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Introduction
If you’re reading this, chances are you’ve received a call or letter from National Enterprise Systems (NES) about a debt they claim you owe. First off, don’t panic. You’re not alone in dealing with debt collectors, and there are clear steps you can take to resolve the situation.As a seasoned debt relief law firm, we’ve helped countless clients navigate the often confusing and stressful world of debt collection. We know the ins and outs of the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA) and how to protect your rights when a debt collector comes calling.In this comprehensive guide, we’ll walk you through everything you need to know about National Enterprise Systems – who they are, how they operate, and most importantly, what you can do to deal with them effectively. We’ll cover practical tips for communicating with NES, validating debts, negotiating settlements, and more.So take a deep breath, pour yourself a cup of coffee, and let’s dive in. By the end of this article, you’ll be armed with the knowledge and confidence you need to take control of your debt situation and get NES off your back for good.

Who is National Enterprise Systems?

Before we get into the nitty-gritty of dealing with NES, let’s take a step back and look at who they are as a company. Founded in 1987 and based in Solon, Ohio, National Enterprise Systems is a debt collection agency that operates nationwide. They primarily collect on behalf of creditors in industries like financial services, telecommunications, retail, automotive, higher education, and government.1As a third-party debt collector, NES’s business model is based on recovering outstanding debts that original creditors have been unable to collect on their own. In many cases, NES purchases these debts for pennies on the dollar, then keeps whatever they’re able to collect as profit.3 This gives them a strong incentive to be persistent in their collection efforts.It’s important to understand that as a debt collector, NES is required to follow certain rules and regulations set forth by the FDCPA. This federal law prohibits debt collectors from using unfair, deceptive, or abusive practices when attempting to collect a debt.1 We’ll talk more about your rights under the FDCPA and how to assert them later on.NES has faced legal issues in the past for alleged FDCPA violations. In 2010, the attorney general of West Virginia sued the company for unlawfully adding fees to school tuition debts, resulting in a $75,000 settlement.6 They’ve also been the subject of numerous consumer complaints related to harassment, failure to validate debts, and unauthorized withdrawals from bank accounts.7The bottom line is that while NES is a legitimate debt collection agency, they have a track record of aggressive tactics and FDCPA violations. But don’t let that scare you – with the right approach and legal guidance, you can deal with them effectively and protect your rights in the process.

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Communicating with National Enterprise Systems

One of the most stressful aspects of dealing with a debt collector like NES is the constant barrage of phone calls and letters. It’s easy to feel overwhelmed and tempted to just ignore the problem, but that’s rarely a good solution. In fact, avoiding communication can often make the situation worse.The first step in dealing with NES is to take control of the communication process. Under the FDCPA, you have the right to request that a debt collector stop contacting you.1 You can do this by sending a written “cease and desist” letter, which obligates the collector to stop all communication except to inform you of specific actions like filing a lawsuit.16While ending communication may sound tempting, it’s not always the best approach. In many cases, it’s better to engage with NES in a way that protects your rights and keeps you informed about the status of your debt. Here are some tips for communicating effectively:

  • Communicate in writing whenever possible. This creates a paper trail and prevents misunderstandings.
  • Keep your communication factual and concise. Avoid providing more information than necessary or engaging in small talk.
  • Assert your FDCPA rights politely but firmly. For example, you can say “Please only contact me in writing” or “I am disputing this debt, please provide validation.”
  • Stay calm and professional, even if the collector is aggressive or rude. Remember, you’re in control of the conversation.

If NES is calling you at work, you have additional protections under the FDCPA. You can tell them verbally that your employer prohibits such calls, and they must stop calling you at work.16 If the calls continue, they’re violating the law.

Validating the Debt

One of the most important things you can do when dealing with NES or any debt collector is to validate the debt they claim you owe. Debt validation is the process of requesting proof that the debt is legitimate and that the collector has the legal right to collect it from you.Under the FDCPA, you have 30 days from the initial contact with a debt collector to request validation.1 The request must be made in writing – a phone call isn’t sufficient. Once NES receives your validation request, they’re required to provide documentation of the debt, such as a copy of the original contract or a detailed accounting of what you owe.3Requesting validation puts the burden of proof on NES to show that the debt is valid and collectible. If they can’t provide proper validation, they’re not allowed to continue collection efforts. This is a powerful tool for dealing with debts that may be inaccurate, outdated, or not even yours to begin with.Here are some key things to look for when you receive debt validation from NES:

  • Make sure the information matches your records in terms of the original creditor, the amount owed, and the dates of account activity.
  • Check to see if the statute of limitations on the debt has expired. This varies by state, but in general, debts older than 3-6 years may be past the collectible deadline.3
  • Look for any fees or interest charges that have been added to the original debt amount. In some cases, these additions may be unlawful.6

If you spot any issues or discrepancies in the debt validation, you can dispute the debt with NES and request that they provide further clarification or remove the debt from your credit report. If they fail to respond or provide inadequate information, you may have grounds for a lawsuit under the FDCPA.3

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Negotiating a Settlement

If the debt NES is attempting to collect is legitimate and within the statute of limitations, the next step is to consider your options for resolving it. One common approach is to negotiate a settlement for less than the full amount owed.Debt collectors like NES are often willing to accept settlements because they’ve usually purchased the debt for a fraction of its face value.3 Collecting even a portion of the debt can represent a significant profit for them. As a result, you may have more negotiating power than you realize.Before you start negotiating with NES, it’s important to have a clear idea of what you can realistically afford to pay. Take a hard look at your budget and determine how much you could put toward a settlement without causing further financial strain. It’s also a good idea to consider the potential tax implications of debt settlement, as forgiven debt may be treated as taxable income.3Once you have a settlement amount in mind, you can reach out to NES to start the negotiation process. Here are some tips for effective negotiation:

  • Start low and be willing to go up gradually. Don’t lead with your best offer right off the bat.
  • Emphasize your financial hardship and inability to pay the full amount. Provide documentation if possible.
  • Be persistent but polite. Negotiation often takes several rounds of back-and-forth.
  • Get the settlement agreement in writing before making any payments. Make sure it clearly states that the debt will be considered satisfied once the settlement is paid.

If you’re not confident in your ability to negotiate with NES on your own, consider enlisting the help of a debt settlement attorney. A skilled attorney can communicate with the debt collector on your behalf, protect your rights, and potentially achieve a more favorable settlement than you could on your own.3

Dealing with Lawsuits

In some cases, debt collectors like NES may escalate the situation by filing a lawsuit against you in an attempt to collect the debt. This can be a scary prospect, but it’s important to remember that you still have rights and options for defending yourself.If you’re served with a debt collection lawsuit, the first step is to file a written response with the court. This is called an “answer” and it’s your opportunity to admit, deny, or challenge the allegations made in the lawsuit.4 Failing to file an answer can result in a default judgment against you, so it’s crucial to respond by the deadline given.When crafting your answer, you can assert any defenses or counterclaims you may have against NES. For example, if they’ve violated the FDCPA by harassing you or failing to validate the debt, you could argue that the lawsuit is invalid on those grounds.4 An experienced debt defense attorney can help you identify and assert the strongest possible defenses.In many cases, filing an answer and asserting your defenses can give you leverage to negotiate a settlement with NES and avoid going to trial. They may be more willing to accept a reduced settlement amount rather than incur the costs and uncertainty of litigation.4If the case does proceed to trial, it’s essential to have strong legal representation on your side. A debt defense attorney can argue your case in court, cross-examine witnesses, and present evidence to challenge NES’s claims. They can also ensure that your rights are protected throughout the legal process.

Protecting Your Credit

One of the most significant impacts of dealing with a debt collector like NES is the potential damage to your credit score. When a debt goes into collections, it can show up as a negative mark on your credit report and stay there for up to seven years, even if you eventually pay it off.3However, there are steps you can take to minimize the impact of a collection account on your credit. One option is to negotiate a “pay for delete” agreement as part of your settlement with NES. This means that in exchange for paying the agreed-upon settlement amount, NES agrees to remove the collection account from your credit report entirely.3While not all debt collectors will agree to a pay for delete, it’s worth asking about as part of your negotiation process. If NES agrees, make sure to get the agreement in writing before making any payments.Another option for dealing with a collection account on your credit report is to dispute it directly with the credit bureaus. If NES has reported inaccurate or incomplete information about the debt, you have the right to challenge it and request an investigation.3 If the investigation finds in your favor, the credit bureau must remove the account from your report.Rebuilding your credit after a collection account can take time, but it’s possible. Some steps you can take include:

  • Paying all of your bills on time going forward
  • Keeping your credit card balances low
  • Avoiding applying for new credit unless absolutely necessary
  • Considering a secured credit card or credit-builder loan to establish positive payment history

Knowing Your Rights

Throughout the debt collection process, it’s crucial to know and assert your rights under the FDCPA and other relevant laws. Here are some key rights to keep in mind when dealing with NES or any other debt collector:

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  • The right to request validation of the debt
  • The right to dispute the debt if you believe it’s inaccurate or not yours
  • The right to request that the debt collector stop contacting you
  • The right to be free from harassment, threats, and deceptive practices
  • The right to sue the debt collector for FDCPA violations and recover damages1

If you believe that NES has violated your rights under the FDCPA, you can file a complaint with the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) or your state attorney general’s office.1 You may also have grounds for a private lawsuit against the company.In addition to the FDCPA, some states have their own laws that provide additional protections for consumers dealing with debt collectors. For example, in California, the Rosenthal Fair Debt Collection Practices Act prohibits debt collectors from using profanity, making repeated phone calls, or threatening legal action they don’t intend to take.16It’s a good idea to familiarize yourself with the debt collection laws in your state and consult with an attorney if you have questions about your rights or legal options. Remember, knowledge is power when it comes to dealing with debt collectors.

Getting Professional Help

Dealing with a debt collector like National Enterprise Systems can be overwhelming, especially if you’re already struggling with financial challenges. If you’re feeling in over your head, don’t hesitate to seek professional help from a qualified debt relief attorney.A debt relief attorney can provide invaluable guidance and support throughout the debt collection process, from validating debts to negotiating settlements to defending against lawsuits. They can communicate with NES on your behalf, assert your legal rights, and work to achieve the best possible outcome for your situation.When choosing a debt relief attorney, look for someone with experience handling cases like yours and a track record of success. Many attorneys offer free initial consultations, so you can get a sense of their approach and whether they’re a good fit for your needs.In addition to legal help, there are other resources available for those struggling with debt. Non-profit credit counseling agencies can provide free or low-cost advice on budgeting, debt management, and financial planning.16 They may also be able to help you negotiate with creditors and set up a debt repayment plan.The bottom line is that you don’t have to face debt collection alone. With the right help and resources, you can take control of your financial situation and work towards a brighter future.

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