Published On: Thu, Aug 13th, 2015

Horrible debt collection practices

Consumers that fear a phone call

Many sociable people enjoy communicating with family and friends over the phone, but when they have unpaid debts, that same instrument of pleasure can turn into an instrument of torture when it becomes a channel through which debt collection agencies harass them. This is something which is been ongoing for two or three decades, but has become especially problematic since the recession of 2008/2009. Since then, the debt collection industry has grown at a very rapid rate since several businesspersons saw an opportunity to enrich themselves by collecting unpaid debts. The problem is with the increase of debt collection agencies, there has also been a tremendous increase in the amount of consumer complaints resulting from abuse, unethical practices and other forms of intimidation. This is resulting in thousands of consumer complaints which are lodged with the Federal Trade Commission. Some consumers are really treated very badly such as a woman who was not only threatened with a lawsuit because of unpaid debt, but the debt collectors also threatened to report the debtor’s 84 year old disabled mother to the IRS.

Questionable practices

When the situation the woman found herself in is analyzed, a few things are noticed, which indicates that threats by the debt collector has no real substance. The original debt which was owed to a bank has been discharged in 2004 which is a very long time, in fact more than seven years, which is normally applicable in the case of unpaid debts. This means that in most states, the statute of limitations which applies to a specific debt have expired after such a long time and therefore, legal action in those cases will almost certainly fail. The conclusion therefore is that this is merely an attempt to intimidate the debtor into paying this debt because legally, the creditors have no right to collect such an old debt. The statute of limitations on debt could run over anything between four and six years and after that time has expired, it will be almost impossible for debt collectors in most of the states to successfully collect such an outstanding debt and therefore, in most states, debt collection agencies won’t even waste any effort on such old debts.

How does this affect the consumer?

The US is not a place that deals kindly with debtors and therefore the only option available to a debtor is to continually look out for ways in which to repay any unsettled debts. This is simply the only viable option when a consumer desires to avoid nasty confrontations with debt collection agencies. There are fortunately many companies companies offering consolidated credit counseling and possess the necessary expertise and financial skills to assist those who are serious about finding a solution to their debt problems. One such company is National Debt Relief, which has an extensive experience in assisting consumers with debt related problems and to advise them on how to plan their budget in order to ensure that unpaid debts are settled as quickly as possible. Such debts may not be settled overnight, but when an effective debt settlement plan is in place and the consumer is disciplined to abide by that plan, the problem will eventually be solved and the consumer will eventually be debt free.