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]

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]

Houston-Based Debt Collection Company Agrees To Stop Deceiving Consumers

Houston-Based Debt Collection Company Agrees To Stop Deceiving Consumers

Deceiving consumers is a trademark for some debt collection agencies. Shady collectors have been known to lie about debts, misrepresent themselves as officers of the law, threaten lawsuits, and in the case of a Houston company, charged by the Federal Trade Commission, bully people into paying unnecessary fees. [More]

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Dept. Of Education Sued For Access To Info On Private Debt Collectors

After being denied access to what it claims are public documents about financial incentives the U.S. Dept. of Education provides to private debt collectors, a consumer advocacy group has filed suit under the Freedom of Information Act to have those documents released. [More]

(Kevin Dean)

FTC Shuts Down Texas Debt Collector Who Threatened To Arrest Consumers

Debt collection is a generally unsavory operation. Thankfully, there’s now one less scummy, lying collector calling consumers. A Houston-based company is out of business and must pay $1.4 million after being charged with unsavory practices. [More]

Advocates: Bill Requiring IRS To Use Private Debt Collectors Would Harm Consumers

Advocates: Bill Requiring IRS To Use Private Debt Collectors Would Harm Consumers

It makes sense that the federal government would want to collect owed taxes and a proposed law would require the IRS to push that duty off to private debt collectors. However, a history of abusive practices by debt collectors and the failure of similar programs in the past has consumer advocates warning that the provision will only hurt consumers and the government in the long run. [More]

Report: Debt Collectors Now Using Court System To Unfairly Force Consumers To Pay Up

Report: Debt Collectors Now Using Court System To Unfairly Force Consumers To Pay Up

Debt collection is a big business that doesn’t look to be shrinking anytime soon. But along with the rapid expansion of the industry, there has been an increase in abusive and predatory collection practices. One of those practices, obtaining default judgements against consumers, has led the Center for Responsible Lending to call for stricter regulations over the process of selling debt to collectors. [More]

CFPB Receives Double The Consumer Complaints In 2013, But Sought Fewer Explanations

CFPB Receives Double The Consumer Complaints In 2013, But Sought Fewer Explanations

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau heard a lot from consumers in 2013. The agency received the most complaints in its history, including those from three new areas – payday loans, money transfers and debt collections. But it appears that fewer complaints were sent to offending companies for review and response. [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]

Debt Collection Company Actually Admits It Did The Wrong Thing After Bad Online Review

Debt Collection Company Actually Admits It Did The Wrong Thing After Bad Online Review

Does anyone currently see any pigs fluttering past the window? Or maybe there’s a new ice skating rink in hell? Because a debt collection company has actually admitted it was wrong. Specifically, the company that owned the supposed $3,500 debt a businesses levied against a customer who posted a negative review about an online shopping experience. [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]

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]

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5 Sample Letters That Get Debt Collectors Out Of Your Face

Calls from debt collectors can make your life miserable when you’re already pretty miserable from being in so much debt. It’s even worse when you already paid the debt, or it wasn’t yours to begin with–what should you do next? That’s why sample letters can be a good starting point, or you can just send them as is. [More]

World’s Largest Debt Collector To Pay $3.2 Million Penalty For Harassing Consumers

World’s Largest Debt Collector To Pay $3.2 Million Penalty For Harassing Consumers

It’s highly possible you’ve never heard of Expert Global Solutions, but it’s the largest debt-collection operation in the world. It also is the subject of a recent Federal Trade Commission complaint alleging that the company and its subsidiaries violated federal law by harassing consumers. [More]

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Debt Collectors Keep Calling About Bogus Debt, Even After Being Threatened With Suit

From calling at all hours of the day and night to contacting you at work, we’ve told you before about the large number of banned practices for debt collectors. But one man says he’s the victim of a tenacious debt collector trying to collect a debt he doesn’t even owe. [More]

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Mortgage Lenders Have Easy, Ongoing Access To Your Info In Equifax’s Scary-Huge Database

Much of the controversy surrounding The Work Number, Equifax’s employment-verification database that contains sensitive information on salaries for around 1/3 of the U.S. workforce, has dealt with debt collectors’ access to the data. But lenders can get at your reports just by claiming they have your permission. [More]

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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]