceased brother.
BUSINESS
July 14, 1988 | By Glenn Burkins, Inquirer Staff Writer
West Coast Video Ltd., a Philadelphia company with about 215 stores in 17 states, paid $1,000 to settle allegations that it violated laws governing debt collection, a state official said yesterday. The state alleged that the video-rental firm sent "misleading letters" to customers who either owed rental fees or had failed to return rented tapes. The letters stated that those customers would have problems obtaining credit from banks or other businesses because of the delinquent accounts at West Coast Video.
BUSINESS
August 10, 1999 | By Bob Fernandez, INQUIRER STAFF WRITER
Debt collection is an unforgiving business. Costs can be unpredictable, competition fierce, clients fickle, and the work unpleasant. But NCO Group Inc. of Fort Washington has won at the game with a tough-minded management and computer technology that scores deadbeats on their likelihood to make a payment. Since the mid-1980s, NCO Group, run by chief executive officer Michael Barrist, 38, has grown into one of the nation's largest debt-collection firms. It took in $10 billion last year.
NEWS
June 15, 2009 | By Megan DeMarco INQUIRER STAFF WRITER
The first call came in late April. Megan Duffy, a 21-year-old college student, picked up the phone at her parents' home in Belmar, N.J., and heard the voice of a debt collector. With just one credit card and a few hospital bills to pay off, she wasn't fazed. "I explained my situation to him," she said. "I'm going to school so I can get a good job so I can pay off this debt. " But "he just did not get it through his head," she said. She has received daily calls since that first one, she said, describing them as nasty and intimidating.
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NEWS
February 19, 2016
IF YOU'VE DEFAULTED on federal student loans, you can breathe more easily. You won't be arrested for simply failing to make payments. For a hot second, people were panicking after a Houston television station reported that a local man, Paul Aker, had been arrested because he owed $1,500 for a federal student loan he took out in 1987. "What's the worst that can happen to you if you don't pay your old federal student loans?" the anchor began the segment. "Garnishment, something on your credit report?
NEWS
January 14, 2016
FOUR MORE DOWN, so many more to go. The Federal Trade Commission recently smacked down four debt-collection outfits and their affiliates that the agency said engaged in abusive practices. This latest round of action is part of a federal, state, and local effort around the country to target deceptive debt collectors. I've personally been on the other end of a telephone call with a collector trying to bully me into paying a debt I didn't owe. The person was attempting to collect some medical payment that he claimed was owed by my deceased brother.
REAL_ESTATE
November 8, 2015 | By Alan J. Heavens, Inquirer Real Estate Writer
Maybe it's my sense of humor, but this recent comment by Richard Cordray, director of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, made me chuckle: "Despite strong protections that have been put in place to protect homeowners, this month's complaint report shows consumers are still having problems when dealing with their mortgages. " I'd like to think that all the federal government has to do is snap its collective fingers and all our problems will go away, but I wasn't born yesterday.
NEWS
November 20, 2013
IF YOU OWE a debt, you should make every effort to pay it. After all, you've enjoyed the services or goods that your debt bought. And companies have a right to try to collect or even sell that debt to recoup their money. The more they can collect, the less likely they are to pass on their debt troubles to other consumers in the form of higher prices or the cost of credit. But consumers have a right to accurate documentation to back up the collection efforts. And certainly folks who don't owe a debt shouldn't be harassed or bullied because of some computer error or faulty debt data.
BUSINESS
November 7, 2013 | By Jeff Gelles, Inquirer Staff Writer
Help is coming for consumers who complain about mistaken or abusive debt collectors, as the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau prepares to overhaul the nation's collection standards for the first time in a generation. The CFPB will announce Wednesday that it is seeking public input on how to balance business' rights to be repaid against consumer concerns over collectors' excesses. It was authorized to oversee debt collection by 2010's Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act, the same law that established the new bureau.
NEWS
October 25, 2013 | By Troy Graham, Inquirer Staff Writer
Philadelphia hasn't tried to sell off its property tax liens since a complicated and controversial deal during the Rendell administration left many people sour on the tactic. But now that the city has overhauled its property tax system - bringing renewed attention to its abysmal record of collecting those taxes - some proponents are trying to resuscitate the idea. Selling liens against tax-delinquent property has been a popular strategy in recent decades for cash-strapped cities.
BUSINESS
July 22, 2013 | By Joseph N. DiStefano, Inquirer Staff Writer
A Horsham firm that Merrill Lynch & Co. once dubbed "the Wal-Mart of debt collection" has continued to expand, with help from Wall Street investors, despite running afoul of consumer-protection laws. NCO Financial Systems of Horsham last year combined with other outsourced-collection and customer-contact firms controlled by a JPMorgan Chase & Co. investment fund into a holding company called Expert Global Solutions, based in Plano, Texas. Expert Global claims $2 billion in yearly revenue, databases that track consumers' purchases and contact information, and 42,000 workers at 120 call centers in the United States, the Philippines, India, Canada, Barbados, and Panama.
NEWS
July 12, 2013
I HAD A "DIE HARD" moment when I saw that the Federal Trade Commission had slammed a debt collector for various infractions, including trying to collect money that people didn't owe. When Bruce Willis is after a bad guy and he says "Yippee-ki-yay," you want to pump your fist and cheer because justice is being served. That's my reaction to the announcement from the FTC that it has levied a $3.2 million civil penalty against Expert Global Solutions - which the agency says is the largest debt collector in the world - and its subsidiaries.
BUSINESS
October 3, 2012 | By Jeff Gelles, Inquirer Staff Writer
American Express will pay more than $112 million in refunds and civil penalties to settle allegations that it deceived customers and violated laws governing debt collection, late fees, and other lending practices. About 250,000 cardholders will receive an average of $340 each under the agreement announced Monday by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau and the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. The CFPB said American Express violated consumer-protection laws "at every stage of the consumer experience, from marketing, to enrollment, to payment, to debt collection.
NEWS
August 22, 2011 | By Maryclaire Dale, Associated Press
A Carlisle, Pa., lawyer blamed an addiction to video games for the sloppy legal work that has resulted in a three-year suspension. Mathew Eshelman, 43, retreated into the world of video games to fight job stress and problems at home, a state disciplinary panel concluded last week. The habit got Eshelman fired from a firm in 2007, but little changed when he set up a solo practice. "When attempting to conduct his own law practice, he sought refuge from his problems by playing video and computer games with an even greater intensity.
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