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]

(Great Beyond)

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]

Capital One Admits It Wrongly Tried To Collect On Credit Card, Then Continues Trying To Collect Anyway

Capital One Admits It Wrongly Tried To Collect On Credit Card, Then Continues Trying To Collect Anyway

Earlier this year, a woman in Chicago won what she likely thought was a small victory. She and her lawyer were able to convince Capital One that she had never had a credit card from the bank, and thus does not owe the $1867.18 Cap One had sued her for. But rather than remedy the situation, the woman says Capital One just made it worse. [More]

Debt Collectors Real & Fake Top List Of Most-Blocked Phone Numbers

Debt Collectors Real & Fake Top List Of Most-Blocked Phone Numbers

According to a new list of most-blocked telephone numbers, the only people more tenacious than debt collectors about making non-stop calls to consumers are bogus debt collectors possibly looking to steal your information or trick you into making a payment. [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]

Man At Center Of Vast Phantom Debt Collector Scam Says He’s An Innocent Pawn

Man At Center Of Vast Phantom Debt Collector Scam Says He’s An Innocent Pawn

We’ve written a couple of times during the last several months about the Federal Trade Commission’s efforts to crack down on bogus debt collectors, operating out of call centers in India, who pretend to be police officers in order to scare people into paying money they don’t owe. Now the man identified by the FTC as being at the center of the U.S. side of the operation says he’s merely an innocent pawn. [More]

Debt Collector Garnishes Woman’s Wages But Won’t Tell Her Exactly How Much She Owes

Debt Collector Garnishes Woman’s Wages But Won’t Tell Her Exactly How Much She Owes

A woman in New Jersey fully admits that her financial irresponsibility led her to owe Capital One $1,286, an amount that eventually ended up in collections. But now that the same woman wants to get a better handle on how much she’s paying out every month, the collections agency refuses to give her an accurate account balance. [More]