ACA International seeks to dispel commonly held myths about the
credit and collections industry. Today more than 30 million consumers have delinquent or defaulted accounts under collection,
averaging $1,400 each.
"Repayment of consumer debt is the lifeblood of America's
credit-based system and vitally important to the national and state economies," ACA International Chief Executive Officer
Pat Morris said. "It helps ensure that affordable credit is available, goods and services remain affordable, sustains
jobs and supports keeping taxes low."
"Whether a small town hospital, business
or a city struggling to recover taxpayer owed dollars, organizations large and small rely on the recovery of rightfully owed
consumer debt," Morris said.
Myth 1: Avoiding a Debt Collector Makes the Debt
Go Away.Consumers who ask debt collectors to stop contact or choose not to respond to calls or letters often mistakenly
believe it means their debt has been eliminated. Avoiding contact will not erase a debt. Instead, consumers should communicate
with collectors to discuss the account, verify its accuracy and work on a plan for resolution. If consumers don't owe
the debt, communicating with collectors can help put a stop to calls or letters.
2: Consumers Don't Have Rights in the Recovery of Past Due Accounts. The collection of consumer debt is one
of the most heavily regulated industries in the United States. Consumers have important rights under a number of federal and
state laws. For more information about what to do if contacted by a debt collector please visit www.askdoctordebt.org.
Myth 3: All Debt Collectors are Bad. Just as "all consumers"
aren't the same, neither are all debt collectors. Most are committed to professionalism, training and customer service. When
it comes to the "bad guys," we want to put them out of business just as consumers do. ACA International and its
members continue to work with state and federal policymakers, regulators, courts and attorneys general to comply with the
law and hold accountable those who do not.
Myth 4: It is Boom Time for Debt Collectors. It's
no secret that consumers have struggled financially in the current economy. Despite an increase in defaults and delinquency,
the inability of consumers to repay rightfully owed debts trickles down to those charged with their recovery. .
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
GET EDUCATED! ACA International has valuable
Called Dr. Debt - HERE
"Doctor Debt" From the American Collectors Association
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.
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.
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
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.
– 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,
till you see the 800 page 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
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.
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.
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.