Debt collectors gone wild

No one likes the term debt collector, but most of us have encountered one or two along the way no matter how careful we are about paying our bills.  But then again some encounter them along the way because they don’t pay there bills, so they do have a place in this world.  But what they don’t have is the right to threaten, coerce, violate your privacy, or intimidate.  Don’t think it could happen?  Here is a prime example.

The Washington Post recently published “Debt collectors harassed consumers with violent threats, FTC says” and here are just a few of the things these debt collectors gone bad have allegedly done:

  • “one firm threatening to kill debtors’ pets or desecrate the bodies of their deceased children”
  • After being unable to pay the bill for her daughter’s funeral one woman was told that they would “dig up her daughter’s body and hang it from a tree.”
  • According to this report by the FTC one company being investigated  made  “bogus threats,” and  “portrayed themselves to the consumers – and even to the consumers’ employers and neighbors – as process servers trying to deliver legal papers. The company unjustly profited from the deception, making at least $9.4 million, the FTC said.”
  • One woman was called a “deadbeat” and “asked how she would feel if her son’s body was dug up and dropped outside her door.”
  • Yet another complaint is that the debt collection companies disclosed information to the debtors employers, employees, co-workers and neighbors.
Shocking?  Yes, absolutely, but anyone who has spent any time with more active debt collectors on the phone knows that there are quite a few threats and intimidation tactics used.  Are they allowed?
To find out your rights as a consumer:
Privacy offers this Fact Sheet about When debt collection practices go too far. 
Has a debt collector every gone “too far” when contacting you?
Here’s a recent example of debt collectors gone wild as investigated by ABC News.