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Abraham Lincoln and Ulysses S.Grant: Bill Collectors!
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Consumer Video Tips on Debt Collection
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Consumer Video Tips on Debt Collection

 
 
 
 
 
Do you have a consumer question for BCA?

Full name:
Email address:
Comments:
 

 

 

This is from the Federal Trade Commission:

Apparently the only true "Free Credit Report" type site they endorse is

ANNUALCREDITREPORT.COM 

 

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Be careful with debt now that the economy is getting better.
 
 
 
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Click here for "6 Things Debt Collectors Wish You Knew"

The above blog entry is from an excellent site called "Credit.com" Try it. Much we can all learn. 
 
 
 
 

Click here for the latest Federal CFPB (Consumer Financial Protection Bureau)recommendations in communicating with a collection agency.

May 17, 2012

Kevin Yu
Co-founder, SpringCoin
Dealing With Debt Collectors: Be Their Friends
Posted: 05/16/2012 3:08 pm

It's frustrating when you're receiving multiple phone calls a day from debt collection agencies. It doesn't have to be that way. Debt collection agencies are used to being yelled and cursed at, so why not take the opposite approach and try to be their friends?

Most people will try to hide from debt collection agencies but that may only escalate the situation. If they can't get a hold of you to make arrangements, their only other option might be to take your file straight into their legal department. Here are some tips on how you can get the best arrangements with your collection agency:
Be Honest
Unless you don't own the debt (in which case you should send a debt validation letter), be open and honest when you're speaking with them. Simply let them know the reason you fell behind and explain that you don't have enough funds to pay down the debt. In the event that some of the debt collectors are a little more aggressive, let them know they can follow up the following week to see if circumstances have changed. This opens the gate of communication between you and the debt collector, and it shows that you have every intention to pay it back instead of hiding from them.
Be Nice
Look, I know being a debt collector isn't the most glamorous job, but it's still a job! Don't take it personally -- they still have to put a roof over their heads and food on the table just like you. When you're yelling at the debt collector, it doesn't show any forward progress. Debt collectors spend most of their days with angry customers and people hanging up on them. Keep in mind that most debt collectors work on commission, so the more money they're able to collect, the fatter their paycheck! If you were in their shoes, would you rather help someone who's screaming or being calm with you? Easy decision!
Ask and You Might Receive
Typically during the conversation of the phone call, a debt collector will ask you how much you're able to pay them today. If you're struggling to make the full payment, my advice would be to arrange a settlement with them. A settlement is when you pay less than the full balance, and the payment will be considered as payment in full. Start low -- it doesn't hurt to ask for a 20 percent settlement, but of course this depends on each collection agency. What if you're able to arrange an awesome settlement but simply don't have the funds? In this case, you can ask them spread the payments over 3-6 months!
We should all remember the debt collectors are human too. Although we hear crazy stories around the web about debt collectors rushing into a burning home to seize assets for unpaid debt, it's not that common. Debt collectors are in the business to work out an arrangement with you so it's mutually beneficial. If you get on their good side, it works out for the best for both parties.

 

What to do when you receive a collection notice.

Nearly everyone we collect from intends to keep their payment promises when they purchase an item or service. 

GET EDUCATED! ACA International has valuable information  Called Dr. Debt - HERE

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"Doctor Debt" From the American Collectors Association (ACA International) 

They sincerely wish to pay their bill, but for a variety of reasons they are unable to do so. Working with a collection agency need not be an unpleasant experience. Assistance from collection specialists, plus determination and self-control has brought many people out of serious financial situations.

After being contacted by our office, following these three suggestions may help you pay your debt.

Don’t Get Angry:

Your account came to us from someone who values your business. However, just as you depend on an income to pay for groceries, rent and other necessities, those who extend credit must have payment for their goods and services in order to pay their bills and remain in business.

Now, your account is past due. It is time to find a solution.

Contact Us


If you believe you do not owe this bill or have questions about this bill please let us know in writing.

This will allow us to provide a response to the issues you raise. If you do owe the bill, let us know when payment can be expected, and if you are unable to pay it in full, tell us why. Whatever the reasons were for your past payment problems, to get this matter resolved you should contact us.

Please read any notices or letters that we send to you carefully.
They contain important information about your rights.

Let Us Help


BCA Financial Services - Resolving Collection Problems Since 1968

Latest News for Consumers 11/4/13. Read it below. 

New From Our National Association, ACA International: "Important Tips for Consumers to Identify Legitimate Debt Collection Activity"

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A fine article about the unintended consequences of the "cease and desist" letter.  

 

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The Federal Trade Comission (FTC), the government agency that enforces the laws that the US Congress puts in place to help consumers (and regulates collection agencies), has a website to help. It's called "Money Matters" and gives tips not just for people in collection, but if a person wants to get control of their bills. CLICK HERE too go to the site.
This from their site:

It’s become an all-too-familiar headline – lay-offs and furloughs, falling housing prices and rising consumer debt, declining retail sales and increasing costs of living.

Money – and the lack of it – is a source of stress and frustration. And while people the world over are working to stem the global financial situation we’re in, folks at home are trying to gain some control over their own financial situations, too. Practicing positive, tried and true money management techniques – and learning how to recognize and avoid some “ripped from the headlines” consumer scams and rip-offs – can help you weather tough economic times.

The Federal Trade Commission (FTC), the nation’s consumer protection agency, created this website to help you tackle some money issues head-on. Use the menu to the right to find tips and resources on money matters.

LISTEN TO THIS MESSAGE FROM THE FTC:


 
If someone wanted a new level of expensive US Government bureaucracy,
wait till you see the 800 page Consumer Financial Protection Bureau Manual.
Download it below... 

Download the new Consumer Financial Protection Bureau Manual

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 the jump.

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.
2. 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.
6. 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.
10. 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.

Request 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.

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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.

Section 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.

Section 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.