If you've ever been harassed by a debt collector, deserved or not, Texas AG Greg Abbott has just stood up for you (As Joe Biden might put it, since Abbott's in a wheelchair).
Abbott's office announced a settlement this morning against NCO Financial Systems, one of the world's biggest debt-collection agencies, for stuff they've done to Texans.
"According to investigators," the AGs office said, "NCO Financial Systems representatives made harassing and sometimes profanity-laden telephone calls to Texans, some of whom had never incurred the debt at all. NCO Financial Systems also improperly claimed that certain individuals owed debts when, in fact, the actual debtors had different middle initials or Social Security numbers."
NCO agreed to spend $300,000 over the next three years "to monitor its collection practices so that it complies with protections offered to consumers by the Texas Debt Collection Act," Abbott announced.
It will also pay $150,000 in restitution "to compensate Texans harmed by its unlawful acts," $150,000 in attorney's fees to the AGs office, and $100,000 to the state's general fund for violating the Texas Deceptive Trade Practices Act.
We can only hope that even before the money is due, the AGs office starts calling NCO execs at home at dinner time, telling whatever little kid that answers the phone that Daddy is going to jail because he's a bad, bad man who doesn't pay what he owes.
-- Richard Connelly