Outside Collection Agencies FAQGeneral Information
The City of Los Angeles is committed to utilizing all available resources to increase the collection of monies legally owed to the City. The City makes several attempts to collect in-house before the delinquent accounts are referred to collection agencies.
The City has entered into contracts with four outside collection agencies to help improve the collection of delinquent accounts. City Departments, including the Office of Finance, refer delinquent accounts $5,000 or less directly to the collection agencies. Samples of the types of accounts that are referred include business taxes, sanitation equipment charges, and damages to City property.
City Departments also refer delinquent accounts over $5,000 to the Citywide Collection Unit, where accounts are worked in-house and select accounts and judgments are referred to the collection agencies.
The following are the four collection agencies selected by the City of Los Angeles through the competitive Request For Proposal (RFP) process:NCO Financial Systems, Inc. (Formerly known as OSI Collection Services, Inc.)
Headquartered in St. Louis, Missouri, NCO Financial Systems, Inc., (NCO), is the nation's leading provider of business process outsourcing (BPO) services. NCO provides strategic receivables outsourcing solutions to America's leading companies and Government agencies. The company has over 6,000 associates in approximately 65 offices across the United States along with offices in Canada, Mexico and Puerto Rico. NCO's Government Services Division specializes in assisting Federal, State and Municipal Government with receivable solutions. The company has over 30 years of experience in this area, and over 50 years of general collection experience. For questions regarding NCO Collection Services, Inc. please call the collection supervisor's number at 1-888-289-0907 ext 4968.Caine and Weiner Company, Inc.
Established in 1930, Caine & Weiner is the 4th oldest agency operating in the United States. Headquartered in the Los Angeles area, the solution-based enterprise has a network of coast to coast full-service centers that utilize the latest collection technology and file-handling procedures. As a partner of Global Credit Solutions they have 74 partner offices located around the world. Known for their performance and personalized client service, Caine and Weiner provides a diverse portfolio of commercial, consumer and International services which include 1st and 3rd party debt recovery. Many Fortune 500 Companies and municipalities use their services on an ongoing basis. Caine & Weiner complies with all federal regulations and is licensed or registered to provide its services in every state. The enterprise is a member of many associations including the Commercial Collection Agency Association, certified by The Commercial Law League of America, ACA and IACC. For questions regarding Caine & Weiner please contact Steve Simon at 818-251-1722.Gila Corporation dba Municipal Services Bureau
Founded in 1991, Gila Corporation is a provider of receivables management and business process outsourcing solutions. Headquartered in Austin, Texas, the Company offers outsourced collections, payment processing and call center services to governmental entities, financial services clients and higher education institutions nationwide. Through its strategic business units, MSB and Gila Group, Gila Corporation has more than 300 employees dedicated to collection of delinquent court fines, fees and debts for a wide variety of governmental entities nationwide, as well as specialized outsourced collections and customer service functions for financial institutions. For more information about Gila Corporation, please visit www.GilaCorp.com or call 1-800-568-7004.AllianceOne Receivables Management, Inc.
AllianceOne Receivables Management, Inc., a Teleperformance company, is a provider of full spectrum third party government debt collection services as well as pre-collection and time payment monitoring programs. AllianceOne has been in continuous operation since 1912 and providing public sector collection services since 1983. AllianceOne maintains 14 office locations throughout the United States and Canada with access to 39 sites in the United States alone through Teleperformance. For more information regarding AllianceOne please call 1-877-541-8420 or visit www.allianceoneinc.comFrequently Asked Questions
Why am I receiving a collection notice from a private collection agency on behalf of the City of Los Angeles?
The City of Los Angeles entered into contracts with three private collection agencies in order to help reduce the City's delinquent accounts. The collection notice you received follows several unsuccessful attempts by the City department to obtain your payment for services, taxes, or assessments levied against you that are delinquent.
How do I verify that this is not a scam?
There are four Collection Agencies acting on behalf of the City of Los Angeles on a Citywide basis: NCO Financial Systems, inc. (Formally known as OSI Collection Services, Inc.), Caine and Weiner Company, Inc., Gila Corporation dba Municipal Services Bureau, and AllianceOne Receivables Management, Inc. (collectively "Collection Agencies").
Will my personal account information remain confidential?
Yes, the contracts with the Collection Agencies stipulate that any information provided by the City on delinquent accounts will be used solely for the purpose of collections. This information will be held in the strictest of confidence and used for no other purpose. The collection agencies will operate within applicable guidelines set forth by the Federal and State regulations regarding fair debt collection practices.
Whom should I call with questions about the details of my account?
Please contact the Collection Agency directly at the phone number that appears on your collection notice, as they are currently responsible for the collection of your account.
How long do I have to respond to the collection notice?
Your account is seriously delinquent by the time you received the collection notice. You should contact the collection agency immediately to arrange payment.
Should I pay the Collection Agency or the department that provided the service?
You should pay the Collection Agency directly. Payment to the City department will not clear your account faster, as your account has already been transferred to the collection agency. However, the City department will also accept payment by mail or at its public counter.
What happens if I do not respond to this collection notice?
Collection efforts will continue and your account may accrue additional penalties and interest. Collection Agencies may report your delinquency to the various credit bureaus, which may affect your credit report. The City of Los Angeles may also elect to file legal action to reclaim the funds.
Are the Collection Agencies authorized to offer payment plans?
Yes. Collection Agencies may offer and negotiate payment plans. The decision to grant payment plans will be made on a case-by-case basis. However, the Collection Agencies do not have the authority to compromise on behalf of the City.
How do I verify that the City received my payment?
The quickest way to verify payment has been received is by contacting the Collection Agency directly.
If I pay the Collection Agency directly, how long will it take for my account to be credited?
Please be advised that cash, money order, cashier's check, and credit card payments will be credited to your account upon receipt by the Collection Agency. If your account is paid in full, their collection efforts will cease. However, if you pay by personal check, the Collection Agency will only post payment to your account once the check has cleared.
Has a collection fee been added to my bill?
Yes. Per LAAC, Section 5.181(c), persons indebted to the City of Los Angeles for delinquent accounts or any obligations owing to the City, shall be liable for the underlying obligation and all costs incurred to effectuate collection of those items.
If I recently remitted my payment to the City, should I disregard this collection notice?
No. Do not disregard the collection notice even if you have recently submitted payment. Please be advised that once your account has been placed with a Collection Agency it is your responsibility to inform the Collection Agency that you have remitted payment. The Collection Agency will only stop its collection efforts upon payment verification by the City.
Each Collection Agency provides a dispute resolution process. Once an account has been placed with a Collection Agency, you should contact them directly to resolve a dispute.
Are interest and penalties included in the amount of this collection notice?
Yes, unless prohibited by City Ordinance, each City department is authorized tocharge penalty and interest on delinquent accounts.
How do I report abuses by the Collection Agencies or file a formal complaint?
As each Collection Agency provides its own dispute resolution process, your complaint may be resolved by contacting the Collection Agency directly through the contact information listed on their collection notice. You should also write the Office of Finance Citywide Billing and Collection Program at City Hall, 200 N. Spring Street, Room 1225, Los Angeles, CA 90012, or via e-mail at Finance.CitywideCollections@lacity.org, to file a complaint. The Collection Agencies will be required to respond to the City regarding any complaint received by the City against the Collection Agency relative to the handling of a City account.
What will happen if I am reported to a credit bureau?
Your credit rating may be affected, which could impact your ability to receive future credit. To avoid this, please contact the Collection Agency immediately to arrange payment on your account.
How long will it take for my name to be removed from the credit bureau files after payment and how long will it affect my credit?
According to the Fair Credit Reporting Act, collection information may remain on your record for 7 years from the date of delinquency with the original creditor.
Whom can I contact in the City if I have additional questions regarding the use of outside collection agencies?
You can e-mail additional questions, comments, and suggestions regarding the collection agency process to the Office of Finance at Finance.CitywideCollections@lacity.org. However, please note that questions regarding the status, or balance, of your account should be directed to the specific Collection Agency handling your account.
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