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Bankruptcy May Be Your Option

Federal agents make good on promise to stop creditor harassment

We recently wrote about how the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act protects consumers from creditor harassment and misrepresentations in Oklahoma. It now appears that the federal government is willing to use criminal prosecution as a weapon against aggressive debt collection practices.

Agents from the FBI, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau and other government agencies recently raided the offices of a national debt collection agency.

The raid resulted in the arrest of the company's owner and six employees for using lies, threats and intimidation to collect millions of dollars from people who owed delinquent payments on credit cards and other consumer debt.

According to federal prosecutors, the debt collectors resorted to impersonating U.S. Marshals to threaten people with arrest unless immediate payments were made. Other tactics included making accusations that consumers had committed crimes by not paying their debts to induce the unsuspecting consumer into making a payment to the debt collector.

Financial challenges such as unemployment and other economic hardships have left an estimated 77 million people with delinquent payments, making them prey for aggressive debt collectors.

The recent arrests of the seven debt collectors do not come close to resolving the problem of creditor harassment in this country, according to prosecutors who say that more must be done. This raises the hope that additional investigations targeting abusive tactics used to collect consumer debt will be in the works

Filing for bankruptcy might offer relief for consumers whose delinquent payments on credit cards and other consumer debt makes them vulnerable to illegal tactics by creditors, credit card company representatives and debt collection agencies.

A consultation with a bankruptcy law attorney might provide answers to a consumer's questions and concerns about financial challenges.

Source: KOCO, "Federal agents arrest debt collectors in crackdown," Ben Rooney, Nov. 18, 2014

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