Dateline takes on the debt collection industry

Tonight, Dateline took a good, hard look at the debt collection industry. Dateline went the extra mile to show that, for many collection agencies, abusive tactics are the rule, not the exception.

Dateline even tracked down a debt collector who lied about being a Maryland sheriff, lied about being a lawyer, and scared the living hell out of a Texas couple who thought the police were on the way to arrest them. One of the featured collection agencies, LHR, Inc., sent a too little, too late apology (PDF link) for its collectors, who admitted to lying, swearing, and abusing consumers.

ACA Int’l‘s mouthpiece feigned shock at the suggestion that debt collectors (including ACA members) ever behave badly.

If you are getting harassing calls from a debt collector, call a consumer rights lawyer to find out your rights. (If you do not live in Minnesota, you can look for a consumer rights lawyer in your state using the NACA lawyer database.)

Debt: The next big American crisis? | Dateline NBC

(photo: Kevin Steele)

  • Jed Sorokin-Altmann

    That’s horrifying. Was the person who claimed to be a Maryland sheriff and lawyer reported to the appropriate law enforcement agencies and bar associations for potential charges of impersonating a police officer and unauthorized practice of law?

  • Sam Glover

    Since they did interview the Maryland authorities, I am guessing yes. I imagine they will have to act, but it sounds like Mr. Bags of Money is pretty nimble when it comes to escaping the scrutiny of the authorities.