In an effort to resolve federal allegations, debt collector Allied Interstate has agreed to pay a $1.75 million dollar fine. Allied Interstate was accused of collecting on debts that people did not actually owe, contacting third parties, and threatening legal action that it did not intend to take.
Unsurprisingly, this type of behavior is illegal.
Update: the FTC says it is going to look into debt collectors who are jailing debtors in Minnesota. No report on whether the FTC will look into the other allegations of abuse Senator Franken mentioned.
It may take a day or two of calling, but he says they always cave in the end. Then he starts over with the company who gave out the information, tracking the list back to its source and removing his name from all the lists along the way.
He calls it “Blitz Calling,” and it sounds like a good project for a slow work week.
If you do this, be sure to write down the names of the companies you call so that you have a record that you asked them to stop. You may need it when it comes time to file a complaint with the Federal Trade Commission.
Get Off Junk Mail Lists With Blitz Calling | Consumerist
Thanks to Congress passing the Credit Card Accountability Responsibility and Disclosure Act of 2009, the ads should be a more clear in the future. FreeCreditReport will now have large disclosure ads on their website that say something like “You have the right to a free credit report from AnnualCreditReport.com . . . the only authorized source under federal law . . . .”
A new report from the Government Accountability Office (GAO) urges legislators to revise the Fair Debt Collection and Practices Act (FDCPA) to give consumers more rights.
The FTC has a great, four-page overview of consumer rights relating to debt collection. Some of their tips include:
If you have any questions or concerns about communications from debt collectors, contact the FTC or a consumer rights lawyer in your state.
Debt Collection FAQs: A Guide for Consumers| Federal Trade Commission
(photo: Desirée Delgado)
On Tuesday, the FTC will hold a free roundtable in San Francisco, open to the public, on debt collection litigation and arbitration. The FTC is seeking public comments in advance of the event, and some of the existing public comments are, well, interesting.
Debt buyers Midland Credit Management, Asset Acceptance, and Portfolio Recovery Associates whine that they are subjected to a higher standard in litigation. I thought their public comments very funny, and very misleading.