Table of Contents
- 1 Is IC System Listed on Your Credit Report?
- 2 Have You Received a Letter from IC System?
- 3 Questionable Business Practices
- 4 Harassing Phone Calls from IC System
- 5 Contacting IC System
- 6 Knowing Your Rights
- 7 Stop the Harassing Phone Calls
- 8 How IC System Can Affect Your Credit
- 9 Guilty Until Proven Innocent
- 10 Who Does IC System Target?
- 11 When to Ask for Professional Help
Is IC System Listed on Your Credit Report?
IC System was founded in St. Paul, MN in 1938 and, according to the company’s website, provides accounts receivable management out of offices in Minnesota, North Dakota, and Wisconsin. In short, they are a debt collection company.
IC System says they provide intensive and comprehensive recovery for their clients but with 524 complaints to the Better Business Bureau, and only a B rating, IC System’s overly aggressive tactics are well documented.
Even though IC System shows up on your credit report they are often representing a client who believes that you owe them money. These clients include industries such as health and dental, small and medium businesses, communications companies, utility companies, and government organizations.
Complaints of IC Systems credit collection efforts range from receiving six to ten phone calls per day to tactics such as skip tracing. Needless to say, it may not be easy to have them removed from your credit report.
Reporting you to national credit bureaus is only one way that IC System will use to attempt to collect a debt. Other measures include sending direct mail, contacting you by phone, or referring your case to an attorney.
Have You Received a Letter from IC System?
The first tactic IC System usually employs to collect a debt is to send threatening letters. Many collection agencies actually send letters to every single person with your name!
That’s right, because someone with the same first and last name as you possibly owes someone money, they will send you a letter! This is a common tactic with collection agencies. As debt matures, it becomes more difficult to locate the individual that originally owes the debt.
This is usually nothing as nefarious as identity theft. In actuality, it’s an attempt from a debt collector to locate a person that may have moved, changed their phone number, or incorrectly listed contact information on existing documentation.
According to one victim, “The rep on the phone admitted to me that they send out blanket letters to everyone with my name on it like a phishing scheme in order to catch the debtor. That’s got to be illegal. Great way to do business and scare people.”
This is a tactic employed in the act of skip tracing. IC Systems uses skip tracing, which means to locate and identify a person whose contact information is incorrect or out of date. That means the letter you received may not actually be your debt at all. It’s strange to think that just having the same name as someone can ruin your credit, but sadly, it happens all the time.
Questionable Business Practices
IC System states that they deal with problem accounts “ethically and economically,” but according to at least one former employee, IC System’s, “Management encourages employees to lie and berate customers.” It’s no wonder they have so many complaints.
In an instructional video dubiously named “Collection Tips in Ten Minutes – A Peek Behind the Curtain”, IC System’s business development manager outlines the business practices of the company. What he describes are the aggressive tactics IC System uses to collect debt and even complains at one point about state laws preventing them from calling consumers multiple times.
IC System claims to be an ethical company, but according to this promotional brochure IC System offers a Hold Harmless agreement to their clients. According to the brochure their customers are “fully protected by a Hold Harmless Agreement should legal consequences occur as a result of IC System’s collection activities.”
Even IC System knows their dubious debt collection tactics can get them into legal trouble so they assure their clients that they will bear the responsibility should their collection agents cross the line.
Harassing Phone Calls from IC System
While trying to collect a debt, IC System will call you, sometimes several times a day. These calls, often automated robo-calls, continue until you answer the phone. They also leave you voicemail messages several times a week. Federal law does not specifically limit the amount of phone calls that they can make, only that they may not harass you.
IC System tells their customers that these phone calls, attempting to collect on a debt, can go on for up to two years. IC System may even attempt to reach you by calling you at your place of employment, calling you at work attempting to shame you into complying with them.
Contacting IC System
While IC System has call centers in multiple states, their main offices are in Minnesota. You can use the following information to contact them.
444 Highway 96E
St. Paul, MN 55127
Phone Number: (651) 481-6467
Consumer Affairs Line: (800) 279-7951
Knowing Your Rights
In March of 1978, Congress passed the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA) to protect consumers from abusive and unfair debt collection practices. These and other laws can protect you from overzealous debt collectors in many ways.
- They prohibit abusive, harassing practices and threats by IC System
- They limit the time of day IC System can call you to between 8 a.m. and 9 p.m. in your time zone
- They prohibit the use of profanity and intimidation to collect a debt
- If notified verbally or in writing, that you may not receive calls at work, IC System may not contact you at your place of employment
- IC System must prove to you the validity of the debt if you dispute it
- IC System cannot threaten to have you arrested if you do not pay the debt
- IC System cannot send letters that appear to be from a government agency or a court
- IC System cannot threaten you with referral to an attorney, harm of credit, or wage garnishment without the actual intent to act on the threat
Stop the Harassing Phone Calls
As stated above, you have the right not to be harassed by IC Systems. In fact, if you choose to, you can have them stop calling you altogether. You have the right, under the FDCPA, to request in writing that IC System stop calling you in their attempt to collect a debt.
If you send them a cease and desist letter, IC System must stop contacting you except to say that they are ending communication or that it may use other remedies to collect a debt.
In some instances, this should be used as a last case scenario. IC System phone calls are designed to resolve a debt they believe you owe their client. If IC System believes they have no further recourse, they may refer your case to an attorney. But if it is not your debt or if the statute of limitations has expired, it may make sense to send a cease and desist letter.
However, if a lawsuit is filed, a judgment can be made against you. Inability or refusal to pay this judgment can lead to wage garnishment or seizure of assets. If you’ve reached this point it may be time to get some professional help to resolve the dispute before heading to court.
How IC System Can Affect Your Credit
The three major credit reporting bureaus, Experian, Equifax, and TransUnion, issue credit scores based on your history. This information can dramatically affect your ability to buy a house, qualify for a credit card or loan, rent an apartment, or even get a job.
If IC System has reported a delinquency to any of these credit reporting companies, it can negatively affect your credit score. You may have trouble qualifying for financing, and even if you do, you’ll likely be subject to higher interest rates and lower credit lines.
The credit bureaus are required by law to provide you with a free copy of your credit report once per year. If you believe you have been reported in error to any of these credit bureaus you can initiate an investigation to prove your innocence.
They have only 30 days to reply to your request. Be sure to take advantage of those free credit reports each year to track your current credit health and accuracy.
Guilty Until Proven Innocent
IC System not only has a staff of collection agents that harass you at all times of the day, they also have a sales staff that elicit business from clients looking to collect on a debt. These clients provide information to IC System, which then acts as a middle man.
In most instances, it is not IC System that owns the debt, but the client on whose behalf they are working The information the client provides may not be correct and it is up to the client to prove it.
If the claim is disputed, the client must be able to validate the account or IC System may not continue to try and collect on the debt. If you have been reported to any of the three major credit reporting companies, IC System and their client must remove it from your credit report in a timely manner.
Despite what IC System may tell you, the burden is on them and their client — not you. If they cannot prove that the debt is valid and belongs to you, federal law requires them to cease contact. If they cannot prove to Experian, Equifax, or TransUnion that their claim is valid, the credit reporting bureaus must remove it from your credit report.
Who Does IC System Target?
IC System uses a tiering and scoring system to decide who to more aggressively target. It may seem counter-intuitive but they will target those with higher credit scores more aggressively. They belief is that if you have a good credit score you are more likely to pay the debt they claim you owe.
It’s probably not a coincidence that those with high credit scores want to keep them that way. IC System hopes to wield more leverage over these people because of how the information can negatively affect your credit score. Remember that IC System’s collection agents earn a bonus based on how much they collect, so they will go after the low hanging fruit first.
When to Ask for Professional Help
In many cases, the law may be on your side, but navigating complicated legal jargon and combating aggressive collection agents on your own can be a daunting task. If you are receiving threatening phone calls, letters insisting that you pay a debt, or have had your credit score negatively affected by IC Systems, consider contacting a recommended credit repair companies.
These professionals will help you to understand your rights, help remove collections from your credit reports, and negotiate with creditors on your behalf. Companies like IC System rely on their knowledge of the system to coerce you to pay money that you may not owe. Firms like Lexington Law can get you back on track.