The FTC has announced a nationwide crackdown on debt collectors. From the press release: "This nationwide crackdown encompasses 30 new law enforcement actions by federal, state, and local law enforcement authorities against collectors who use illegal tactics such as harassing phone calls and false threats of litigation, arrest, and wage garnishment. The cases announced today bring to 115 the total number of actions taken so far this year by the more than 70 law enforcement partners in the Operation Collection Protection initiative."
If you have been contacted by one of the following "agencies" and I use that word very lightly, you should talk to the FTC and an attorney. They are:
1. BAM financial - "The FTC has alleged that the defendants extracted payments from consumers through intimidation, lies and other unlawful tactics....In one instance, the defendants falsely told a consumer’s 84 year-old mother they had a warrant for her daughter’s arrest, and later told the consumer they represented a bounty hunter and would have the sheriff serve her with process." These sound like some nice folks. Please remember you cannot be arrested for paying a debt and a debt collector cannot release information to a third party, ie not you, without your written consent.
2. Delaware Solutions - " In a joint action by the FTC and the Attorney General of the State of New York, the Delaware Solutions defendants are charged with attempting to collect on debts they knew were bogus. The defendants bought payday loans supposedly owed to a company that repeatedly told them to stop collection efforts because the debts were invalid, and ignored consumers’ evidence that they had never authorized a payday loan." If you think you do not owe a debt, ask for validation of the debt - in writing.
3. K.I.P, LLC - "According to the complaint, the defendants used a host of business names to target consumers who obtained or applied for payday or other short-term loans. Claiming those loans were delinquent, they threatened to garnish consumers’ wages, suspend or revoke their driver’s licenses, have them arrested or imprisoned, or sue those who did not pay." Remember, in most states your license cannot be revoked for not paying a debt. If you are unsure about the laws of your state, or whether you owe a debt, talk to an attorney.
4. National Check Registry - "The operators of a debt collection scheme agreed to a ban on participating in any debt collection business to settle charges brought by the FTC and the New York Attorney General’s Office in June 2014 that the defendants used lies and false threats to collect millions of dollars from consumers." This is one less debt collector in the world - always a good thing!
Under federal law, you have rights. Most states have laws giving you more rights. If you do not understand the process, do not understand your rights, or feel they are being violated, talk to an attorney about what to do!