Debt Collectors – The Worst of the Worst
Recently a CNN story highlighted debt collector horror stories. The latest allegations of abuse of consumers include threats to dig up dead relatives, take their children into protective custody and even to kill the family pet. These gross abuses are completely illegal under the federal law, the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act.
The horror stories are absolutely sickening and highlight the depths these sleazy collectors will sink to in service to the almighty dollar. For instance, last week the Federal Trade Commission shut down a Texas based agency, Goldman Schwartz, for abusive scare tactics. The alleged offenses include collectors calling consumers and telling them “we can take you to jail” or “we’ll send the sheriff’s department to your job and take care of this the hard way.” These outrageous threats are prohibited by the federal law, the FDCPA, as the collector cannot threaten legal action unless they actually plan to take that action and are legally able to do so through court order.
Another disgusting example of debt collector abuse is when they pretend to be attorneys or law enforcement officers. Debt collector Unicredit was charged with decorating an office to look like a courtroom, which they then used to hold fake court proceedings.
But the worst offense may just be the one perpetrated by collection agency Rumson, Bolling & Associates. They were charged by the Federal Trade Commission for calling consumers and threatening to dig up the bodies of the consumers’ dead children and drop them on the doorstep if they failed to pay the funeral bills. They also threatened to kill the family dog.
People should know that all of these practices are illegal. Under the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act, collectors are prohibited from threatening violence, using profanity, calling incessantly with the intent to harass and many other rules. This federal consumer law prevents debt collectors from using abusive, unfair or deceptive practices.
Consumers have rights under the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act. If a debt collector is found to be in violation, the law (“FDCPA”) allows you to sue the collector, stop the calls and get paid damages (up to $1,000) plus all of your attorney costs are covered. We represent you for free. We fight the debt collectors that wish to harass and intimidate consumers. The consumer walks away with a measure of justice and a check from the debt collector.
If you have been victimized by a debt collector or have items on your credit report that are incorrect, call or email Attorney Gary Nitzkin at [email protected] for a free consultation at (888) 293-2882.