No Surprise: Complaints Against Debt Collectors Still Top The List

by Mark Brinker

This guy needs to drink less coffee.Last week the Federal Trade Commission published its 33rd annual report summarizing their efforts to protect consumers from deceptive, abusive and unfair debt collection practices.

As has been the case in recent years, the FTC received more complaints about debt collection than any other single industry. (Big shock, I know.)

Specifically, the agency received 140,036 debt collection complaints in 2010, up from 119,609 complaints in 2009. The top three categories of complaints about third-party collectors were:

  • Calling repeatedly or continuously;
  • Misrepresenting the character, amount, or status of the debt (including demanding a larger payment than is permitted by law); and
  • Failing to send consumers a statutorily required written notice about the debt and their rights.

The FTC report also outlines their investigation into the debt buying industry. The timing is kind of ironic given the fact that just today a story hit the news wires about Minnesota Attorney General Lori Swanson suing Midland Funding, LCC.

The basis of Ms. Swanson’s lawsuit is that it claims that Midland Funding “robo-signed” (sound familiar?) affidavits that resulted in lawsuits being filed against consumers for debts that often could not be substantiated. Sometimes Midland supposedly filed suit against innocent consumers whose names were similar to the people that allegedly owed the money.

To read the full story about the Midland Funding situation up in Minnesota, here’s the link:

Minnesota AG Sues Midland Funding

Back to the FTC report real quick …

Here’s a video from the FTC describing your rights as a consumer against debt collectors. Before I watched this video I thought it was going to be a typical bland video that doesn’t really offer any useful info, but I have to say I was pleasantly surprised. It was actually pretty good.

Check it out:

Source:
http://www.ftc.gov/opa/2011/03/fairdebt.shtm

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