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Debt Collection Abusive Tactics

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The Federal Trade Commision (FTC) has released its 2010 annual report on the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA).  That report includes the latest statistics on debt collectors’ abuse, harassement, deceptive tactics and other illegal conduct that violates the FDCPA.  Those numbers shows that debt collection is growing worse, both in terms of how often it occurs, and how bad it is, based on 2009 statistics:

  • In 2009, the FTC received a total of 119,364 complaints from consumers about debt collectors, both initial creditors (the banks and companies who initially lent money) and third-party debt collectors (those who were hired by creditors to try to force payment).  This is an increase of nearly 15,000 complaints from 2008.
  • Consumers filed 41,028 complaints against debt collectors for abusive debt collection tactics such as repeated or continuous telephone calls.
  • The FTC received 14,321 complaints that debt collectors used obscene, profane or other types of abusive debt collection tactics.
  • 9,684 cconsumers complained that debt collectors called before 8:00 a.m. or after 9:00 p.m., or at a time they knew was inconvenient for the consumer.
  • There were 2,517 complaints of debt collectors using or threatening to use violence to try to force a consumer to pay a debt.
  • Consumers registered 27,420 complaints that debt collectors tried to collect a debt that the consumer did not owe, or they tried to collect more than the consumer owed, or they mischaracterized the amount or character of the debt in some other way.
  • The FTC received 9,632 complaints that debt collectors were attempting to add on unauthorized charges, such as attorney fees, collection costs or other charges that were not permitted.
  • 18,438 complaints addressed debt collectors threatening to take actions that were not permitted by applicable law
  • Debt collectors made 11,505 false threats of arrest or seizure of property.
  • Consumers complained 11,973 times that debt collectors impermissibly called them at work.
  • The FTC received 10,758 complaints that a debt collector illegally notified a third party about the consumer’s alleged debt.
  • Consumers complained that in 22,708 instances, the debt collector failed to provide the notice of consumer rights required by the FDCPA.
  • 10,158 complaints dealt with the debt collector’s failure to verify the consumer’s debt, despite specifically being requested to do so.
  • Consumers complained 7,411 times that the debt collector failed to stop communicating with the consumer, despite the consumer informing the debt collector that all collection activities should cease.

If you have been the victim of any of these types of abusive, harassing or deceptive tactics, please feel free to call me so that I can assist you in obtaining justice against these debt collectors who refuse to follow the law.