Debt Collection: Pop Quiz!
Pop quiz! In order to get you to pay charges owed, debt collectors can:
a) Use profanity.
b) Threaten you with violence or arrest.
c) Add penalty charges on to your original debt.
d) None of the above
If you guessed D, you’re correct! The other practices are all illegal, but that doesn’t mean they’re rare, as recent news stories have shown.
As economic problems continue, debt collection schemes become more outrageous and dishonest. From debt collection scammers to collectors threatening abuse and violence, consumers are at risk of being exploited by crafty debt collectors whose only goal is to collect as much cash as they can.
According to a recent CBS story, “the Federal Trade Commission has received more than 45,000 complaints against debt collectors in the first six months of the year. That’s up nearly 20 percent over the same period last year.” Luckily, some officials are taking notice. In New York, Attorney General Andrew Cuomo recently brought a lawsuit against three individuals involved in a collection scheme that had generated more than 850 complaints.
Whether you owe or there has been a mistake that caused a debt to come up under your name, it’s important to know your rights as a consumer. To learn more about what debt collectors can and can’t do, click here and here (pdf).