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Federal Trade Commission Issues 2010 Report on Debt Collection Abuse

The Federal Trade Commission just issued its 2010 Annual Report on debt collection. Not surprisingly, debt collection is once again the single most complained about industry in the United States. The FTC received over 140,000 complaints last year about the way debt collectors were conducting business. The top complaints that the FTC received last year involved:

  • Harassing the consumer or others
  • Demanding a larger payment than permitted by law
  • Failing to send required notices
  • Threatening the consumer
  • Failing to identify self as a collector 
  • Communicating with third parties 
  • Calling the consumer's place of employment  Failing to verify disputed debts  and
  • Continuing to contact the consumer after receiving a cease communication request

The debt collection industry reacted as do they each year by noting that the amount of complaints is small compared to the amount of telephone calls that debt collectors make each year.  The industry's argument of course ignores the fact that most consumers don't file complaints - so the amount of complaints that the FTC receives each year likely represents a fraction of consumers actually victimized. The debt collection industry has not adequately responded to this reality.

The FTC Report also noted several lawsuits that the FTC itself has brought against debt collectors around the country. The FTC is the federal agency currently responsible for stopping debt collection harassment.

If you are a New York resident and you feel you have been harassed or abused by a debt collector, contact the Law Office of Joseph Mauro to arrange for a consultation. 


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