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How to Resolve a Debt with FCO Collections and Outsourcing

Hannah Locklear | September 06, 2023

Hannah Locklear
Editor at SoloSuit
Hannah Locklear, BA

Hannah Locklear is SoloSuit’s Marketing and Impact Manager. With an educational background in Linguistics, Spanish, and International Development from Brigham Young University, Hannah has also worked as a legal support specialist for several years.

Summary: If FCO Collections and Outsourcing has communicated with you about a debt, SoloSuit can help you respond to the initial contact with a Debt Validation Letter, respond to a debt lawsuit, and settle your debt before going to court.

Dealing with a collections agency like FCO Collections and Outsourcing can be overwhelming, especially if you're unfamiliar with the debt collections process. Whether the debt is related to medical bills, utilities, or any other financial obligation, the important thing is not to panic. You have rights, options, and a number of strategies to resolve the issue.

In this article, we’ll break down the steps you should take to resolve your debt with FCO Collections and Outsourcing, but first, what is this company?

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What is FCO Collections and Outsourcing?

Fair Collections and Outsourcing (FCO) is a US rental housing debt collections agency. If you have fallen behind on your rent, or if you left an apartment complex without paying all your dues, there is a good chance FCO will contact you about the debt.

FCO Collections is not accredited by the Better Business Bureau, and it has an overall rating of F with them. The collection agency has received several complaints on its BBB profile and the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau has also reported thousands of complaints against FCO. These complaints are concerning, and many of them allege that FCO attempts to collect on invalid debts, fails to verify a debt upon request, and reports inaccurate information to the credit bureau.

Here’s an example of a real complaint against FCO (edited for clarity):

“In 2020, I co-signed for a one-year lease for my daughters in Virginia. The apartment 's monthly rent was $2700. My daughter made monthly payments with money orders, and I made sure of this. In 2020, the complex emailed my daughter, stating that $6300 was owed. This was impossible because I personally made sure that the full amount of rent was paid through money orders. If $6300 (or even close to that amount) was owed, why were they not notified of this prior? Wouldn't there have been some sort of eviction if any of this was accurate? My credit report is now stating that I owe $16,000 to the apartment 's collection agency. This is not only incorrect, but also unethical and illegal. $6300 was not owed to begin with, but how could $16.000 be owed now? Upon checking the apartments current reviews, they are known to lose money that their tenants place in their drop box.”

Knowing your rights can protect you from unfair treatment by FCO debt collectors. Keep reading to learn how the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA) protects you.

Step 1: Understand your rights

Familiarize yourself with your rights under the FDCPA, which states that FCO debt collectors cannot do any of the following:

  • Call you before 8 a.m. or after 9 p.m.
  • Call you at work when your employer prohibits such communication
  • Tell your family or friends that you owe a debt
  • Continue to contact you when you have explicitly asked them not to
  • Take actions considered harassment or abuse under the FDCPA
  • Claim they will sell your debt in order to coerce you to pay
  • Cause your phone to ring repeatedly with the intent to annoy
  • Fail to disclose that they are a debt collector
  • Make false claims about who they are
  • Threaten to seize your house or other property
  • Threaten to take legal action that they cannot, or do not plan to, take

Receiving calls from a debt collector can be anxiety-provoking. You don’t want your collector to report you to the credit reporting bureaus or sue you for your debt. Pay close attention to how FCO debt collectors communicate with you. If their actions are FDCPA violations, protect your rights and file a complaint with the FTC.

Before you take any action on a debt, you should verify that it’s legit and that you actually owe it. You can do this through debt validation, which is another right granted to consumers in the FDCPA.

Step 2: Verify the debt

Before you make any payment or even agree that you owe the debt, take steps to verify its legitimacy.

Under the FDCPA, you have the right to request an official debt validation if you suspect any part of the debt is invalid. Send a Debt Validation Letter within 30 days of the first contact from the collections agency. In response, FCO must prove that the debt is valid by providing the following information:

  • Proof that you owe the debt
  • The amount of the debt
  • The age of the debt
  • Proof of FCO’s ownership of the debt
  • The agent’s debt collector license, or right to collect on the debt in your state
  • A calculation of whether the statute of limitations has expired for collecting the debt
  • The last action taken on the account

If FCO Collections can’t provide this information, they can’t take you to court over the supposed debt. Sending a Debt Validation Letter is a great way to block a debt lawsuit and prevent going to court over a debt that is invalid.

Below is the contact information for FCO Collections and Outsourcing:

Phone: 1-877-324-7959
Address: 12304 Baltimore Ave., Ste #E, Beltsville, MD 20705

Step 3: Respond to your debt lawsuit

In some debt cases, the matter may be escalated to court. If you’re being sued for a rental debt, you should have received court documents (typically known as the Summons and Complaint) notifying you of the case. It is your responsibility to draft and file an Answer to these documents before your state deadline.

Here are some tips and tricks to help you respond to your credit card debt lawsuit:

  1. Keep your Answer brief.
  2. Deny as many claims as possible.
  3. Add your affirmative defenses.
  4. Use standard formatting and style.
  5. Include a certificate of service.
  6. Sign the Answer document.

To learn more about these six tips, check out this blog post or watch the following video:

Step 4: Settle your debt before going to court

If the debt is legitimate but you're unable to pay it in full, you may be able to negotiate a settlement for a lesser amount, or arrange a payment plan.

After you respond to your debt lawsuit, you have time to work out a debt settlement with FCO Collections and Outsourcing. In a debt settlement, you offer a portion of the total amount due, usually at least 60% of the debt’s value. In exchange for a lump-sum payment, FCO agrees to drop any legal claims against you and release you from the remaining balance.

Start by offering a lower lump-sum amount if you can afford it. If not, negotiate a feasible monthly payment. Don't agree to a payment plan you can't realistically maintain. This will only prolong your financial difficulties. Most importantly, any agreement should be confirmed in writing before you make a payment.

Once you’ve negotiated a payment plan or settlement, it’s crucial to stick to it. Missing payments could result in further actions, including potential legal ramifications. After resolving the debt, obtain a copy of your credit report to ensure the account has been updated appropriately. Any errors could adversely affect your credit score.

Keep all related correspondence, receipts, and other documentation. This could prove crucial if there are any future discrepancies or if you need to show proof of payment.

To learn more about how to settle a debt with FCO, check out this video:

SoloSettle, powered by SoloSuit, is a tech-based approach to debt settlement. Our software helps you send and receive settlement offers until you reach an agreement with the collector. Once an agreement is reached, we’ll help you manage the settlement documentation and transfer your payment to the creditor or debt collector, helping you keep your financial information private and secure.


While dealing with a collections agency like FCO Collections and Outsourcing is never pleasant, understanding your rights and options can make the process more manageable. Always proceed with caution, consult professionals when necessary, and be diligent about following through on any agreed-upon payment plans or settlements.

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