According to the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act, debt collectors are prohibited from threatening violence, using profanity, calling incessantly, inflating a debt or impersonating an attorney. However, the Act has not yet put a stop to illegal harassment. In fact, debt collection companies have used some outrageous practices to collect on debts.
Below are some of the latest outrageous allegations of abuse:
• Threatening to take away children. The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) shut down a debt collector in Texas for using abusive scare tactics to force people to pay off their debts. Consumers reported the company threatening to take away their children, send them to jail or send the sheriff’s department to their job site.
• Posing as an attorney. Some debt collectors have been allegedly calling debtors and posing as an attorney or a representative from a law firm in order to scare them into paying off their debts. In some cases, the attorney imposters have even charged unauthorized attorney’s fees known as “juice.”
• Threatening to dig up dead bodies. According to the FTC, the debt collection agency, Rumson, Bolling & Associates was accused of threatening to dig up deceased children of other debtors and drop them at their doors if they did not pay funeral bills.
• Threatening to hurt pets. Rumson, Bolling & Associates was also accused of threatening to kill a debtor’s dog in one report.
• Collecting debt owed to other companies. The FTC has also reported a new scheme where scam artists are stealing customer information and trying to collect on debts owed to another company. In some cases, scammers are trying to collect on debt that has already been paid.
To read more on this story visit: http://money.cnn.com/2013/02/06/pf/debt-collection/index.html
Consumers who have been victims of threatening debt collection practices may want to consider taking legal action. Even in cases where consumers owe money – there are certain actions debt collectors can and cannot take in contacting debtors, which are guided by state and federal law. The Fair Debt Collections Practices Act, the Fair Credit Reporting Act and the Telephone Consumer Protection Act restrict debt collectors on when and how they can contact debtors. For example, these regulations protect calls to telephones and cell phones, calling at certain times of day, repeated or threatening calls and calls to non-debtors (such as the debtor’s family or colleagues).
If you have any questions on this topic or are in a financial crisis and are considering filing bankruptcy, contact an experienced attorney who can advise you of all of your options. As an experienced CPA as well as a proven bankruptcy lawyer, Timothy Kingcade knows how to help clients take full advantage of the bankruptcy laws to protect their assets and get successful results. Since 1996 Kingcade & Garcia, P.A. has been helping people from all walks of life build a better tomorrow. Our attorneys’ help thousands of people every year take advantage of their rights under bankruptcy protection to restart, rebuild and recover. The day you hire our firm, we will contact your creditors to stop the harassment. You can also find useful consumer information on the Kingcade & Garcia, P.A. at www.miamibankruptcy.com.