Northwest Collectors Inc or NCI is a debt collection agency, which receives a lot of consumer complaints to our law firm for debt harassment. Find out who they are, why they might be calling, and how you can stop them.
Northwest Collectors, Inc. (NCI) is a third-party collection agency based in Illinois. NCI has received consumer complaints alleging violations of the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA), such as failing to provide written verification of debts and talking about delinquent debts with someone other than the consumer. If NCI has contacted you about past due financial obligations, make sure you know your rights before you take action.
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Is Northwest Collectors a scam?
They’re legit. According to the Better Business Bureau (BBB), Northwest Collectors, Inc. was founded in 1970. The BBB established a profile page for NCI in 1990. The BBB lists NCI as a collection agency. Buzzfile estimates NCI’s annual revenue at $2.2 million and the size of its headquarters staff at 8 employees.
NCI does not maintain a publicly accessible website. The web address for NCI is www.nwcollectors.com, but this URL redirects to a third-party payment portal located at epaymyaccount.callipay.com/payment.aspx?ID2=143. Site visitors to this page see the statement, “Welcome to Northwest Collectors credit card and check processing website.” This page also provides a mailing address and phone numbers for site visitors with questions about their account. In addition, the page includes a mini-Miranda identifying NCI as a bill collector.
The LinkedIn social media network hosts a profile page for Northwest Collectors, Inc. NCI’s LinkedIn profile states that NCI is a privately held company with 11 to 50 employees in the financial services industry. In addition, NCI states that it is a full-service receivables management company and debt collector.
Who does Northwest Collectors collect for?
Northwest Collectors collects delinquent accounts for a variety of businesses and industries, including medical service providers; municipal government agencies; consumer retail lenders; utility service providers; and education lenders.
The Yelp online business directory also hosts a profile page for Northwest Collectors, Inc. The unclaimed listing includes contact and location information but no detailed information about NCI’s business practices. There are also 5 customer reviews of NCI.
Who are we? We are Lemberg Law, a Consumer Law Firm
Lemberg Law is a consumer law firm helping victims of collection harassment and abuse. We are ranked A+ by the BBB. We’ve helped more than 15,000 consumers stop harassment and recover money from debt collectors. Harassed? Abused? Misled by a collector? Call our Helpline today! There is no charge unless we win.
How many Complaints are there against Northwest Collectors?
As of September 2019, the BBB has closed 12 complaints against Northwest Collectors, Inc in the preceding 3 years, with 3 complaints closed in the previous 12 months. All of those complaints cited problems with billing and collections. As of October 2013, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) has closed 55 complaints involving NCI. Justia lists at least 6 cases of civil litigation involving NCI.
Northwest Collectors, Inc. 3601 Algonquin Rd., Ste. 232 Rolling Meadows, IL 60008-3143 Telephone: (847) 255-8300
Can Northwest Collectors Sue Me or Garnish My Wages?
It is illegal for a debt collector to make empty threats to sue you or garnish your wages. It is also unlikely NCI would sue you for a debt you may not owe or they cannot validate. However, debt collection agencies are known to have summoned debtors to court and garnish wages after a default judgement. Contacting an attorney BEFORE this could possibly happen would be a smart move. We’ve helped thousands of consumers fight back against unscrupulous debt collection harassers. Find out if we can help you too today!
In December 2018, in United States District Court for the Northern District of Illinois, Eastern Division, a judge issued an Opinion and Order in a case alleging Northwest Collectors had violated certain provisions of the FDCPA that prohibit using false and misleading information in an effort to collect a debt. In this case, NCI had sent a collection letter to the plaintiff regarding an alleged debt. The “collection letter contained information such as the amount due, the account number, and the client number. The letter also stated, in part, ‘WE ARE REPORTING MEMBERS OF NATIONAL CREDIT BUREAUS.’” In addition, the letter stated, “‘IT IS OUR INTENT TO INVESTIGATE ALL AVENUES AVAILABLE TO US IN ORDER TO RECOVER THE MONIES DUE TO OUR CLIENT.’” Finally, at the time the letter was sent, “no attorney had reviewed the circumstances of the plaintiff’s account,” nor “does NCI employ any attorneys that review customer accounts.” As a result, the plaintiff alleged that Northwest Collectors’ letter violated Section 1692e(16) of the FDCPA “by purporting to operate or be employed by a consumer reporting agency.” In addition, he alleged that the letter “made a false statement when it improperly threatened legal action,” which is a violation of Sections 1692e, 1692e(5), and 1692e(10).
Attorneys for NCI argued first that “not even an unsophisticated consumer would construe the collection letter as implying that NCI operates or is employed by a credit reporting agency.” They stated further that “the statement that NCI is a ‘reporting member’ of a national credit bureau would not be misleading …because when the letter is read as a whole it is clear that Northwest Collectors is only a debt collector.” NCI also argued that “the statement in the collection letter that it intends to ‘investigate all avenues available’ is not a false or misleading threat of litigation in violation” of the FDCPA. Specifically, the section cited by the plaintiff prohibits collection agencies from making a “threat to take any action that cannot legally be taken or that is not intended to be taken,” and from using any “false representation or deceptive means to collect or attempt to collect any debt.” NCI insisted that their statement that they intended to pursue all available avenues to recover the past due amount did not violate these provisions.
The court did not find Northwest Collectors’ first argument convincing. Although NCI’s letter “suggests… that it is a debt collection agency, their statement that it is a ‘reporting member’ of national credit bureaus could reasonably imply that it operates as or is employed by a credit reporting agency.” Because this statement “may… constitute a false or misleading statement,” the plaintiff was judged to have “sufficiently alleged facts that plausibly constitute a violation of” Section 1692e(16). As for NCI’s second argument, the court found that in order for the letter to have violated the remaining sections of the FDCPA, it would have had to “communicate that ‘a lawsuit is not merely a possibility, but that a decision to pursue legal action is either imminent or has already been made.’” The court agreed with NCI that the second part of the statement did not violate the FDCPA.
Regardless, although the plaintiff had only prevailed in one of his arguments, he was allowed to continue with his complaint because he had shown clearly that NCI had violated at least one provision of the FDCPA.
Northwest Collectors Calling You?
Federal laws protect you. The Fair Debt Collections Practices Act (FDCPA) regulates the behavior of collection agencies by prohibiting actions such as the use of abusive or threatening language; harassment; or the use of false or misleading information to collect a debt. The FCRA regulates how collection agencies and creditors report delinquent debts to credit reporting agencies. Additional consumer protection laws include the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA) and the Consumer Financial Protection Act (CFPA).
Can I sue NCI for harassment?
Yes. If you want to enforce your rights, or recover money for violations — you need to sue. Federal laws provide individuals like you with a means to seek monetary damages in court. For example, the FDCPA allows consumers who have been violated to recover damages of up to $1,000, plus attorney fees and court costs.
“I used to get up to 15 calls a week from several collection agencies. It got so bad I felt like I should just get a new phone number to make it quit. Happily, I discovered Lemberg Law. They immediately put an end to the calls. Now, when my phone rings I do not dread it.”
“I would recommend your company to anyone. You have the debt collectors off my back, and I will finally see the light at the end of the tunnel. Throughout the entire procedure your employees were courteous and professional. I was blown away by their efficacy also.
“Prior to contacting you, we had tried repeatedly to handle this matter without threatening litigation. In the end, not only were they unapologetic, but they were dismissive – even of an attorney friend who called on our behalf. Sincerest thanks for resolving this matter for us!”
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About the Author:
Sergei Lemberg is a lawyer whose practice focuses on consumer law, class actions and personal injury litigation. He has been repeatedly recognized as the “most active consumer attorney” in the country. In 2020, Mr. Lemberg represented Noah Duguid in the United States Supreme Court in the case entitled Duguid v. Facebook. He is the author of Defanging Debt Collectors, a book that teaches consumers how to battle debt collectors and win.