Debt Collector NCO Financial Systems will pay $1.5 million and change some of its collection practices to end an investigation by 19 states, including Ohio.  That is according to an article today in the Cleveland Plain Dealer, by its Consumer Affairs Reporter, Sheryl Harris.  The article reports that consumers in various states may be eligible for refunds if they had paid NCO for a third party debt they did not owe, or if they were charged interest on a debt that was not permitted by law or the original contract.  NCO also agreed to change some of its collection practices.

This is yet another reminder that debt collectors can be very aggressive — and sometimes too aggressive — in attempting to collect debts.  Debt collectors are subject to various fair debt collection and credit reporting laws.  This recent settlement shows once again that debt collectors sometimes fail to abide by the applicable requirements.

You can pretty much count on a creditor using all lawfully permitted means to attempt to collect a debt from you.  You should likewise take advantage of available laws to protect your assets to the greatest extent that you are able to do so.