Robocalling Phantom Debt Collector Accused Of Harassing, Defrauding Consumers

Robocalling Phantom Debt Collector Accused Of Harassing, Defrauding Consumers

People hate debt collectors, perhaps as much as, if not more than, they despise robocalls from telemarketers. And phantom debt collectors — those who attempt to collect debts that aren’t owed to them, if at all — are among the worst of the bunch. So when you combine the automated recorded messages of robocalls with the incessant harassment of phantom debt collectors, you create a particularly loathsome Frankenstein’s monster. [More]

(David Goehring)

“Bad Check” Debt Collector Deceptively Used Prosecutors’ Letterhead To Intimidate Consumers Into Paying High Fees

Late last year, Consumerist reported on a string of debt collectors paying to use prosecutors’ letterheads as a way to intimidate consumers into paying their debts. While the company facing the wrath of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau today didn’t exactly pay to use the letterhead, they allegedly used the documents in a deceptive manner to get consumers to enroll in costly financial education programs. [More]

Consumers Lost $1.7B To Scams In 2014, Imposter Crimes On The Rise

Consumers Lost $1.7B To Scams In 2014, Imposter Crimes On The Rise

For the 15th consecutive year, identity theft topped the Federal Trade Commission’s list of top consumer complaints. But its reign could be coming to an end following a significant increase in the number of scams in which con artists impersonating government agents and law enforcement personnel part consumers from their money.
[More]

(nvaine)

Feds & NY Attorney General Team Up To Sue Abusive Debt Collectors

Just like one of those action movies where a federal agent gets paired up with a small-town sheriff who knows all the bad guys in the area, the Federal Trade Commission has brought its crackdown on abusive debt collectors to New York and partnered with the Empire State’s attorney general to shut down a pair of unsavory operators. [More]

From CNNMoney's "Above The Law," an extensive investigative report on debt collection on behalf of the government.

Some Debt Collectors Get Away With Shady Behavior When Collecting Debt For Government

Federal and state regulators are continually trying to crack down on debt collectors who use unsavory, illegal tactics to make consumers pay up. But some ethically questionable collectors are operating under the regulatory radar because they collect debts for the government. [More]

The National Consumer Law Center is asking the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau to go full Daryl Dixon on the collection of zombie debt.

Is It Time For Regulators To Stab Zombie Debt Through The Brain?

What a lot of people don’t know — and what debt collectors rarely mention — is that most unpaid debt has an expiration date after which you can’t be sued for repayment. And even fewer consumers are aware that this dead debt can be sparked back to life by making a payment after it’s already passed on to the debt afterlife. A new report calls on federal regulators to make sure that debt doesn’t rise from the dead in zombie form. [More]

The CFPB, along with AGs from Virginia and North Carolina took action against Freedom Furniture & Electronics and its related companies for alleged illegal debt collection practices involving servicemembers.

CFPB: Retailer Allegedly Using Illegal Debt Collection Practices Against Servicemembers Must Refund $2.5M

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau continues its fight against companies that continuously take advantage of members of the military, despite protections afforded to them under federal laws. Regulators’ latest victory? A settlement demanding over $2.5 million in consumer relief from three companies that allegedly used illegal tactics to pilfer money from servicemembers and their families. [More]

(Alan Bruce)

Authorities Arrest Owner, Six Employees Of Debt Collection Group That Scammed $4.1M From Consumers

We’re no stranger to the shady tactics that debt collection companies use to pry money from consumers. But the latest scam to be shut down by U.S. authorities might be one of the most egregious we’ve ever seen. [More]

Older Americans report facing several issues when it comes to interactions with debt collectors.

CFPB Finds Older Consumers Face Illegal, Harassing Tactics From Debt Collectors

As if we hadn’t said it enough, but debt collectors are the worst, especially when they use illegal tactics to pry money from older American’s living on fixed incomes. A new report from the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau shines light on the issues older consumers face when it comes to their financial well-being. [More]

USA Discounters is now USA Living, but it's still charging too much for its products and still suing soldiers with out-of-state addresses.

Sketchy Retailer That Sued Soldiers Promises To Be Less Sketchy, Still Suing Soldiers

In July, we told you about USA Discounters, a retailer that took advantage of underpaid soldiers with no credit histories to charge them exorbitant financing fees and then sue them when they couldn’t pay up. Now USA Discounters has changed its name and is promising to change its ways, but it’s really just another case of putting a wig on a pig. [More]

Study: One Third Of Americans Have Debt In Collections

Study: One Third Of Americans Have Debt In Collections

Sometimes debt isn’t so bad, and sometimes it is, but one thing is clear: 80% of Americans owe someone, somewhere, some money. It might be a mortgage or student loan, or a five-year-old fee that got forgotten about, but the vast majority of us have some outstanding debt. And worse: a third of the country may have debt collectors chasing after them for that cash. [More]

FTC Halts Debt Collection Company That Allegedly Used Illegal Tactics To Collect $8.7M

FTC Halts Debt Collection Company That Allegedly Used Illegal Tactics To Collect $8.7M

And another one bites the dust – kind of. The Federal Trade Commission, along with the New York Attorney General’s office, received an order to temporarily halt a Buffalo-based debt collection operation that allegedly used lies and threats to collect more than $8.7 million from consumers. [More]

Even Scofflaws With $270K In Debt Have The Right To Not Be Cyberstalked By Collectors

(Paul Barwick)

We recently told you about the woman who admitted she indeed owed Kohl’s $20, but sued the retailer for being over-eager about collecting on the debt. But does a debt collector have more leeway to be a pest when the debt is 13,500 times that amount? [More]

"Why are you calling me about Uncle Caranthir's overdue payday loan?" (Photo: Zoomar)

Debt Collection Scammers Calling Victims’ Family & Co-Workers To Squeeze Money From People

A debt collection scam operates on two principles: That lots of us have debt, and that the con artist is good enough at his art to trick some of us into believing we have to pay immediately. But some scammers are bringing outside parties into their grift, contacting victims’ families and co-workers in the hopes that this will result in pressure to pay up on the bogus debt. [More]

Kohl’s Shopper Sues Store For Bugging Her About $20 Debt

Kohl’s Shopper Sues Store For Bugging Her About $20 Debt

While most of the complaints we hear about debt collection involve consumers who don’t owe the money they are being hassled to pay. But what often goes undiscussed is the fact that the anti-harassment rules still apply to collectors regardless of whether or not they are trying to collect a bona fide debt. [More]

CFPB Report Confirms Payday Lenders And Debt Collectors Are The Worst

CFPB Report Confirms Payday Lenders And Debt Collectors Are The Worst

For decades, payday lenders and debt collectors did their work while being largely ignored by federal financial regulators. And a new report from the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, which recently gained oversight authority over the largest of these businesses, calls out many of the sketchy, sometimes illegal, practices some in these industries have been getting away with for far too long. [More]

Most Debt Collector Complaints Made By Consumers Being Hounded For Money They Don’t Owe

Most Debt Collector Complaints Made By Consumers Being Hounded For Money They Don’t Owe

We’re not sure how many times we’ve said it, but it’s worth repeating: Debt collectors are the worst. It’s not just that they’re often rude and occasionally violate the law. What really puts collection agencies at the bottom of the barrel is the fact that they consistently go after debt that consumers simply don’t owe. [More]

How Did $42 Girl Scout Cookie Purchase Become $800 Legal Bill?

How Did $42 Girl Scout Cookie Purchase Become $800 Legal Bill?

A Colorado man says he was just trying to help out his local Girl Scout troop (and get some cookies in return, of course) when he wrote a check for $42, but it’s turned into a monster headache that has made him the target of a debt collector and cost him hundreds of dollars. [More]