Bill collectors sometimes call Kevin Lynn's house up to 20 times a day! And get this-the debt isn't even his.
Lynn says, "I always told them i don't owe the debt, they had the wrong person, that i don't know who the person is."
But that person apparently lived in house previously. Kevin's filed three lawsuits to get this ringing to stop.
Even more frustrating, Lynn's phone company charges him for each incoming call.
The Federal Trade Commission says it got more than 150,000 complaints about debt collectors last year, that's more than any other industry.
Chris Koegel from the FTC says, "Some of our number one sources of complaints for consumers are for harassment and abuse calling too often, using profanity, making violent or abusive threats."
To crackdown, a new federal agency, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau is now policing some of the largest collection agencies in the country.
How bad can some company's tactics get? Attorneys representing consumers say bill collectors have left people threatening messages like these:
Here's a sample. "I'm going ahead with a warrant for your arrest." Another one says, "You will be behind bars for six months. And once you go behind the bars you may lose your job."
In this FTC lawsuit filed against one bill collector a grieving mother said she was asked how she would feel if the funeral home dug up her son's body and quote--"Dropped it outside my house because i hadn't paid my debt."
Pat Morris represents credit and tax collection professionals. Morris says, "Every industry is going to have bad apples."
The debt collection trade association says it wants those using abusive tactics weeded out so others can do the job right.
The new authority will make sure large collection firms are:
* Not harassing or deceiving consumers into paying debt
* And are using accurate data to pursue debts
If you're a victim, file a complaint with the FTC by clicking here.
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