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]

(mjar81)

Disabled Vet Says Debt Collector Told Him “You Should Have Died”

An Army veteran who was left disabled after suffering spinal and head injuries in the line of duty claims that not only did a did a debt collector attempt to illegally garnish his disability payments, but that an employee of the collection agency told him he “should have died” after a judge sided with the vet. [More]

Whataburger Suing Debt Collection Company That Won't Stop Calling Its Employee At Work

Whataburger Suing Debt Collection Company That Won't Stop Calling Its Employee At Work

If debt collectors at NCO Financial Systems thought they could get away with annoying Whataburger Restaurants while trying to get one of its employees to pay up on an alleged debt owned, well, they’ve got another think coming. The burger chain is taking the side of its employee and is suing NCO over what it’s calling “harassment.” [More]

Is It Okay For Store Owners To Call Out Bad Customers By Listing Names On Public Wall Of Shame?

Is It Okay For Store Owners To Call Out Bad Customers By Listing Names On Public Wall Of Shame?

It isn’t just businesses that often need a dose of public shame to stop acting awful — sometimes customers are taken to task when they’re behaving badly, as one video store owner in North Carolina has been doing. She estimates that she’s lost about $26,000 in unpaid late fees and videos that never returned in the last three years and is taking to social media and a Wall of Shame in her store to fight back. [More]

Medical Debt Collector Banned In Minnesota For Harassing Patients In Emergency Rooms

Medical Debt Collector Banned In Minnesota For Harassing Patients In Emergency Rooms

One of the nation’s largest medical debt collectors just got a bit smaller after it agreed to stop operating in Minnesota over allegations that the company staffed hospital emergency rooms with its agents in order to get people to pay up on any owed debts before they received additional care. [More]

The Fax Of Shame: How It Really Feels To Lose Your Home

The Fax Of Shame: How It Really Feels To Lose Your Home

C. and her husband are a young couple who moved into their first house just a few years ago. Unable to manage their mortgage payments, they asked their lender, PNC Mortgage, for help. The bank offered them a monthly payment $500 higher than the mortgage they couldn’t pay in the first place. Their house has sat empty and on the real estate market since January, waiting for a buyer to come along for a short sale. One did, and the nightmare is almost over. Or it would be, if PNC would just stop calling the couple and any relative whose phone number they can find, almost every day. [More]

Woman Wins $10 Million Judgement Against Collections Agency, Has Trouble Collecting

Woman Wins $10 Million Judgement Against Collections Agency, Has Trouble Collecting

Last year, a woman in West Virginia won a $10 million lawsuit against a collections agency she’d accused of using deception and threats in an attempt to collect a non-existent debt. But considering that no one from the agency even showed up at the trial, it seems unlikely that she’ll ever see a nickel. [More]