The headline reads: “Court Halts Debt Collector’s Allegedly Deceptive and Abusive Practices“.
The Debt Collectors in question portrayed themselves as representatives of the government by using company names that suggested a government affiliation or national presence, such as Federal Recoveries, LLC, Federal Check Processing, Inc, Federal Processing Services, Inc., Nationwide Check Processing, and State Check Processing, Inc.. They would threaten lawsuits, arrest and imprisonment or seizure of assets – unless consumers paid the debt immediately.
While it may be news to the general public that Debt Collector’s use deceptive practices to collect debts, it is a common complaint that I get from clients, both before and after filing for bankruptcy.
Some of the more common practices are:
- Re-aging debt. This is a practice where a Debt Collector purchases a debt and then reports the debt to the big three credit reporting agencies using the date it acquired the debt as the date the debt became late, rather than the actual that the debt got behind.
- Telling someone that they are going to “swear out” a lawsuit or an arrest warrant because they owe money. A frequent tactic is to call a spouse and tell them that the other spouse is about to be arrested in an effort to get a payment.
- Telling someone that the debt they had wasn’t listed in their bankruptcy and that it has to be paid. This is not true. Even if a debt is not listed in a bankruptcy, the debt is normally discharged.
- Telling someone that the type of debt that the Debt Collector is trying to collect cannot be discharged in a bankruptcy.
- Contacting friends, neighbors and employers and telling them that the consumer owes money.
- Threatening to seize property.
Any of these actions are violations of the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act.
If you get threatening calls from a Debt Collector, particularly if you have filed a bankruptcy, you need to contact your attorney immediately.
What you should not do is give anyone any bank account information or other personal information.