Debt collectors can be pushy and intimidating, and if you’re getting calls or letters from Fair Collections & Outsourcing, Inc., you’re probably wondering who they are and what right they have to ask you for money.
To protect your finances, credit, and rights, it’s important that you read up on who Fair Collections & Outsourcing is, what debts they collect, and what they can (and can’t) do.
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What is Fair Collections & Outsourcing?
Fair Collections & Outsourcing (FCO) is a debt collection agency based in Beltsville, MD, and they were founded in 1984. FCO used to be part of Pierce Hamilton & Stern before they split into two separate companies: Fair Collections & Outsourcing and Hunter Warfield. 1
Their parent company, FCO Holding, Inc., has two other subsidiaries operating alongside Fair Collections & Outsourcing: Fair Collections & Outsourcing of New England, Inc., and FCO Worldwide, Inc. 2
As a third-party debt collection agency, FCO provides the following services: 3
- Call center operations
- Data analysis and processing
- Reporting to all three credit bureaus
- Payment processing
Other names for Fair Collections & Outsourcing
Fair Collections & Outsourcing, Inc. may also appear under the following names: 1
- Pierce Hamilton & Stern Inc.
- Fair Credit Outsourcing
What types of debt does Fair Collections & Outsourcing collect?
Fair Collections & Outsourcing, Inc. is a rental debt collection agency, meaning that they collect tenancy-related debts on behalf of landlords and property managers. 4
Below are examples of common residential debts:
- Overdue rent
- Repair fees for property damage
- Cost of missing furnishings or equipment
- Unpaid bills
In addition to pursuing payments from consumers, they also go after small businesses and corporations that owe rental debts. 4
Is Fair Collections & Outsourcing a legitimate company?
Yes, Fair Collections & Outsourcing, Inc. is a legit debt collection agency. However, even legitimate debt collectors can be found guilty of violating consumer rights.
It’s also worth bearing in mind that anyone (including scammers) can claim to be a debt collector—and they may even use the name of a legitimate organization to trick you into paying them.
Never give personal information or send payments to anyone claiming to be a debt collector before you’ve verified that they’re legit and that you actually owe them money. The best way to verify your debt is to contact FCO directly (contact details are provided below).
Lawsuits against Fair Collections & Outsourcing
FCO has gotten itself into serious legal trouble for violating debt protection laws and taking advantage of consumers.
For example, following a complaint filed by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB), federal courts forced FCO to pay an $850,000 civil money penalty in October 2021 for failing to properly verify the accuracy of debts before having them added to consumer credit reports. 2
FCO was also sued by the Washington D.C. attorney general for violating consumer protection laws at the district level. 5
These high-profile legal cases point to FCO’s troubled history when it comes to abiding by debt collection laws. This makes it all the more important that you arm yourself with knowledge about your legal rights to prevent Fair Collections & Outsourcing from taking advantage of you.
How to deal with FCO
Ready to take control of your debt with FCO? Choose the methods you want to attempt below.
If the debt is inaccurate, learn how to remove the collection from your credit report.
If your rights are being violated, learn how to fight back using protections under federal law.
If you're not certain the debt is yours, request more information (and temporarily stop collection efforts).
If you're ready to pay up, learn how to do it in a way that keeps you on better financial footing.