Invalid and illegal debt collection practices are at an all-time high across the country, and Florida is no exception. Data was analyzed from the Consumer Finance Protection Bureau (CFPB) to identify the states that engaged in these deceptive and illegal practices. ‘Zombie’ debt collections are rampant in South Florida and involve attempts to collect debts not owed, those that were already paid or discharged in bankruptcy, debts owed by someone else, or are a result of identity theft. Typically, this debt collection practice is done by third-parties, who have collected these debts written off by the original creditor.
The five states in which zombie debt collection is most prevalent are:
- Delaware– Delaware leads the nation when it comes to the likelihood of having to deal with a collection agency trying to collect a debt you do not owe. With a total of 422 complaints in the Consumer Complaint Database, Delaware has a per-capita rate of 44.72 complaints per 100,000 residents.
- Florida– Florida comes in at number two with 42.43 complaints per 100,000 residents (a total of 8,314 complaints in all).
- Georgia– Georgia trails Florida by two hundredths in its per capita incidence rate of reports of zombie debt collection attempts, with 4,258 complaints registered and a population of almost exactly 10 million residents.
- Nevada– Like Florida, Nevada has incidence rates of illegal debt collection attempts well above the national average of 25.84 per 100,000.
- Maryland– Maryland has 38.65 complaints per 100,000 residents. The affluent and suburban Prince George’s County has an incidence rate of 66.6 per 100,000 residents.
Knowing which debt collection agencies have a history of practicing zombie debt collection in your state can help you avoid being a victim. The three debt collection agencies most likely to engage in invalid and illegal debt collection practices in the country are:
- Encore Capital Group
- Enhanced Recovery Company (ERC)
- Portfolio Recovery Associates
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