Pennsylvania-based NCO Group, one of the nation's largest debt-collection firms, has agreed to pay $1.5 million to settle Federal Trade Commission charges that it violated the Fair Credit Reporting Act by reporting inaccurate information about consumer accounts to credit bureaus. The amount is the largest civil penalty ever obtained in a FCRA case, according to the FTC, which announced the agreement today. NCO companies violated a section of the fair credit reporting act that requires entities to report the actual month and year when an account first became delinquent when they to credit bureaus that a delinquent consumer account has been placed for collection or written off, according to the FTC's complaint. Credit bureaus use that date to measure the maximum seven-year reporting period the FCRA mandates. The rule helps ensure that debts that are beyond this seven-year reporting period don't appear on a consumer's credit report. Violations of the rule are subject to civil penalties...
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