For Immediate Release: October 5, 2015
Consumer Complaint Leads to $493,670 in Civil Penalties and Consumer Refunds for Three Collection Agencies
RALEIGH -- Insurance Commissioner Wayne Goodwin announced today that North Carolinians may be eligible for refunds from three collection agencies-- EGS Financial Care, Inc. (formerly NCO Financial Systems, Inc.*), Systems & Services Technologies, Inc., and Transworld Systems, Inc.
The North Carolina Department of Insurance began investigating the collection agencies after it received a complaint from a consumer indicating that on three occasions Transworld Systems, Inc. drafted $12.00 from her bank account in addition to the $50.00 monthly bill payment. The department discovered that the collection agencies charged a flat convenience fee for each payment processed over the telephone and online through their computer collection systems. The agencies have agreed to pay penalties totaling $493,670 to resolve allegations that the collection agencies committed unfair practices in violation of N.C.G.S. § 58-70-115(2) by collecting convenience fees from consumers.
EGS Financial Care, Inc., Systems & Services Technologies, Inc., and Transworld Systems, Inc. do not acknowledge any wrongdoing and deny that they have violated N.C.G.S. § 58-70-1 et seq. Rather than face an administrative hearing, the collection agencies agreed to pay civil penalties and to (1) permanently cease and desist collecting convenience fees or any other fees from North Carolina consumers and (2) promptly and fully reimburse all convenience fees which the collection agencies collected from any North Carolina consumer from Aug. 1, 2010, through March 31, 2014, upon receipt of a written request from the consumer.
Consumers who paid a convenience fee to Transworld Systems, Inc., NCO Financial Systems, Inc., or Systems and Services Technologies, Inc. during the period Aug. 1, 2010, through March 31, 2014, and who wish to request a refund must send a written request to the following address before Sept. 16, 2016:
Mayas Erickson, Attorney
Sessions, Fishman, Nathan & Israel, LLC
3850 N. Causeway Blvd., Suite 200
Metairie, LA 70002-7227
For questions about the refund, contact Mayas Erickson, Attorney, at Sessions, Fishman, Nathan & Israel, LLC at 504-846-7914 or the North Carolina Department of Insurance at 855-408-1212.
*During the period in which the alleged violations occurred, EGS Financial Care, Inc. was named NCO Financial Systems, Inc.