[caption id="attachment_2943" align="alignleft" width="160"] If you notice that central financial control accounts have been tagged onto your credit profile then you may have also noticed that your score has taken a nose dive. Don't worry you can fix your situation here.[/caption]
Like most collection companies, Central Financial Control has one main goal: securing repayment on the various defaulted loans they have purchased.
Debt collectors will do just about anything they can get away with in order to achieve this goal, including pressuring you with phone calls and letters, shaming you, humiliating, you, scaring you, and even ruining your credit.
Central Financial Control's parent company, Syndicated Office Systems, was recently involved in a class action lawsuit filed with the district court of Pennsylvania.
The lawsuit, (Orloff versus Syndicated Office Systems DBA Central Financial Control) alleged that Central Financial Control had violated the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act when attempting to collect on consumer debts.
This lawsuit should make you skeptical - if you've been targeted by Central Financial Control, you should be wary of them using unscrupulous tactics against you.
Familiarize yourself with the following provisions of the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act so that you can defend your rights.
- Debt collectors may not call you at unreasonable hours. The law defines reasonable hours as between 8 am and 9pm.
- Debt collectors may not misrepresent themselves. They must identify themselves truthfully when asked, and they may not send any notices designed to mimic the appearance of official legal documents.
- Debt collectors may not discuss your debts with other individuals, such as your friends, family, or employer, or deliberately make such individuals aware that you owe a debt in order to shame or humiliate you in front of others. Debt collectors may not call your place of business looking for you once they've been told not to.
- Debt collectors may not call you for the sole purpose of harassment. If their calls become excessive, you may file a cease and desist order, which will prevent them from contacting you further via phone.
- Debt collectors may not contact you at all during the debt validation period. The debt validation period begins once you have mailed them an official debt validation letter, and ends once they have produced legally acceptable proof that you owe the debt they are trying to collect.
- Debt collectors may not make baseless threats of legal action, such as having your wages garnished, seizing your assets, or placing a lien on your home. While it is possible for debt collectors to gain permission to take these actions, it is not a simple process. If the debt collector phrases it as "pay now or we will seize your assets" this is a scare tactic. A more accurate statement would be "pay now or we will attempt to take you to court, hope to win a credit judgment against you, and then ask for permission to seize your assets." If the debt collector does not have a real intention of taking your to court, plus a real possibility of winning the case, it is illegal for them to threaten legal consequences.
Once you understand what debt collectors can and cannot do under the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act, you can start keeping a detailed log of all your interactions with the debt collection company and its agents. Make sure to take special notice of any questionable actions or violations of the law.
Keeping a log may seem tedious, but it is the most effective way to document a debt collector's actions.
Besides harassing you by phone, debt collection companies like Central Financial Control can also get to you through your credit report. Ruining your credit is a very common tactic, and most people who have had trouble with debt collectors have also had trouble with their credit score as a result.
If you do not pay the debt collector, they have the right to report this information to the credit bureaus. The information will appear as a charge off or a collection item.
If they take you to court and win, they can also have a credit judgment or civil judgment placed on your record. Any one of these negative credit items can lower your score by 100 points. So the more debts you have, the more collection items you may get and the worse your credit may become.