Expensive and unexpected medical bills combined with relentless debt collectors often leads to unfair collection practices. According to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB), improper practices were employed by Syndicated Office Systems, LLC – also doing business as Central Financial Control. They apparently affected the credit scores of thousands of individuals and caused consumers distress and confusion through a series of improper collection practices.
Syndicated Office Systems, who primarily collects medical debt on behalf of hospitals, doctors, and other healthcare providers, must pay $5.4 million in relief to consumers for allegedly mishandling credit reporting disputes and preventing individuals from exercising their debt collection rights.
The company had initially made collection efforts through letters and telephone calls to consumers, the CFPB’s complaint states. Within five days of their initial communication, debt collectors are generally required to send debt validation notices to notify consumers of their right to request proof that a debt is valid or dispute the debt, under the Fair Credit Reporting Act. The complaint also stated that they failed to provide consumers with a “debt validation notice” within five days of its initial communication with the consumer, in connection with the collection of a debt.
According to CFPB, the company failed to respond within 30 days to consumer disputes about the inflation furnished to consumer reporting agencies. The investigation revealed that Syndicated Office Systems had not sent these validation notices to nearly 10,000 consumers. Despite this, the company had collected over $2 million from consumers.
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