Debt Collectors Scare Tactics...

Debt Collectors... - Debt Collectors...
@twoey68 (13629)
United States
March 29, 2009 9:39am CST
I came across a video this morning that shocked me. It was a Dateline look at Debt Collectors. With all the ppl out of work, broke and losing their homes, it’s no wonder that ppl are sinking into deeper debt. Some debt collectors are on the up and up and do try to work with ppl but as the video shows there are some that go well beyond the limit. The video shows debt collector’s threatening ppl with jail, telling them that the sheriff is coming for them. One couple fled their home in fear. The other was dealing with their son’s cancer treatment when they were threatened. It’s a lie. They are simply scare tactics. I think anyone that uses these types of tactics should be arrested and charged. I remember watching a video several years ago where a woman changed her number b/c of harassing collectors and they had her mothers number on file. They called her mother, pretended to be the local hospital and told the grandmother that the woman’s daughter had been injured and they needed to contact the mother for permission to treat the daughter. The grandmother gave the unlisted number thinking her granddaughter was in the hospital. What shocked me even more in the video was that they tracked down who owned the debt and ran the debt collection agency. AN EX-CONVICT! Yup, that’s right…he’d been to prison and had gotten out and started buying up old debts to collect on them. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fKxPljTLUpk Do you think it’s right for collection agency’s to use terror tactics to get you to pay or to get information? Do you think that it’s right that a debt you have with a company can be sold to anyone on the street with money? If you got a phone call like these ppl did, saying you were going to jail, would you leave your home in fear? [b]**AT PEACE WITHIN** ~~STAND STRONG IN YOUR BELIEFS~~[/b]
18 people like this
50 responses
• United States
29 Mar 09
some of those places they tell you point blank,do what it takes. i personally couldn't handle a job like that,when people really are in trouble,not just evading. i remember chewing out one that jumped on me immediately without seeing if i was the one they were calling for first. threatening's definetly uncalled for.it's probably not legal either.
2 people like this
• United States
30 Mar 09
i was hoping you'd answer see now,that's what i thought.the guy jumped right on me. startled me because i sure wasn't expecting a bunch of angry sounding dude that day.
• United States
31 Mar 09
just my ex even though he's not supposed to..
• United States
29 Mar 09
I think it takes a very sick type of person to be a debt collector. So many of them really get a kick out of using scare tactics over the telephone. They are probably little ugly people in real life who have no guts.
2 people like this
• United States
29 Mar 09
ok.
@melanie652 (2524)
• United States
29 Mar 09
No I do not think it's okay for the debt collectors to stoop to those kinds of depths just to collect the money. That is awful! Obviously they have no morals or ethics. Or maybe just don't care? I wonder how they can sleep at night? I would like to believe the majority of people are in over their heads financially and would like to find a way to pay off their debt. I'm sure there are also the deadbeats that have no intention of paying their debt, but that still does not give those people the right to do stuff like that.
@GardenGerty (143696)
• United States
29 Mar 09
This is what bullies do when they grow up. It is not right. They do not scare me, but then again, mostly I have talked with very polite, professional people. I did have some young snip go through trying to tell me how to get out of debt and reduce my debt, and I thought to myself, he is well intentioned, but I am old enough to be his mom.
@seabeauty (1480)
• United States
29 Mar 09
I have never had a debt collector use a scare tatic on me but I have had a debt collector tear me apart telling me to get a job and basically made me feel like I was a deadbeat. They shouldn't use tatics like that. If someone called and threatened me with jail I would hang up.
2 people like this
@sacmom (14231)
• United States
9 May 09
I remember years ago when I was outside my mom's house and a woman came up to me and asked if my mom was home. After I told her no, she started telling me how my mom had a bunch of bounced checks (she even showed me some of them) and that she would go to jail if she didn't take care of it. Why this woman told me any of this, I don't know as I was only 12. Just a kid! I don't know if she realized it (I did look older than my age), or even cared, but wasn't it wrong for her to discuss this information with me to begin with? If only I would have know that then...
1 person likes this
@psspurgeon1 (1109)
• United States
29 Mar 09
I was at my friends house when someone came to repo her car. Those people practically beat her door down and then when she answered, they came in, started cussing us our calling us horribly vulgar things, threatening bodily harm and all kinds of things. It was the saddest, scariest thing I had been part of. They were so threatening and scary and mean and cruel I was just shocked. I don't think I'll ever forget that expierence!!!
1 person likes this
@nanajanet (4436)
• United States
29 Mar 09
I know that those tactics are false but they are also illegal. If someone pulled that on me, I would call the police, after I got as much information as I could on them. I would turn around and say to them, "Threaten me all that you wish, I am reporting you to the police for threatening me and will take YOU to court!!" I guess that I have been around a long time so I know better but many do not and they prey on those people. They should make harsher consequences for such people.
1 person likes this
@GardenGerty (143696)
• United States
29 Mar 09
No, I have been in debt a long time. I do have a judgment against me on one debt, and that is on the up and up, I have the court papers.I make payments. Debt collectors do not want to send you to jail, they would NEVER get their money then. My house payments are the things that have been priority, both first and second mortgage, so no one could take the house. Other than that, there is nothing that could be done to me. The other debts are unsecured, and all they can do is ask me to pay and put it in my credit report. I grew up with a family in debt. I am not scared. I am paying it down.
1 person likes this
@jillmalitz (5131)
• United States
29 Mar 09
I don't think it is fair but that is how they work. They prey on people at their weakest. Plus they do things like call neighbors or relatives and tell them how the debtors are deadbeats etc. I wish that more people who are having debt problems would learn that there is help. Each state has laws and if they could check out their rights they would not be so scared. Plus many times if they talked to the companies to whom they owe money they can work something out. Debt collectors make money by terrorizing people. I don't think I could work for some of them, they are just too nasty.
1 person likes this
@Lakota12 (42605)
• United States
29 Mar 09
Nope wouldnt leave my home I have lots of protection here. and I know about the ones that buy old depts as I am getting letters from a place trying to collect a debt that has already been PAID! I tear up the leetters and ignore them!
@shannon76 (1232)
• United States
30 Mar 09
If I were you, don't just tear them up and ignore them. If they are trying to collect a debt that has been paid, that usually means it is still on your credit. Follow up with them and send them proof it has been paid that way, if need be, they can take it off your credit. It won't just go away, and you don't want it on your credit file :)
@Lakota12 (42605)
• United States
30 Mar 09
NO you arent surpose to acknowledge them at all!. They are scam people that just try to get your money.
@shannon76 (1232)
• United States
30 Mar 09
Not necessarly. I use to work for a collection agency and we would get duplicates all the time. There would be many instances that our agency and another agency would be collecting the same debt, unknowingly. In fact, I even had a bill several years back that went to collections and I had paid one company and then a different company started collecting on the same debt. All I did was send a copy of my recipt to the other company and they dropped it. It is not uncommon for stuff like this to happen. Trust me, it will come back to hurt your credit when you try to get a loan for something if you don't take care of it now. All you need to do is the next time you get a letter, send a copy of the recipt you already paid (you don't need to send out bank/credit card info) and then write them a letter stating this debt was paid in full to another company. It's well worth it to take care of it now rather then later when you are trying to get a loan for something.
@Lee_Rites (845)
• United States
29 Mar 09
This kind of behavior on behalf of debt collectors is disgusting. They should be put in jail. If debt collectors were held more responsible for their actions and the punishments for these behaviors was more severe it could deter shady companies from these practices.
• United States
29 Mar 09
What do you mean by held responsible? What are the consequences of such behavior?
@shannon76 (1232)
• United States
30 Mar 09
Another good thing for consumers (debtors) to do is get informed and know your rights. Every state has different laws in regards to collection practices and a lot of collection agencies collect out of state debts so in some cases, they might know each state law (all though they should) or they might just ignore the specific state laws. FDCPA (Fair Debt Collection Practice Act) was implemented to protect debtors from unfair collection tactics. Look it up and make sure you know what rights you have. Not all collection agencies are crooked. I use to be a collection manager for two different compaines and both uphold the law (it was hard to collect sometimes because of the law) but we uphold the law none the less.
@bellaofchaos (11542)
• United States
30 Mar 09
Twoey68, I want you to know that anydebt collector that is on the up and up has to inform you his or her name and the company who they are truly with. Also in cases like this it is imperative that all consumers know that if a debt company resorts to scare tactic that they now have no legal stance to collect the debt that they bought ... You are free of that debt... I say this from experience. My fiance had calls like this and I made him call the attorney general right away because I thought everything sounded very fishy. He called and was explained that they use illegal tactics and that they had prior calls about this company and since the use of illegal tactics was used the debt can no longer be claimed. Also if a you have a credit card debt or a loan or a payday loan the most that can happen to you is that you will get papers served to appear in a court for a civil suit to have a judgement made against you. That is the most a company can do.. I have to say that I will never let anyone call and threaten me and run me out of my house. These people are lower than dirt and there is a way that we can stop them as a society. The next time you get a call like that what you want to do is tell them that they are being recording and that you are sending the tape to the attorney generals office. You will never hear from the company again. Unless you have a person who is dumber than a box of rocks and they continue to do so.. Because by law any telemarketing agency whether it's for debt collection or customer service or to offer you stuff over the phone has the law that they must give you their first and last name and the companies name. Now I know that most of these companies that use this scare tactic treatment will falsify information but if you can remember to copy down the important things they have said to you and make sure you get their false name and the phone number and if they give you the company name take it down do a reverse phone look up on the internet and write down what you find out about the company also their are many places like whocallsme.com and 800notes.com who have information about companies who call people like this from others who have experienced it. Always remember this YOU CAN NOT BE THROWN IN JAIL FOR A DEBT THEY CAN ONLY BRING ABOUT A CIVIL SUIT AND GET A JUDGEMENT AWARDED AGAINST YOU!!!!! I hope that the information that I have hear will help many and put many at ease. Take care and have a nice one.
• United States
30 Mar 09
oh and another thing if a company is on the up and up they have to send you in mail a copy of the debt so you can see it in paper. You can request them to only contact you by mail...
@shannon76 (1232)
• United States
30 Mar 09
No, it is not right for anyone to use any of these tactics to collect a debt. I strongly encourage everyone (even if you don't owe a debt now, still get informed just in case) to read up on the laws for collections in your state. FDCPA (Fair Debt collection Practice Act) - it was designed for that purpose. I think a lot of people that have a debt owed tend to avoid collectors and that is what annoyes them the most. Stay in contact with whomeever you owe the debt, most are willing to work with you as long as you keep them informed. I use to be a collection agency manager. It was a good job, a hard one, but it's great to be able to help people get back on their feet and work with them. Not all collectors are bad people :)
@shannon76 (1232)
• United States
30 Mar 09
lol yeah that does suck! I use to work for a car company that basically sold cars to folks with bad credit, no credit and we live in a state with a lot of indian reservations. I think that was the hardest job I ever had. Some people had party lines so it was so hard to even get them on the phone. When we did talk to them, a lot would claim they didn't know english and start talking in navajo to us. We finally got smart and hired a navajo speaking collector :) And to top it off, after months and months of not paying, we couldn't repo on the indian reservation.
@leenie50 (3992)
• United States
29 Mar 09
twoey, The tactics these debt collectors use are despicable. My husband and I are unfortunately in this situation. Hubby has been out of work for nearly 2 years now. I receive SSDI and we are constantly harrassed. I only answer calls I know. After the first couple of calls, you have the right to ask them to cease and desist because they are harrassing you. Then you get their address and send them a short letter explaining why you can't pay and the calls should stop, at least for awhile. Even if you change your phone#, they will find the new one. File the notices and don't answer any call you don't know. The only bills you need to pay is utilities. When your financial situation changes then with the help of local legal aid try and work out a payment plan if possible. Don't do it without help because there are too many scams out there. leenie
@leenie50 (3992)
• United States
29 Mar 09
Thanks, That's what I was trying to say.
• Canada
6 Oct 09
I saw this one too, and it shocked me too. There was also a really evil sounding message on some lady's answering machine asking if she'd ever been RAPED!!! Can you friggen imagine? These b@stards need to be arrested, and have the keys thrown away. These people are absolutely sick in the heads, and need to be taken out of those jobs.
@suzzy3 (8347)
2 Apr 09
It is a terrible situation to find yourself in,normal people who had no credit in the past find themselves in trouble.Most people find debt enough of a worry without being hounded for repayments.It is against the law to threaten anyone for money.If it is happening don't be ashamed go to the police,decent debt collectors will see if someone has money and if not they should leave alone and go through the courts,by which time it will give the person time to get the money together.These are dreadful people who bully and that is so wrong.xx
@celticeagle (130858)
• Boise, Idaho
31 Mar 09
Lies like this are horrific! I can't believe they would do this sort of thing. Buying up old debts. What will they think of next?! I would not leave my home in fear of debt collectors. I would tell them I would report them if they ever caled me again. This is horassment, not siliciting for a bill. People on both sides of this need to get a grip and learn the laws and abide by them. This is business and it needs to be handled correctly.
@Kowgirl (3490)
• United States
31 Mar 09
Don't these people know they could get the collection company they work for in some serious trouble by these threats? They are NOT legal and therefore they could be arrested. If this happens you should report them and the company they work for to your local sheriff and you could bring charges against them if they do it again. Yeah it's sad that any debt can be sold and even worse when these tactics are being used. The IRS and Bank Credit Card companies are the worse. These debts are sold year after year just to keep the debt active. People should learn the laws about collecting debts and what debt collectors can and can not do or say to anyone who owes the debt. Sounds like something the IRS would do. I wouldn't run but I would report them to their superiors. Then if they insisted on threatening me again I would bring charges against the company and the employee.
@fluffysue (1457)
• United States
31 Mar 09
I believe some of that is actually illegal, for example, they are not allowed to threaten someone with jail over a debt. Of course they do, anyway...I once had someone threaten to send the police to my workplace...even though I knew I could not go to jail over a late credit card payment I was worried the police would show up there! Later I found out what they said was illegal. My policy now is to either pay them or not, but NEVER speak to anyone from one of those debt collection agencies.
@camomom (7535)
• United States
31 Mar 09
I have gotten these types of calls. They said that they were pressing charges against me for failure to pay. That the paperwork was already on it's way to my local courthouse. I told them to lose my number and stop harassing me or I would be the one pressing charges. They stopped calling me at home and started calling my job. I got the manager to talk to them and the manager threatened to press charges for harassment also. They stopped calling there also. I never got sued. No charges were filed. There was nothing that they could do to me. Their honestly full of cr*p. All they can do (as far as credit card debt) is put it on your credit report as a negative. They can only keep it on your credit report for 7 years from YOUR last contact with THEM. Yes, it can cause problems for you if you try to get new credit anywhere else, such as more cards or loans of any kind, but that's it.