Business doesn’t welcome debt collection calls aimed at workers
Plant manager Ken Shipley has received a recent flurry of calls at his metal works operation in High Point, but they aren’t ones that he’s used to getting or productive leads for his business.
Instead, Shipley said that a debt collection agency has peppered calls to Metal Works of High Point Inc. trying to reach employees of the business, claiming the workers owe money. At least four employees of the business, which has 30 workers, have received the calls, which upsets Shipley because the calls disrupt the work day as he and his employees are trying to make a living.
“I have to give them the message. And sometimes if it’s urgent, I have to pull them off the floor,” Shipley told The High Point Enterprise.
In one instance, Shipley said an employee was called with an aggressive request to make payments on a debt, but the worker told Shipley he doesn’t know anything about the claim.
“He doesn’t owe them any money; he doesn’t owe anybody any money,” Shipley said. “So he’s not sure where it’s coming from. But these folks have a lot of their personal information.”
Shipley said he called the company, NCS Inc., to discourage the debt collectors from disrupting his workplace.
“They get very defensive,” said Shipley, who said he’s also contacted law enforcement and consumer agencies about the phone debt solicitations.
A representative with NCS Inc. told The High Point Enterprise that the company couldn’t comment at this time on any calls to employees of Metal Works of High Point.
The N.C. Attorney General’s Office has received 12 consumer complaints about NCS Inc.
“All of the complaints are for collections of unpaid loans. Three of the complaints involved collections on unpaid payday loans,” said Alexandra Mendoza, assistant public information officer for the agency out of Raleigh.
Shipley said he’s gone public about the debt collection calls at his workplace to warn other business owners and managers about the practice.
“People need to be aware of it, and that their employees may be contacted,” he said. “It’s costly, it’s disruptive.”
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Avoiding debt collection confrontations and scams
Rules are in place to cover collection agencies as they try to retrieve money from debtors.
Debt collectors may not:
• Use profanity or threaten violence
• Tell you that you will be arrested if you don’t pay
• Pretend to be attorneys or government officials
• Tell your employer or others about your debts
• Pretend that they are contacting you for other reasons
• Contact you before 8 a.m. or after 9 p.m. unless you agree
• Garnish your wages
Debt collectors are allowed to contact you:
• In person, by mail, by telephone and by fax about the bills you owe
• At home, between the hours of 8 a.m. and 9 p.m.
• At work. It is legal for debt collectors to contact you on the job unless they have a telephone number to reach you during non-working hours. Debt collectors must stop calling you at work if they know that your employer disapproves of their calls.
To stop a debt collector from calling you at home or work:
• Put your request in writing. Send a letter by certified mail telling the debt collector to stop calling your home and your place of work. Keep a copy of the letter for your records. Once the debt collector gets your letter, they may not contact you again except to tell you that a creditor intends to take action on your account.
• Be aware that sending a letter won’t erase your debts. Creditors can still take legal action to collect money that you owe them.
Source: N.C. Attorney General’s Office