With more than 40 million consumers holding thousands of dollars in student loan debt, it’s no surprise that student loan debt collection is a growing business. Yet, these collectors must follow federal rules when it comes to enticing debtors to repay their obligations. Despite this, federal regulators say one company wasn’t following the rules, and must now pay $700,000. [More]
fair debt collection practices act
In this latest episode of Debt Collectors Behaving Badly, we bring you the tale of two medical debt collection law firms who must now refund hundreds of thousands of dollars after they were caught falsely claiming that attorneys were involved in collection actions. [More]
A jury in Missouri recently awarded $251,000 in damages to a local woman who was wrongfully sued by a debt collector — more than 222 times the amount she’d been sued over — but that’s nothing compared to the additional $82.99 million in punitive damages assessed against the collection company. [More]
Federal and state regulators are continually trying to crack down on debt collectors who use unsavory, illegal tactics to make consumers pay up. But some ethically questionable collectors are operating under the regulatory radar because they collect debts for the government. [More]
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]
They just wouldn’t stop calling, and now they have to pay. The 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals has upheld a ruling that a debt collection firm will have to pay a former janitor suffering from a head injury $311,000. Quite a turn of events, considering the debt they were hounding him on was only about $3,800.
Here are two videos, the first of debt collector threatening this man’s wife and kids over a debt he had already repaid, and the second of when he calls them back and takes them to task. The debt collector says he’s an “officer” with the “ULPD,” which is the “United Legal Processing Division” but the name sounds like it was chosen to make it sounds like law enforcement. Note how quickly they fold once he starts asking questions like “Who are you,” “who do you work for,” and “what proof do you have.” Then think about how if that’s all it takes to get them to back off and move on to the next soft target, how these bullying tactics must be working for them.
“I’ll go through any lengths I have to in order to embarrass you,” says one of the many debt collector chicks who keep calling this guy up at work, trying to get him to pay for a credit card debt from 1998 that he doesn’t remember and for which they refuse to provide verification.
Hey, um, “Zoran,” if you owe money to Bank of America, can you give them a call because they seem to think you live at reader Kimber’s house and they are just not willing to accept that you don’t. Kimber says they call the house at “all hours of the day, during meal times and weekends” looking for you.
“When I see you, I’m gonna f*** you up,” says debt collector “Mickey,” pictured at left, on the answering machine of a guy who bounced a check. WTSP obtained the messages, some of the worst debt collector recordings I’ve ever heard, and you can listen to them here.
An anonymous tipster sent us AOL’s 153 page internal collections guidebook for prying money out of delinquent account holders. The guide shows that AOL is following some of the debt industry’s most egregious collection tactics by encouraging agents to deceive and lie to customers. After the jump we present AOL’s scare tactics, tricks to negotiating a substantial discount, and the full collections guide.
Consumers Reported 69,204 Fair Debt Collection Practices Act Violations. FTC Responds With One (1) Lawsuit
Consumers have filed over 69,000 complaints against scummy debt collectors for violating the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act, prompting the FTC to rush to our collective defense by taking action against three debt collectors who showed a “culture of harassing the debtors from which they collect.” Two debt collectors settled and one went to court. Still, when you receive over 69,000 complaints—and these are from the people who know to complain to the FTC—it’s reasonable to assume that more than three collectors encourage a culture of harassment. More harrowing revelations from the FTC’s annual report to Congress, after the jump.
The Midlothian, IL Chief of Police thinks it’s appropriate for his officers to help local businesses collect private debts. Midlothian’s local mechanic, Merlin’s Muffler and Brake, performed $500 of work for Angela Proctor, who paid back all but $108 before falling into financial trouble. From The Star:
Relevant to our earlier post about Chris getting call after call from his debt collectors and wanting to stop their zombie madness, and T-Mobile and Catherine Zeta Jones’ inability to do anything about it, reader Erik found the Federal “Fair Debt Collection Practices Act” from Title 15 of the United States Code.