The debt collection industry is out of control. Indeed, it has been out of control for years. But consumers and their advocates, as well as government regulators, are increasingly fighting back.
If you are struggling with the need for debt relief, you may have experienced unfair collection practices. You may even have experienced one or more of the “horror stories” that the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has cataloged. These stories all involve outrageous violations of the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act.
Many of these outrageous abuses were on display in a recent Texas case. The FTC took action earlier this month to shut down a Texas-based debt collection company called Goldman Schwartz. The company allegedly engaged in such abusive practices as threatening to send people to jail or to get debtors fired from their jobs.
There were even instances where the company threatened to have child protective custody officers take minor children away from debtors. Actions like these are all illegal creditor harassment.
The FTC was therefore entirely justified in closing the company responsible for such abuses. Unfortunately, there are still many bad actors out there among debt collection companies. Consumers must be wary and take steps to protect themselves.
For many people, an effective step for seeking debt relief is to file for bankruptcy. The automatic stay against collection proceedings that comes with a bankruptcy filing is a powerful tool for helping you get your arms around your financial challenges. And a bankruptcy attorney can deal with creditors and debt collectors on your behalf.
Source: “Debt Collection Horror Stories,” Yahoo Finance, Blake Ellis, 2-6-13
Our firm handles situations similar to those discussed in this post. To learn more about our practice, please visit our San Antonio consumer bankruptcy page.