Debt collectors illegally hound people who don't owe money

A third of people who complain about debt-collectors who break the law say they don't even owe the money under discussion. Of the victims who complained to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau about being hounded for money they don't owe, two thirds say they never owed it, and a third say they had already paid it off. Debt-collectors call wrong numbers or hassle people with names similar to those of debtors. They call them at work and at home, and use threats and obscene language when they're told they've got the wrong person. One offender, CashCall Inc, is being sued over its practices, and was separately ordered to refund $14M in debts it collected through fraudulent robo-signing.

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  1. This has happened to me about 5 times. The debts were never real. When I realized they hadn't affected my credit in any way, I just started ignoring them and sometimes spouting stuff back to them in their faces to make them stop calling, and they eventually did.

  2. The collections department for my hospital, one of the world's most prestigious, does illegal collections and refuses to stop. Once Comcast tried collecting on a debt I didn't owe using illegal robocalls, and that is the last time I've used Comcast.

  3. YES. One of the 5 that I mentioned was a hospital, fer krise-sake

  4. LDoBe says:

    It's not exactly fraudulent debt collection calls, but I've gotten 3 parking tickets for a car I sold six months ago.

    The first time, I sent in a copy of the title transfer document, and got a reply saying that the ticket had been dismissed and that they have corrected their records.

    Same thing has happened the more recent two times, except all I got in the most recent one was a final warning saying that the first court date had lapsed, and that it would go to collections. Which was kinda scary. I sent in the copy of the title transfer and the previous notes they sent me saying they would correct the records yesterday.

    I'm getting annoyed that I might have to take time off of work go to the municipal court (which is about 10 miles away from the town I actually live in, and 25 miles from where I work.) It's just obnoxious that I keep getting sternly worded, legally binding correspondence from the government because someone else keeps fucking up where they park.

  5. Ygret says:

    Its a tactic used in US court documents, especially by banks and debt collectors, whereby they attest to knowledge of debts that they have no true knowledge of, and do so in mass quantities to push through as many collections cases as possible. The truth is that the banks and the debt collectors that buy the debt they can't collect on have terrible records and wind up hassling and suing the wrong people all the time. They are engaged in criminally fraudulent behavior at the courts and have been doing so for many years now, with little repercussions. Wells Fargo actually published a foreclosure manual for its attorneys that includes instructions on how and when to forge documents to submit to the court. For more info, check out this blog post from the excellent Naked Capitalism blog:

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