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Hi - I have been lurking for a bit and this is my first post. I am working to clean up my credit report (thank goodness I found this site!) so I have been reading, absorbing, reading some more. Just this week a guy started calling my work number and my cell at least 3 times a day. He would leave his name and number only. He never told me what company he was calling from or why he was calling.

I had been working up the courage to answer his call and not screw up by saying something that I shouldn't when I got a call from my mother. He has started calling her now.:oops: He told her that he was calling from a company called URS and said the matter was "personal". Finally I have a company name. I looked it up and assumed it was United Recovery Systems. I called the number he left and when the recording came on, it verified this was the company.

I have no idea what debt he is trying to collect so not sure if he owns the acct or is just collecting on behalf of OC. I sent a fax to them to be followed with CMRR adivising them to stop all third party contact and to quit calling me at work. I requested all information on the account, who they were trying to collect for, the amount owed, how to dispute if i disagree etc to be sent in writing to my home address. I have not received anything in writing from this company so far indicating any of the above.

Anyway - just wanted to say Hi :)++ and wondered if anyone else has had dealing with URS. Anyone know who they typically collect for? They are not showing up on my CR - so hopefully I can deal with OC.

The information on this site is invaluable. Thanks to all of you who contriubute!


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The same company is trying to collect from me on an AMEX account that is past due. I am also looking for information about them. They were doing the same to me for a couple of months and then they stopped and a law office is now calling me. Not really sure what to do.

If you come up with anything let me know.



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Houston-based Debt Collector Agrees to Pay $240,000 to Settle Charges of Violating Fair Debt Collection Practices Act

First FDCPA Enforcement Action Specifically Protecting Spanish-Language Consumers

Houston, Texas-based United Recovery Systems, Inc. (URS) has agreed to pay a $240,000 civil penalty as part of a settlement with the Federal Trade Commission to resolve allegations that the company violated the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA). This is the FTC's first enforcement action against a debt collection company for allegedly violating the rights of Spanish-speaking consumers.

According to the FTC's complaint, on numerous occasions, in connection with the collection of debts in both English and Spanish, the company's debt collectors communicated with consumers at improper times or places, engaged in prohibited communications with third parties, harassed and abused consumers, and used deceptive practices to collect consumer accounts. In addition to the civil penalty, the proposed consent decree to settle the FTC charges includes broad prohibitions on future FDCPA violations and would require URS to inform consumers in writing that they may stop the company from contacting them about the debt and may contact a special URS phone number or address should they have a complaint about the way URS is collecting the debt. The settlement also includes a comprehensive consumer complaint and resolution program under which every consumer complaint about URS collection practices must be thoroughly investigated and responded to by the company.

"Spanish-speaking consumers are a growing and vital part of America's economy. They deserve the same strong protection from abuse as other members of our society," said J. Howard Beales, III, Director of the FTC's Bureau of Consumer Protection. "Regardless of the language they speak, the FTC will protect the rights of all consumers."

In effect since March 1978, the FDCPA prohibits abusive, deceptive and unfair debt collection practices. For example, in an effort to collect a debt, a collector may not discuss the debt with anyone other than the consumer and certain other persons, such as the consumer's attorney or spouse. In addition, under the FDCPA, collectors may not make false statements, use obscene or abusive language, threaten to take legal action they cannot or do not intend to take, call consumers at work if they know it is inconvenient or not permitted by the employer, or call consumers at other times they know to be inconvenient to the consumer, such as before 8:00 a.m. or after 9:00 p.m.

According to the FTC's complaint detailing the charges, when attempting to collect debts in both English and Spanish, URS repeatedly violated the FDCPA by:

Discussing details of the consumers' alleged debts with third parties, such as the consumers' parents, children, employers and co-workers;

Communicating with consumers at times or places that the company knew or should have known to be inconvenient, including at the consumers' place of employment;

Using language the natural consequence of which is to harass, oppress, or abuse;

Falsely stating or implying that failure to pay the debt could result in arrest, imprisonment, or garnishment of wages; and

Threatening to take action - such as filing a collection suit against the consumer - when the company did not intend to take such action.

The proposed consent decree to settle the allegations, in addition to requiring the $240,000 civil penalty, would prohibit the company from violating any provisions of the FDCPA in the future. Further, the proposed settlement would require URS clearly and conspicuously to disclose to consumers it contacts in writing that they may stop the company from contacting them about the debt. In addition, URS would be required to notify consumers that they may contact a special URS address or toll-free phone number if they have a complaint about the way URS is collecting the debt. To be clear and conspicuous, these disclosures must be made in Spanish when communicating with consumers in that language.

The proposed consent decree also requires URS to investigate promptly all consumer complaints it receives, take corrective action where necessary, and document in writing the results of each investigation and corrective action taken. Finally, the consent decree contains a number of reporting and record keeping requirements that will assist the FTC in monitoring compliance with the terms of the settlement.

This matter was handled by the FTC's Southwest Region in Dallas. The complaint and the proposed consent decree were filed by the Department of Justice on behalf of the FTC in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Texas, in Houston, Texas, today. The Commission vote to refer the complaint and proposed consent decree to DOJ for filing was 5-0.

The FTC has expanded its education efforts for Spanish-speaking consumers. The agency has a number of credit consumer brochures in Spanish including: "FTC FACTS: Fair Debt Collection"; "Credit and Your Consumer Rights"; and "Knee-Deep in Debt."

NOTE: This consent decree is for settlement purposes only and does not constitute an admission by the defendant of a law violation. Consent decrees are subject to the court's approval and have the force of law when signed by the judge.

Copies of the complaint and proposed consent decree are available from the FTC's Web site at http://www.ftc.gov and also from the FTC's Consumer Response Center, Room 130, 600 Pennsylvania Avenue, N.W., Washington, D.C. 20580. The FTC works for the consumer to prevent fraudulent, deceptive and unfair business practices in the marketplace and to provide information to help consumers spot, stop and avoid them. The FTC has free consumer brochures on over 150 topics, including many covering issues of debt and credit. Many of these are now available in Spanish. To request consumer brochures or to file a complaint, call toll-free, 1-877-FTC-HELP (1-877-382-4357), or contact us at http://www.ftc.gov. The FTC enters Internet, telemarketing, identity theft and other fraud-related complaints into Consumer Sentinel, a secure, online database available to hundreds of civil and criminal law enforcement agencies in the U.S. and abroad.

Media Contact:

Howard Shapiro,

Office of Public Affairs


Staff Contact:

Thomas B. Carter,

Southwest Region - Dallas


Spanish-Language Staff Contact:

Sandra Pedroarias,

Bureau of Consumer Protection


(Civil Action No.: H-02-1410 (sl))

(FTC File No.: 002-3133)

Just thought this may help you

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So a little update..

I got home today to find out that this same guy has called my roommate from 7 years ago and expressly told her he was trying to contact me in order to collect a debt. I have tried to search and read what I could here on sections 804 and 805 of the FDCPA:

§ 804. Acquisition of location information [15 USC 1692b]

Any debt collector communicating with any person other than the consumer for the purpose of acquiring location information about the consumer shall --

(1) identify himself, state that he is confirming or correcting location information concerning the consumer, and, only if expressly requested, identify his employer;

(2) not state that such consumer owes any debt;

So is he in violation of #2 here for stating to a third party that he is trying to collect a debt? When he called my mother he said it was a personal matter so I assume that is ok. But this seems to be in violation.

I am sure someone can tell me what I am missing!

Also, I sent a fax and CMRRR to them today advising them they are to not contact any third party regarding this and they had to deal directly with me.

When I checked the mail today, I got a notice from URS saying my account had been referred to them for collection. I have 30 days to dispute....So I think my next step is to DV them. (They listed their NC Dept of Insurance Permit Number on the letter so I think they are licensed to collect in NC).

I do not think that they have been sold the account by AMEX as they state that the account has been referred to them for collections so do you think I can still deal with the OC?

Thanks for your help and information~


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I am in the exact same situation. When I tried contacting AMEX they told me to get lost even though I offered to settle in full. Now URS has transferred me to a law office. As far as I can tell AMEX still owns it but they won't deal with it. I'm not sure what is going on.

Sounds like your in the same boat...

Good luck! Keep updating, it's helping me also.


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Hey Dizzy - yeah I am kind of stuck too. :? I want to pay American Express as the OC and I think they still own the debt. I sent a letter to URS advising them that I wanted to deal only with the OC but who knows if that works or is valid or anything!

I just sent a payment to AMEX right before all this started and it cleared my bank account so they seem to have no problem taking my payments...

But the calls from URS seem to have stopped which is good, I think! :confused:

Will keep you updated!


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So it seems that I have no choice but to talk to the CA :( . My latest bill from AMEX says that I must contact the CA for payment. But the CA is not on my credit report (well they did inquire) as a TL - only AMEX so the CA cannot do anything to change the status from closed by credit grantor to anything else right?

I am not sure what to do now. I am still within my 30 days of the first notice I received from the CA notifying me of the debt. So I could DV them although it is not old and I doubt AMEX will not have their records straight! I am sure the DV will come back validated and the next step on the flow chart says to settle the debt with the CA. I can't pay the whole amount right now and I am not sure that it does me any good to negotiate with the CA or ask for a PFD with them as they are not the ones reporting.

The last payment I made directly to AMEX was accepted by them so do I just keep paying AMEX directly or do I have to pay the CA?

Sorry for so many questions - just not really sure what to do next. :confused:

Thanks for any advice you may have! :)


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From my understanding you don't want to pay a CA unless they have sent validation. Even though the debt is recent you should send a DV to the CA and let them validate. Check to make sure the amount owed is correct. Once this has taken place, this is when you will want to send a settlement letter to the CA. If you can come to an agreement(it must be in writing) you can then start paying the CA.

I hope it goes well.

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