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]

This map shows how each state's exemption laws protect debtors from having necessary household goods seized. Click image for full-size (source: NCLC)

In Vermont, Debt Collectors Can’t Seize Your Goats Or Bees, But Your Car May Be Up For Grabs

Every state has some level of protection for debtors so that they are able to continue living and working while repaying their debts. But the level of protection covers the spectrum from protecting reasonably priced homes, vehicles, and necessary goods, to protections so minimal that the debtors will likely remain in the red, unable to ever climb out of debt. [More]

(KGW-TV)

No, Comcast Will Not Threaten To Arrest You If You Don’t Pay Your Bill

So you’ve received an e-mail from Comcast saying you’re $25 late on your cable bill and that if you don’t resolve the issue ASAP, you could be arrested. First, that’s simply not true, and second, that message isn’t from Comcast. [More]

Dear Debt Collectors: Using This Envelope Will Only Get You In Trouble With The FTC

We hope the FTC uses this envelope to send a bill for the $1 billion settlement to these debt collectors.

Remember that rundown of debt-collection practices that violate federal law? Here’s one to add to the list: When sending debt collection notices to consumers, don’t use an envelope that depicts a man being turned upside-down and having his pockets emptied. [More]

(S.L.M)

U-Haul Charges Me For 3-Year-Old Speeding Ticket, Won’t Give Me Any Details

Consumerist reader Dave says he hasn’t rented anything from U-Haul in around two years, so he was surprised this morning to receive a text from the company. Even more alarming: The message said he owed U-Haul money for a speeding ticket from three years ago. [More]

(kevindean)

5 Examples Why Just About Everyone Hates Debt Collectors

People go into debt. The businesses that own that debt want their money. This is why the world needs debt collectors. But what the world doesn’t need are debt collectors who harass, lie, and threaten to take debtors’ children and pets away. [More]

(~Ipknoss)

Regulators Looking To Rein In Debt Collectors Who Use Facebook To Contact Consumers

Even though there’s a lengthy “no-no” list of things debt collectors can’t do, it makes no mention of how collections agencies can use social media. But that may be about to change as the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau gains oversight control over the largest members of the collections industry. [More]

(Mod Betty)

23 Things Debt Collectors Are Not Allowed To Do

Though it sometimes seems like debt collectors will try anything, even impersonating Ed McMahon, to their money, the law actually puts some pretty strict limits on what these people and companies can and can’t do. [More]

(floozefactor)

New Bill Would Take Income-Based Student Loan Payments Straight From Your Paycheck

Student Loan debt in the U.S. recently crossed the $1 trillion mark, with a good chunk of that owed to the U.S. government. In an attempt to streamline the whole process, a soon-to-be-introduced bill would replace the current system of debt collection with automatic payroll deductions tied to the borrower’s income. [More]

(dmuth)

Comcast Doesn’t Understand That 42-42=0, Sends Me To Collections

For a few months in mid-2011, Consumerist reader Claudia lived in two different apartments while waiting to close escrow on her new home. At both apartments, she’d had cable from Comcast, and when she closed out her account she was told she had a zero balance. Then yesterday, Claudia gets a call from a collections agency. [More]

(CBS Sacramento)

How Does Alarm Company Send Former Customer To Collections 4 Times For A Bill She Never Owed?

It’s bad enough when a company does such a bad job of keeping its books that it sends a customer to collections once for a bill she never owed. But it takes a special kind of stupid to pass that debt around like a hot potato until that customer has to prove her case four separate times. [More]