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Vermont Attorney General Announces Multi-State Settlement With Debt Collector NCO Financial Systems

CONTACT: Kate Whelley McCabe, Assistant Attorney General, (802) 828-5507

February 8, 2012

Debt collector NCO Financial Systems, Inc. (NCOF) has agreed to change certain collections practices as part of a settlement announced today by Attorney General William H. Sorrell and 18 other states. As a result of the settlement, Vermont consumers are entitled to a total of $50,000 if they fell victim to any of the following illegal practices: (1) NCOF collected on debts that they did not owe; (2) NCOF charged greater interest than allowed by original documents or law; or (3) NCOF collected more than the amount NCOF agreed to settle the account for. Any consumer who has been victimized by any of these three practices should file a claim at the Attorney General’s Consumer Assistance Program on the web or by calling 1-800-649-2424.

“Far too many Vermonters are being harassed and harmed by illegal collection practices,” said Attorney General Bill Sorrell. “My office is taking a closer look at companies like NCOF which charge or threaten people into paying more than they owe on their debts.” Consumers who have had problems with debt collection companies can complain to the Consumer Assistance Program.

    In the settlement, NCOF also agrees, among other things, to:

       *    comply with applicable state and federal law;
       *    for debts reported to credit reporting agencies, notify the agencies within 
            30 calendar days of any consumer dispute;
       *    provide notice to consumers about their debt collection rights under federal 
            and state law; monitor compliance, including through training employees and
            independent contractors and creating policies and procedures for handling 
            customer complaints; and 
       *    submit compliance reports to Vermont, and 18 other involved states every 6 
            months for 18 months.

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