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]

Not many people know about The Work Number, but its database covers employees at 90% of federal agencies.

Is Equifax Actually Selling Your Salary Info?

Equifax also operates an employment verification database that contains sensitive employment information for more than 1/3 of all employed Americans. Aside from being a huge pinata just waiting for a hacker’s swing, it’s unclear exactly what info is being sold to third parties. [More]

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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]

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Minnesota AG Says Debt Collectors Need To Provide Better Evidence When Suing Consumers

Tired of seeing debt buyers and debt collectors winning court cases with little evidence to back their claims, Minnesota Attorney General Lori Swanson has asked state lawmakers to craft a bill mandating a higher standard of proof from these businesses. [More]

(stevegarfield)

Former Customer Claims Comcast Error Ultimately Cost Him $26,000

When a man in Washington, D.C., canceled his Comcast service in 2010, he probably had no idea that this decision could set off a chain of events that would damage his credit and have him paying more for to refinance his house — and ultimately ending up pleading his case in a U.S. District Court. [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]

Debt Collectors And DAs Team Up To Scare Customers Who Bounce Checks

Debt Collectors And DAs Team Up To Scare Customers Who Bounce Checks

It used to be that retailers and district attorneys’ offices faced the same problem, but from different angles. People write an awful lot of bad checks. They might be trying to commit fraud, or they might have just forgotten to carry the one the last time they balanced their checkbook. Stores send the bad checks on to district attorneys’ offices if they think there might be fraud, and the DAs can end up overwhelmed with bad-check cases. They also hire collection agencies to recoup the money owed from their customers, but the rate of return on that isn’t so great. The not-so-obvious solution, which 300 district attorneys take part in: lend their names and letterhead to collection agencies, who in turn threaten check-bouncers with prosecution and prison. [More]

Man Behind Fake-Cop Debt Collection Scam Could Get To Know Some Very Real Convicts

Man Behind Fake-Cop Debt Collection Scam Could Get To Know Some Very Real Convicts

We write a lot about multimillion dollar settlements over alleged frauds and scams, but it often seems like there is an inverse relationship between the amount of money involved and the amount of time spent in jail by the perpetrators. So we’re glad to hear that the man in the center of a debt collection scam that involved callers pretending to be police officers, and which defrauded American consumers out of millions, now faces criminal charges. [More]