Today we’re going to talk about problems in the debt collection industry from robo-signing to illegal collection techniques.
What can collectors not do? Here’s a list of no-nos from the Minnesota attorney general:
Collectors cannot harass, oppress, or abuse you or any other person they contact. Specifically, they cannot swear at you, threaten harm to you, call you repeatedly in an attempt to annoy you, call you without disclosing their identity, or publicize your name as someone who refuses to pay debts.
Collectors cannot use any false, deceptive or misleading statements when trying to collect a debt. Specifically, they cannot misrepresent the amount you owe, make a letter look as though it is from the government or a court, imply that they are government representatives, imply that nonpayment will lead to your arrest or garnishment, or threaten to disclose false information about you to a credit bureau.
Collectors may not use unfair or unconscionable means to collect a debt. Specifically, they cannot collect any amount greater than your debt, deposit a post-dated check prematurely, deceive you into paying for collect calls, threaten to take your property unless they can legally do so, contact you by postcard or apply your payment to a debt other than the one you have indicated.
Have you ever had an encounter with a debt collector? Did it ever cross into harassment or did it feel like part of a legitimate attempt to collect money you owed?
–Stephanie Curtis, social media host