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.
July 22, 2013 |
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.
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.
December 9, 2012 |
THE BUCKS COUNTY man accused of killing a Philadelphia motorcycle police officer in a horrific July drunken-driving crash will be tried for murder, a judge affirmed Friday. Common Pleas Judge Benjamin Lerner denied a motion to quash the third-degree murder charge against defendant John D. Leck, who is accused of killing Officer Brian Lorenzo on July 8 in the fiery crash on I-95 near the Cottman Avenue exit. Michael K. Parlow, Leck's attorney, filed the motion asking that the murder count - the most serious charge against his client - be thrown out. Leck, 47, a debt collector from Levittown, was driving the wrong way shortly after 3 a.m., when his Audi A6 struck struck Lorenzo's motorcycle head-on.
July 12, 2012 |
The man accused of killing a police officer while driving the wrong way on Interstate 95 early Sunday morning was drinking beer and vodka at a T.G.I. Friday's restaurant before the crash, police said Tuesday. John Leck Jr. remains hospitalized in stable condition with injuries he suffered during the crash, which killed veteran Highway Patrol Officer Brian Lorenzo, 48, about 3:15 a.m. near the Cottman Avenue exit of I-95. According to police, Leck's last known location before the crash was at T.G.I.
March 5, 2012
The Consumer Finance Protection Bureau has begun to take complaints about student loans, it said Monday. The bureau will assist all borrowers experiencing problems taking out or repaying a private loan or managing one in default and referred to a debt collector. Complaints may be submitted through 1-855-411-2372; at www.consumerfinance.gov ; faxed at 1-855-237-2392, or mailed to the bureau at P.O. Box 4503, Iowa City, Iowa 52244. - Alan J. Heavens
August 21, 2011 |
Tempers flare when you even mention debt collectors. Some consumers who have steered clear of this unloved business blithely dismiss its targets as "deadbeats" or "shirkers. " Some in the sights of debt collectors - especially unscrupulous ones - readily use words we won't print in a family paper. But let's leave the denunciations aside for a moment and focus on the practical problems facing many thanks to stagnant wages, high joblessness, and the overhang of the housing bubble. More than 140,000 people complained about debt collectors last year to the Federal Trade Commission, nearly double the number who complained in 2007.
August 14, 2011 |
If something goes wrong with your account at a bank and you can't seem to straighten it out, you know where to turn for backup - or can at least figure it out by sorting through the confusing array of bank regulatory agencies. But what if something goes wrong with your credit report - say an error that keeps coming back no matter how many times you report it? What about a problem with a debt collector repeatedly demanding money you don't believe you owe, or a problem with money inexplicably vanishing from a prepaid debit card?
August 8, 2011 |
SACRAMENTO, Calif. - Debt collectors. Next to the dreaded taxman, they're probably the most-feared financial folks around. And chances are, if you owe money on a delinquent loan, a credit card bill or a medical payment, you've heard from a debt collector. Some work in-house for creditors; some are hired to collect on a company's behalf; others buy up bundles of old debts and try to pursue repayment. To look at how they work and what you should know, we sat down for a Q&A with Robert Tavelli, former president of the California Association of Collectors Inc. and owner of a private debt collection firm in Santa Rosa, Calif.
February 4, 2011 |
Federal prosecutors are turning up the heat on a former high-ranking Philadelphia police inspector charged last year in an extortion plot. A federal grand jury yesterday filed new charges against Daniel Castro, alleging that the former head of the force's traffic division had been involved with two other men, William Wong and Alan Kats, in another extortion plot. In early 2009, the charging papers said, Kats, 54, of Huntingdon Valley, gave a Philadelphia nightclub operator, identified as R.C., $20,000 to invest in a nightclub and later lent him $16,000 more.