Threats, Lies and Coercion: Inside a Debt Collector Boiler Room

The victims would get a phone call. On the other line was a man claiming to be a police officer. He'd say that he was on his way to arrest them for check fraud and would tell them a time to be available. Sometimes he'd say he was working on extraditing them under new state government rules. Others, he'd say he was calling from the attorney general's office. In no case was any of this true. They were all underhanded attempts to collect a debt.

Serious Violations of Debt Collection Laws

Debt collectors working for Four Star Resolution and Vantage Point Services would use caller ID spoofing technologies to make their threats seem more credible. A call threatening arrest would appear that it had originated, for instance, in the county courthouse. In two separate lawsuits, the FTC and the New York State Attorney General's Office accused the companies of unfair debt collection practices. In all, the FTC says that consumers paid the agencies over $45 million after being threatened.

Consumers with debts are protected against threats and harassment on the part of debt collection agencies. A few of the actions that are banned under the Fair Debt Collection Practices:

Debt collectors cannot say that they are attorneys, members of law enforcement or other government officials.
They are not allowed to falsely claim that you committed a crime.
They cannot use profanity or abusive language in their communication.
They are not permitted to say that you will be arrested if you do not pay a debt.
They cannot claim that you owe more than you do.
They cannot claim that they work for a credit reporting agency or that they can personally amend your credit report.
They are prohibited from saying that the forms that they send are legal documents if they are not.

You Have Rights.

When you are dealing with a debt collector, always tell them that you wish to continue the communication only in writing. Once you tell them this, they are required to respect your wishes. Communicating in writing allows you to keep a record of everything that is said by you or your creditors.When creditors violate fair credit collection laws, there are legal consequences. You may be due damages in court if it is proven that they have harassed you or violated your rights. To protect yourself, learn what creditors can and cannot do and do not allow yourself to be intimidated. The law is on your side and can protect you from unfair and illegal practices.

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This article was published on 03 Apr 2015 and has been viewed 1397 times
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