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BBB TIPS A COLUMN BY MARJORIE STEPHENS

Smitley takes over as BBB president/CEO

Thursday, June 13, 2013 - 8:36 am

This is a consumer advice column written by the Better Business Bureau of Northern Indiana. It appears Thursdays in Business.

BBB Serving Northern Indiana is pleased to announce that Greg Smitley has been named its new president/chief executive officer.

“Greg will champion the mission of ‘Creating Marketplace Trust’ in Northern Indiana, which serves 23 counties,” said Michael Coil, outgoing president/CEO, in a news release. “Greg’s 33 years of experience in the banking industry will be helpful as he navigates the non-profit world and will bring a fresh perspective to the CEO position. Our CEO search committee spent a lot of time and effort to choose just the right individual and I am confident they have done their job well!”

Greg brings a strong background of leadership, business development, sales, financial analysis and board governance to the position. These attributes will be valuable in fulfilling the duties as chief executive officer.

“I’m pleased to continue the exemplary work that Mike Coil and his staff have done to establish the BBB as the vanguard of marketplace integrity and trust and I look forward to the opportunity to further serve the community of Northern Indiana,” said Smitley in the news release.

Collection agency isnít calling

Consumers and businesses alike have been receiving calls from 1-800-494-5705. There have been some reports that the call is coming from a collection agency called Credit Watch Services that may be based out of Texas, according to sources from www.whocallsme.com.

The problem is the people receiving these calls are reporting that they don’t even owe debts and the calls won’t go away.

Should you receive unwanted calls from any company, the first thing to do is to ask the representative to add you to their “no contact” list. If your request is refused or they call back, contact the Federal Trade Commission at 1-877-382-4357.

File a complaint and request to be added to the “no-call list” for solicitations, if you have not already done so.

It is illegal for many organizations to contact you once you are on there unless you have an “existing business relationship.”

As far as debt collectors, they are required to send you a written notice regarding the debt. Within 30 days of the notice, in order to get them to stop calling, you must send them a letter stating that you don’t owe this debt.

If they find out that you actually owe it, after the 30 days are up, they can start calling again.

For further questions regarding the do’s and don’ts of debt collection practices, visit the FTC’s Debt Collection tips for consumers at www.consumer.ftc.gov/ articles/0149-debt-collection.

Marjorie Stephens is the communications director for the Better Business Bureau of Northern Indiana. Before you make a purchase, go to the BBB website at www.neindiana.bbb.org or call 423-4433 or toll-free 1-800-552-4631 to check out a business.