Centurion IV provides high level Receivables Management services for a broad spectrum of clientele, principally in the recovery of outstanding accounts receivables, representing both major and local institutions alike. Our ensuing growth and the combined enduring success of our partners over the last two decades have meshed together to create lasting client relationships and provide best-in-class representation.We are committed to revolutionizing the industry through compliance, customer service, client satisfaction, and strategic planning.It is our desire to provide the best experience possible for all that do business with Centurion IV.
The Federal Trade Commission is the primary federal regulator of collection agencies. The Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (F.D.C.P.A.)was enacted 1978 to stop abusive and deceptive collection practices. This public law has serves as a guideline to debt collectors. Many States have laws regulating debt collection, to which Third Party agencies must adhere.
The Fair Debt Collection Practices Act is the primary federal law governing debt collection practices. The F.D.C.P.A. allows aggrieved consumers to file private lawsuits against a collection agency that violates the Act. Alternately, the Federal Trade or the State Attorney General may take action against non compliance; including issuing fines, ordering damages, restricting its operations or even closing it down. Recently some cases have asserted damages directly to the Collection Professional.
The F.D.C.P.A. specifies that if a state law is more restrictive than the federal law, the state law will supersede the federal portion of the act. Thus, the more restrictive state laws will apply to any agency that is located in that state or makes calls to Consumers inside such a state.
The following is brief summary of some of the different sections of the F.D.C.P.A. The full version can be viewed here. Additionally the supervising attorney will review F.D.C.P.A in its entirety and you will be required to pass a written exam.
ØA basic rule of thumb is “treat others as you would want to be treated” and always remember a Collection Professional can be held personally liable for their actions.
ØALWAYS use common sense when dealing with a Consumers
ACQUISITION OF LOCATION INFORMATION
Any debt collector communicating with any person other than the consumer for the purpose of acquiring location information about the consumer shall –
(1) identify himself, state that he is confirming or correcting location information concerning the consumer, and, only if expressly requested, identify his employer;
(2) Not state that such consumer owes any debt;
(3) not communicate with any such person more than once unless requested to do so by such person or unless the debt collector reasonably believes that the earlier response of such person is erroneous or incomplete and that such person now has correct or complete location information;
(4) Not communicate by post card;
(5) not use any language or symbol on any envelope or in the contents of any communication effected by the mails or telegram that indicates that the debt collector is in the debt collection business or that the communication relates to the collection of a debt; and
(6) After the debt collector knows the consumer is represented by an attorney with regard to the subject debt and has knowledge of, or can readily ascertain, such attorney's name and address, not communicate with any person other than that attorney, unless the attorney fails to respond within a reasonable period of time to the communication from the debt collector.
COMMUNICATION IN CONNECTION WITH DEBT COLLECTION
(1) COMMUNICATION WITH THE CONSUMER GENERALLY. Without the prior consent of the consumer given directly to the debt collector or the express permission of a court of competent jurisdiction, a debt collector may not communicate with a consumer in connection with the collection of any debt –
(a) At any unusual time or place or a time or place known or which should be known to be inconvenient to the consumer. In the absence of knowledge of circumstances to the contrary, a debt collector shall assume that the convenient time for communicating with a consumer is after 8 o'clock antemeridian and before 9 o'clock postmeridian, local time at the consumer's location;
(b) if the debt collector knows the consumer is represented by an attorney with respect to such debt and has knowledge of, or can readily ascertain, such attorney's name and address, unless the attorney fails to respond within a reasonable period of time to a communication from the debt collector or unless the attorney consents to direct communication with the consumer; or
(c) At the consumer's place of employment if the debt collector knows or has reason to know that the consumer's employer prohibits the consumer from receiving such communication.
(2) COMMUNICATION WITH THIRD PARTIES. Except as provided in section 804, without the prior consent of the consumer given directly to the debt collector, or the express permission of a court of competent jurisdiction, or as reasonably necessary to effectuate a post judgment judicial remedy, a debt collector may not communicate, in connection with the collection of any debt, with any person other than a consumer, his attorney, a consumer reporting agency if otherwise permitted by law, the creditor, the attorney of the creditor, or the attorney of the debt collector.
(3) CEASING COMMUNICATION. If a consumer notifies a debt collector in writing that the consumer refuses to pay a debt or that the consumer wishes the debt collector to cease further communication with the consumer, the debt collector shall not communicate further with the consumer with respect to such debt, except –
(a) to advise the consumer that the debt collector's further efforts are being terminated;
(b) to notify the consumer that the debt collector or creditor may invoke specified remedies which are ordinarily invoked by such debt collector or creditor; or
(c) where applicable, to notify the consumer that the debt collector or creditor intends to invoke a specified remedy.
If such notice from the consumer is made by mail, notification shall be complete upon receipt.
(d) For the purpose of this section, the term "consumer" includes the consumer's spouse, parent (if the consumer is a minor), guardian, executor, or administrator.
HARASSMENT OR ABUSE
A debt collector may not engage in any conduct the natural consequence of which is to harass, oppress, or abuse any person in connection with the collection of a debt. Without limiting the general application of the foregoing, the following conduct is a violation of this section:
(1) The use or threat of use of violence or other criminal means to harm the physical person, reputation, or property of any person.
(2) The use of obscene or profane language or language the natural consequence of which is to abuse the hearer or reader.
(3) The publication of a list of consumers who allegedly refuse to pay debts, except to a consumer reporting agency or to persons meeting the requirements of section 603(f) or 604(3)1 of this Act.
(4) The advertisement for sale of any debt to coerce payment of the debt.
(5) Causing a telephone to ring or engaging any person in telephone conversation repeatedly or continuously with intent to annoy, abuse, or harass any person at the called number.
(6) Except as provided in section 804, the placement of telephone calls without meaningful disclosure of the caller's identity.
False or misleading representations
A debt collector may not use any false, deceptive, or misleading representation or means in connection with the collection of any debt. Without limiting the general application of the foregoing, the following conduct is a violation of this section:
(1) The false representation or implication that the debt collector is vouched for, bonded by, or affiliated with the United States or any State, including the use of any badge, uniform, or facsimile thereof.
(2) The false representation of –
(a) the character, amount, or legal status of any debt; or
(b) any services rendered or compensation which may be lawfully received by any debt collector for the collection of a debt.
(3) The false representation or implication that any individual is an attorney or that any communication is from an attorney.
(4) The representation or implication that nonpayment of any debt will result in the arrest or imprisonment of any person or the seizure, garnishment, attachment, or sale of any property or wages of any person unless such action is lawful and the debt collector or creditor intends to take such action.
(5) The threat to take any action that cannot legally be taken or that is not intended to be taken.
(6) The false representation or implication that a sale, referral, or other transfer of any interest in a debt shall cause the consumer to –
(a) lose any claim or defense to payment of the debt; or
(b) become subject to any practice prohibited by this title.
(7) The false representation or implication that the consumer committed any crime or other conduct in order to disgrace the consumer.
(8) Communicating or threatening to communicate to any person credit information which is known or which should be known to be false, including the failure to communicate that a disputed debt is disputed.
(9) The use or distribution of any written communication which simulates or is falsely represented to be a document authorized, issued, or approved by any court, official, or agency of the United States or any State, or which creates a false impression as to its source, authorization, or approval.
(10) The use of any false representation or deceptive means to collect or attempt to collect any debt or to obtain information concerning a consumer.
(11) The failure to disclose in the initial written communication with the consumer and, in addition, if the initial communication with the consumer is oral, in that initial oral communication, that the debt collector is attempting to collect a debt and that any information obtained will be used for that purpose, and the failure to disclose in subsequent communications that the communication is from a debt collector, except that this paragraph shall not apply to a formal pleading made in connection with a legal action.
(12) The false representation or implication that accounts have been turned over to innocent purchasers for value.
(13) The false representation or implication that documents are legal process.
(14) The use of any business, company, or organization name other than the true name of the debt collector's business, company, or organization.
(15) The false representation or implication that documents are not legal process forms or do not require action by the consumer
(16) The false representation or implication that a debt collector operates or is employed by a consumer reporting agency as defined by section 603(f) of this Act.
A debt collector may not use unfair or unconscionable means to collect or attempt to collect any debt. Without limiting the general application of the foregoing, the following conduct is a violation of this section:
(1) The collection of any amount (including any interest, fee, charge, or expense incidental to the principal obligation) unless such amount is expressly authorized by the agreement creating the debt or permitted by law.
(2) The acceptance by a debt collector from any person of a check or other payment instrument postdated by more than five days unless such person is notified in writing of the debt collector's intent to deposit such check or instrument not more than ten nor less than three business days prior to such deposit.
(3) The solicitation by a debt collector of any postdated check or other postdated payment instrument for the purpose of threatening or instituting criminal prosecution.
(4) Depositing or threatening to deposit any postdated check or other postdated payment instrument prior to the date on such check or instrument.
(5) Causing charges to be made to any person for communications by concealment of the true propose of the communication. Such charges include, but are not limited to, collect telephone calls and telegram fees.
(6) Taking or threatening to take any non-judicial action to effect dispossession or disablement of property if
(a) There is no present right to possession of the property claimed as collateral through an enforceable security interest;
(b) There is no present intention to take possession of the property; or
(c) The property is exempt by law from such dispossession or disablement.
(7) Communicating with a consumer regarding a debt by post card.
(8) Using any language or symbol, other than the debt collector's address, on any envelope when communicating with a consumer by use of the mails or by telegram, except that a debt collector may use his business name if such name does not indicate that he is in the debt collection business.
VALIDATION OF DEBTS
Within five days after the initial communication with a consumer in connection with the collection of any debt, a debt collector shall, unless the following information is contained in the initial communication or the consumer has paid the debt, send the consumer a written notice containing –
(1) The amount of the debt;
(2) The name of the creditor to whom the debt is owed;
(3) a statement that unless the consumer, within thirty days after receipt of the notice, disputes the validity of the debt, or any portion thereof, the debt will be assumed to be valid by the debt collector;
(4) a statement that if the consumer notifies the debt collector in writing within the thirty-day period that the debt, or any portion thereof, is disputed, the debt collector will obtain verification of the debt or a copy of a judgment against the consumer and a copy of such verification or judgment will be mailed to the consumer by the debt collector; and
(5) a statement that, upon the consumer's written request within the thirty-day period, the debt collector will provide the consumer with the name and address of the original creditor, if different from the current creditor.
(6) If the consumer notifies the debt collector in writing within the thirty-day period described in subsection (a) that the debt, or any portion thereof, is disputed, or that the consumer requests the name and address of the original creditor, the debt collector shall cease collection of the debt, or any disputed portion thereof, until the debt collector obtains verification of the debt or any copy of a judgment, or the name and address of the original creditor, and a copy of such verification or judgment, or name and address of the original creditor, is mailed to the consumer by the debt collector.
(7) The failure of a consumer to dispute the validity of a debt under this section may not be construed by any court as an admission of liability by the consumer.
Contact with Consumers
The following practices with regards to Consumer contact is prohibited by DBG and the Law Firm
Never threaten the Consumer with any action that we do not intend on taking. Ex., wage garnishmentin a non-garnishing state, arrest, lose of personal/real property
Never use of violence or any other physical harm
Never use language or language which may abuse or offend the Consumer
Never discuss or reveal any information about the Consumer’s account or where you are calling fromto an unauthorized third party under any circumstances. This includes parents or relatives who say they handle the Consumer’s affairs. You must always have direct permission from the Consumer.
Never call the Consumer before 8:00am or after 9:00pm in the Consumer’s local time zone.
Never insult or make derogatory remarks to a Consumer even if they are verbally abusive to you. Simply get a supervisor or bid them good day and terminate the call.
Never refuse the Consumer a supervisor or manager if they demand to speak with one.
Never call the Consumer back if they hang up the phone.
Never assume you are speaking with the Consumer until you have verified the correct party (social, address, etc...)
If the Consumer claims he/she is filing for bankruptcy you must request all available bankruptcy information, put it in notes and in the bankruptcy field.
If the Consumer claims he/she is represented by an attorney you must request the name, address, and phone number of the attorney, document the account notes, and place the information in the Attorney window. Place all “7’s” in the Consumer’s telephone fields.
If the Consumer claims full or partial dispute the Consumer must put the dispute in writing and get it to us. In the event there is a partial dispute dun for the undisputed portion
Always advise the Consumer of when and where you will be making the follow up call. This will help you reduce Consumer stalls and avoid potential F.D.C.P.A. violations.
Never contact the Consumer at his/her place of employment, if there is reason to believe the employer does not permit contact or the Consumer requests no contact to be made.
Never go nearby to leave a message to the Consumer if you have verified the Consumer’s telephone number. This includes verifications from third parties, which know the Consumer but claim that the Consumer does not live there, as well as those who do not know the Consumer but do live at the address we show.