• Report: #258988

Complaint Review: I. C. System

  • Submitted: Thu, July 05, 2007
  • Updated: Sat, February 23, 2013

  • Reported By:Carrollton Texas
I. C. System
444 E Highway 96 St Paul, Minnesota U.S.A.

I C Systems Harassment, Probing of Personal Information, Refusal to Answer Questions and Attempts at Triple Billing St Paul Minnesota

*UPDATE EX-employee responds: IC has it's flaws, but...

*Consumer Comment: ic systems

*Consumer Comment: Watch some of these posts

*Consumer Suggestion: pointing fingers.

*Consumer Comment: Here Is how to get i.c. system of your back

*Consumer Comment: wow very crude

*Consumer Suggestion: a few thoughts

*Author of original report: IC System Update with more information on the ISO

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Less than a year ago I relocated and left the dog I loved with another family member. Due to my relocation and other (personal) things going on money was tight. During that time my sweet dog was hit by a car and long distance I was forced to make the decision to put her down. At the time of this I explained to the Vet the circumstances and yet they still sent this to a bill collector, known as IC Systems. Hooray for me, right?

First call came in and they wanted to verify a lot of personal information, my social security number, mother's maiden name, my address, even my phone number (well, ummm duh! You call it, right?) I refused to give them any information until they told me what it was regarding. They refused to tell me anything other than it being a "personal business matter". I told them my SSN, Name, Address, Mother's Maiden Name, Address, etc were also personal business matters of mine and unless they told me WHAT personal business matter I would not speak with them any longer. *I REALLY WISH I had gotten names of all those I have spoken with and will from this point forward.* At any rate, the female says "You have to tell me this by law" Me being a wise (you know what) said "I plead the fifth" She obviously realized I was not caving and said "the law says I can not tell you what this is regarding until we know who we are speaking with" Well umm, when you ask for me by name isn't me saying "this is her" good enough anymore? I mean REALLY?

At this point I am completely livid and this was my FIRST encounter with them. So I told her nicely, send me a letter what this is regarding and I will call you back. Two hours go by and a male calls me (repeat initial questions asked by them). I said "OK look, I spoke with someone at 11:52 and told them to send me a letter." He INTERUPTED ME to say "she did" Well obviously the mail system does not work that quickly so you are calling me back that soon? Sorry but I am NOT playing. I said "So are you telling me what this is regarding" and repeat yet again all the information they wanted. So I hung up. Now each time they call I answer and disconnect.

On to the other issues. Yes I FINALLY got the letter and it stated the vet clinic that put my pup to sleep! now I am really ticked emotional and at times wished the same distress on them I went through and they have added to me. Nothing like bringing back the horrid memory of losing something you love when a number shows up on caller ID right?

I did not want to speak with them and the letter gave me the following web address to make payments: yourpayment.com


I intentionally used a credit card with a low minimum on multiple things leaving enough to make a $50 payment with $9 left over for my limit. Well, they tried to put that payment through THREE TIMES! So no today I have TWO payments "pending" that when the money is there it will go through.

I am saving screen shots, going to try to deal with the Vet Clinic Direct, contact the animal hospital directly to get this matter of a total amount of * Drum Roll Please* $250

Some "Facts" about this company and sharing this to help others and I am not done, myself. (They will wish they never took on that small amount of money.)

Company Owned by the Erickson Family. From their website "Ruth Erickson and her husband Jack start I.C. System in 1938 Ruth Erickson assumes control of the company after her husband dies in 1953."
And lastly "I.C. System doubles in size from 2000 to 2005 and remains the largest family-owned, privately-held receivables management company in the U.S."
Company Type Private
2005 Sales (mil.) $57.9

I bet Ruth and Jack are both rolling over in their graves at this point, I highly doubt their intent was to harass people.

This is "their style" from their website as well:

Our Style
After you collect billions of dollars over nearly 70 years, you learn a thing or two about what works.

At I.C. System, we simply make sure you'll work with an experienced, ethical, professional team of people. People who know how to take advantage of the most current technologies to help you collect more debt more often so you can add more to your bottom line.

We can tailor a collection plan that fits right in with the way you like to work.

At the end of the day, you'll see us as an innovative solutions providers not just a collection agency with answers that are both in your best interest and your customers.

It's all about providing you with Intelligent Collections.
Key Names in the company I will be contacting (or a lawyer bud of mine will be):
Bill DeBacker Vice President of Communications
Chris Clausen Vice President of Financial Services
Thomas S. Gavinski Vice President of Healthcare
Tom Cook Vice President of Sales
*above mentioned people are all new hires per their website in SIX short months* Something is not right with them

If you OWE money legit and being harassed by them contact and try to settle with the one you owe money to and have them pull the business I know I am. I am going to DEMAND a copy of the following from the one I owe money to:

"View the real-time status of debts, including: the number of letters sent, number of calls made, number of right-party contacts, paid amount, and more."

I have no issues with someone trying to collect a debt, but heck when it is something bad and you block it from memory due to other high stress things and money needing to be spent elsewhere to get harassed and find out what it is, is troublesome. Their tactics are HIDEOUS at best. To top it off if you settle with the one you owe the money to they probably do not get money.

I am all for DECENT family owned the decency of this one died with the founders if it was there at all.

Carrollton, Texas

This report was posted on Ripoff Report on 07/05/2007 10:42 PM and is a permanent record located here: http://www.ripoffreport.com/r/I-C-System/St-Paul-Minnesota-55127/I-C-Systems-Harassment-Probing-of-Personal-Information-Refusal-to-Answer-Questions-and-A-258988. The posting time indicated is Arizona local time. Arizona does not observe daylight savings so the post time may be Mountain or Pacific depending on the time of year.

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Updates & Rebuttals

#1 UPDATE EX-employee responds

IC has it's flaws, but...

AUTHOR: Kevin - ()

Dear Rachel,

I worked for IC System for a short time 12 years ago as a licensed collector. I left because of their shady practices and have no particular love for the company. I have not worked as a collector since, nor do I plan to again. However, having been a collector, I can offer some insight as to why your experience has been so difficult. Even though you did not pose these issues as questions, I will offer what I have in Q and A fashion. 

First and foremost, you admitted that you owe the money. You also admitted that you failed to pay because you were upset about your dead dog. I'm sorry for your loss but no company will accept that as an excuse for failure to pay. You need to pay this bill (and by now, I imagine you have). When you do, your relationship with IC System will be over.

Q: Why won't they tell you why they are calling?

A: Federal law (the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act, or FDCPA) forbids a third-party debt collector from sharing any information with you about a collection account, or even that they are calling to collect on a debt, until they have verified that you are the one responsible for the debt. Collectors are not even allowed to leave a message on your voicemail identifying themselves as collectors or you as a debtor. This is to prevent collectors from embarassing you by your financial troubles with others who would not take well to your failure to pay (for example, your employer or an unaware family member). If a collector asks to verify your identity, it is usually enough to verify your name and address. If anyone asks for your SS#, you can verify it by sharing only the last four digits, but you are wise to keep that to yourself and insist on another way.

Once you confirm that you are the person responsible for the account, collectors are required by law to inform you that they are collecting on a debt and that any information gained during the call will be used for that purpose. They must say this on every call whether they call you or you call them. 

Q: I'm upset by their calls. How can I get them to stop?

A: If you wish for a debt collector to stop writing or calling, the law says you must do so in writing. Send a letter to IC System with your name, account number, phone number, and address. Make sure the letter specifically says "Cease Communication." Once they receive the letter (or fax), IC System is forbidden by law to contact you again except to say that they received your request. This will stop the letters and calls, but it will not resolve the debt. You still need to pay. 

Q: Should you pay by using yourpayment.com?

A: No. You're already dealing with a third-party collector. You don't also need to deal with a third-party payment system. Collectors want you to use Moneygram or online pay services because they get paid faster and thus get their commissions faster. That doesn't mean you must pay that way. Once you have made a payment arrangement with them, they will not contact you again unless you break that arrangement. If you wish to pay by check or money order through the mail, say so. They will allow enough time for the check to arrive and clear before bothering you again. You might also just pay your vet directly and ask the vet's office to contact IC System to resolve your account. 

Q: After I refused to give my information to one collector, another called me within hours. Is that legal?

A: Mostly, yes. The frequency with which a debt collector can contact you varies by state. The trick is that the law usually doesn't limit the number of "calls" but the number of "contacts." If they call and you do not answer, or refuse to verify your identity, they have not legally "contacted" you. In most states, if they speak to you AND verify your identity, they can't call until at least the next day. There is also a clause in the law that says a debt collector cannot contact you or cause your phone to ring with the intent to harass. 

Q: Should I contact my State Attorney General or my own lawyer.

A: You may always do that if you feel you need their counsel. I will caution you that it would be a waste of time and money if your only complaint is that IC System made your life difficult by following the law. Also, every debt collector gets receives empty threats about law suits, government authorities...etc. many times a day. They won't care. They won't fear you, especially if you are just speaking in anger. However, if IC System broke the law, harassed you, took money beyond what you owe...etc. then by all means consult a lawyer or the appropriate government agency. If you do hire an attorney to handle your account, call IC System with the attorney's name and contact info and insist that they speak only to the attorney about the account. They will.

I imagine you've resolved this by now, but perhaps this will help you or another ripoffreport reader in dealing with debt collectors like IC System. Good luck to you, Rachel.



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#2 Consumer Comment

ic systems

AUTHOR: Tomnj - (USA)

re: Don - Belleville (U.S.A.) comment

whatever you DO NOT give them any info, especially SS#.  They are fishing.  Once they get your ss# whammo its on your credit report whether its your debt or not.

First off, what are they calling about?  What bill?  Is it really yours to pay?  Many times these agencies are only given some POSSIBLE clues as to the POSSIBLE owner of the debt, such as just a phone#.  They call it to find out more.   Giving them your personal info before knowing why you are giving it is suicide.

Watch out.
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#3 Consumer Comment

Watch some of these posts

AUTHOR: Being Harrassed - (U.S.A.)

watch out there are collectors who post good and nice things about the collection agency they work for, when all they they do is harass you, they also try to collect when the debt is past the statute of limitations, just send the a cease and desist letter many free examples on the internet, and ask the to verify the debt.
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#4 Consumer Suggestion

pointing fingers.

AUTHOR: Chuck - (U.S.A.)

I really think it comes down to personal responsibility. I dont think we should complain about collection agencies screwing us when they wouldn't be calling us if we hadn't screwed the company they are working for in the first place. I've been in collections. I made payment arrangements during the first call and never got a call back and saved my credit report (they dont usually report you if you start your payment arrangements in the first 30 days.) I made a mistake, I took responsibility for it, I didn't blame anyone, and I'm a better person for it.
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#5 Consumer Comment

Here Is how to get i.c. system of your back

AUTHOR: Charles - (U.S.A.)

Here Is how to get i.c. system of your back. Complain to the Minnesota attorney general office.

They have complaint forms on there site.

Also collection agencies have a new trick they place collection accounts to your credit files without your knowledge then they send you a collection letter afterwards.

The federal trade commission needs to be aware of there sneak & dishonest ways. They are suppose to send you a collection letter give u a chance to dispute It.

Collection agencies work togather to try to screw us but we don't matter to the federal trade commission.

If we did matter then they would try to shut these collection agencies down but they don't.
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#6 Consumer Comment

wow very crude

AUTHOR: Outlawgunner - (U.S.A.)

Don what you don't know is if you give them a name, number, SSN, address or all of them, they can assume/implement you owe thier hiring company money. I had this problem with them claiming I was another person, and they also claimed I was giving them false Name and address.(Never gave them my SSN- due to the fact that many of my friends, and neighbor got tricked into giving it out to them on something they didn't owe. My next door neighbor was trick into giving it to them because she used to use verzion phone service. Well after she got off the phone she looked into it and found out that she didn't owe a thing to verzion. 2 hours later she gets a call from I.C Systems saying she owes $471.45, she laughs and hangs up) I.C systems is still trying to fight a case against the Federal goverment, I.C Systems has been in a investgation for almost 2 1/2 years I believe, and if the case gets closed in the Federal goverments favor, I.C Systems with owe over 2.5 billion dollars to the Federal goverment and the past accussed/comusers.
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#7 Consumer Suggestion

a few thoughts

AUTHOR: Don - (U.S.A.)

First, I am sorry for the loss of your dog. That can be very difficult to go through.

Now, on to the post itself. First, you say you explained the circumstances to the vet's office, and they still sent it to collections. Unfournately regardless of the circumstances, the bill was unpaid. It also does not matter of the account is $250 or $2,500,00. I am sure that the office would have much prefered to deal with you directly, but at the end of the day, they need to be paid. The vet's office probably does not have the manpower or the training (don't laugh) in the laws of debt collection.

Next, once you gave them your name, they could have definately discussed the account with you. As for verifying the information, debt collectors are taught (I know, I am a debt collector trainer) to verify all information so that if payment arrangements are set up, and are broken, they have more accurate information to attempt to make contact again.

I just have a question regarding the multiple payments. If you went to a website and set up payment yourself, how did they process it more than once? I don't know if this is a website directly for the agency, or just a generic payment site.
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#8 Author of original report

IC System Update with more information on the ISO

AUTHOR: Rachel - (U.S.A.)

I.C. System Hires Information Security Officer

St. Paul, Minn. (March 23, 2005) I.C. System has hired Ken Erickson as Information Security Officer. Mr. Erickson, CISA (Certified Information Systems Auditor), is responsible for ensuring best-practices continue to be implemented and adhered to concerning information security. He has oversight for I.C. Systems Security Policy, which is comprised of several key components, including Business Continuity, Disaster Recovery, Physical and Environmental Security, Computer and Network Management, and External Audits.

Mr. Erickson is a recognized expert in Computer Security, Disaster Recovery, and Information Systems with extensive experience working for financial and healthcare companies. He has been a featured speaker on security topics at numerous conferences nationwide and has taught CISA review classes for the ISSA (Information Systems Security Association). Additionally, Mr. Erickson has consulted with law enforcement agencies in computer crime investigations.

Ken's knowledge of information security complements our ongoing strategy of having industry-leading measures in place to protect clients and the consumer data they provide to us,said Ken Rapp, I.C. System President/CEO. He has a thorough understanding of key legislation such as Sarbanes-Oxley, Gramm-Leach Bliley Act, and HIPAA as it relates to information security and the ability to monitor how changes in this critical area may influence our operations.

Most recently, Mr. Erickson was the Director of Information Security/Disaster Recovery for Green Tree Servicing. Previously, he held similar management positions with Park Nicollet Health Services, Allina Health System, and United Healthcare Corporation.
Copyright 2005 I.C. System. All rights reserved.
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