As someone that’s been in and out of debt, I know well what it feels like to be
hounded and haunted by creditors. And I’m terrified over the increasingly
aggressive measures collectors are taking to recover payments. U.S. collection
laws are loose, but there are many lines they cannot cross. It’s important for every
borrower to know the difference between persistence and harassment.
Collector abuse is definitely on the rise. Since the recession, formal complaints
against collectors have risen 66% and dozens of private debt collection agencies
have lost licenses for their abusive collection methods. This is due in part to the
major shove big banks have made since 2008 to recover billions in unpaid credit
and penalties. Since then, most of these creditors, from Chase to the Dept. of
Education, have contracted collections to private firms. These smaller agencies
pay collectors little and reward with commissions on debts recovered. As a result,
some collectors, many in debt themselves, have been found lying, stalking and even
threatening to make collection quotas.
I really hope that our latest infographic on this surprisingly large and mostly-legal
industry will prove as a resource to those working hard to stay a payment and step
ahead of their creditors.