New York City Mayor Bloomberg's office gave out this handy guide of the top 10 things
New Yorkers should know about debt collectors. For instance, they can't claim to represent a government agency, threaten to
take your money or have you evicted, and they can't call you late at night or more than twice in one week; all tips are after
TOP 10 THINGS TO KNOW ABOUT DEBT COLLECTION IN NEW YORK CITY
1. A debt collection agency cannot claim to represent a government agency. Debt collectors cannot
make false claims that they are marshals, sheriffs or a District Attorney’s Office representative. They cannot threaten
to arrest a consumer, report a consumer to immigration authorities or claim that a consumer has committed a crime.
Debt collectors cannot threaten to have consumers evicted.
3. A debt collection representative cannot threaten to take
your money. Debt collectors cannot threaten to garnish wages, take the money from a consumer’s bank account, or take
personal belongings without first obtaining a judgment against you in court.
4. A debt collection agency cannot threaten
New Yorkers with violence. Debt collectors cannot engage in acts of violence, threats of violence, or obscene language.
5. Debt collectors cannot call too early, too late or too often. In New York City, debt collectors cannot call you before
8 a.m. or after 9 p.m. They also cannot call you more than twice a week if the collector has made contact with you.
Debt collectors cannot lie about the amount owed. A debt collection agency cannot claim the debt owed is greater than it is
or claim a consumer owes the debt when they do not.
7. A debt collection agency must tell you that the statute of limitations
for collecting the debt has expired.
8. A collection agency cannot reveal your debt to anyone but you. It is illegal
for debt collectors to advertise a consumer’s debt or reveal it to anyone, including family members and neighbors.
9. A debt collector cannot contact your employer, family, friends and neighbors. A collector can only contact someone other
than the consumer to locate the consumer. Collectors cannot discuss the alleged debt with anyone other than consumer.
Protect your money. If a debt collection agency is unlicensed, fails to give you information required by law, or unlawfully
threatens or harasses you, call 311 or visit nyc.gov/consumers to file a complaint with the Department of Consumer Affairs.
WHAT TO DO IF A DEBT COLLECTION AGENCY CONTACTS YOU
Check that the debt collection agency is licensed. Debt collection agencies must include their DCA license
number in all letters sent to you. To verify if a debt collection agency is licensed, call 311 (212-NEW-YORK outside NYC)
or search DCA’s Instant License Check, available online at nyc.gov/consumers.
Check that the debt collection agency provided required information. By law, debt collection agencies
must provide the following information in all communications to you the name of the debt collection agency, the name of the
original creditor, the amount of the debt, a call-back number to a phone that is answered by a live person, and the name of
that person. If your call is routed from the agency’s main telephone line, the live person qualified to handle your
questions must answer the call within 60 seconds.
in writing that a debt collector send you proof of the debt as soon as you are contacted by a debt collector. The documentation
provided to you must include proof that you owe the debt from the original creditor and documents that show the total principal
amount you owe and additional charges or fees incurred.
Confirm if you owe the debt by checking your credit report.
Check how old the debt is. If the statute of limitations on the debt is expired,
the collector must disclose this information to you, along with information about your legal rights. The statute of limitations
is the period of time that a creditor or collector can sue you in court to collect the debt.
Please note: BCA Financial Services has always kept up to date with new laws especially the
ones listed above. BCA is registered as a collection agency in NYC. BCA has never, as a rule and in conformance with the Federal FDCPA,
violated the above rules nor have our collectors ever employed such tactics to collect money.
BCA Financial Services complies strictly
with the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act.
Know your rights under this Federal Law. Click Here for the entire law.
BCA Financial Services Policy
and Procedure: Accuracy and Integrity of Consumer Information Reported to Consumer Reporting Agencies
Section 1: Purpose To establish and implement reasonable written policies and procedures regarding
the accuracy and integrity of the information relating to consumers that BCA Financial Services furnishes to consumer reporting
agencies in compliance with 16 C.F.R. Part 660.3. The policies and procedures included enable BCA Financial Services to promote the following objectives: A. To furnish information about consumer accounts to consumer
reporting agencies that is accurate. B.
To furnish information about consumer accounts to consumer reporting agencies that has integrity. The
policies and procedures are created, and will be periodically reviewed and updated, as necessary, based upon consideration
of: A. The business activities in which
BCA Financial Services engages; B.
The nature and frequency of the information BCA Financial Services provides to consumer reporting agencies; C. The technology used by BCA Financial Services to furnish
information to consumer reporting agencies; and D. [OTHER].
Section 2: Scope These policies and
procedures apply to all BCA Financial Services employees, contractors, consultants, temporary workers, service providers,
and any third parties who participate in furnishing information about consumer accounts to consumer reporting agencies.
Section 3: Reporting Information Relating to Consumers with
Accuracy and Integrity BCA Financial Services furnishes information relating to consumers to one or
more consumer reporting agencies for inclusion in a consumer report. BCA Financial Services furnishes information relating to consumers to one consumer reporting agencie
online directly via “Instant Update”, a feature of Experian Credit Bureau. It shall be the policy of BCA Financial Services to report information relating
to consumer to consumer reporting agencies in a reasonable manner such that the information is accurate and has integrity.
Information relating to consumers that
is furnished by BCA Financial Services should: A. Identify the appropriate consumer; B. Reflect the terms of and liability for the relevant account reported; and C. Reflect the consumer’s performance and other conduct with respect
to the account. D. Be substantiated
by records in the possession of BCA Financial Services at the time the information is furnished; E. Be furnished in a form and manner that is designed to minimize the
likelihood the information may be incorrectly reflected in a consumer report; F. Be deleted, updated, or corrected accordingly based upon: i. An investigation of a dispute submitted either directly by a consumer
to BCA Financial Services or received by BCA Financial Services from a consumer reporting agency if the information reported
is inaccurate; ii. The transfer of an account to
a third party; iii. An investigation by BCA Financial
Services concluding the consumer may be a victim of identity theft pursuant to BCA Financial Services’s identity theft
prevention program. iv. Payment of the account by
the consumer. In addition, any information furnished by BCA Financial Services to a
consumer reporting agency will be furnished in a standardized and understandable form, manner, and with a date identifying
the time period to which the information pertains. Consumer
information reported to consumer reporting agencies following mergers, portfolio acquisitions or sales, or other acquisitions
or transfers of accounts, will be reviewed by staff to attempt to prevent re-aging of the information, duplicative reporting,
or other problems that may arise relating to the accuracy and integrity of the furnished information.
Section 4: Record Retention All records relating to the furnishing of information relating to consumers to one or more consumer
reporting agencies for inclusion in a consumer report shall be retained for no less than Three Years, not less than any applicable
recordkeeping requirement as required by federal or state law or other policies and procedures of BCA Financial Services.
Section 5: Period Review and Update These policies and procedures will be reviewed Three Years, or as required.
These policies and procedures will be re-evaluated to determine whether any revisions and updates are required to ensure they
are applicable to maintain effectiveness.
Section 6: Training Staff training shall be conducted
for all employees, officials, contractors, and service providers for whom it is reasonably foreseeable that they may be involved
in the furnishing of information relating to consumers to consumer reporting agencies by BCA Financial Services. Training regarding these policies and procedures shall take place at
least annually, and additional training shall be provided to staff as directed by management.
7: Practices of Contractors and Service Providers BCA Financial Services shall ensure the activities of all service providers and contractors
whose activities may affect the accuracy or integrity of information about consumers furnished to consumer reporting agencies
by BCA Financial Services are conducted in accordance with these policies and procedures.
8: Internal Controls Regarding Accuracy and Integrity of Furnished Information Designated management staff shall periodically review the current standard
procedures used to furnish information about consumers to consumer reporting agencies to ensure information is reported accurately
and with integrity as outlined in these policies and procedures. Management staff shall also perform a periodic review of a randomly selected sample of information provided to
consumer reporting agencies to ensure BCA Financial Services is adhering to these policies and procedures.