The Federal Prosecutors in New York have brought charges against the employees of a suburban Atlanta debt collection firm that collected more than $4 million from 6000 victims over a 4 1/2 year period. A story in the Toledo Blade outlined how the employees told victims that they were employed by various government agencies and that they would be arrested if they did not call back or pay amounts demanded. The Company also used documents that gave the appearance that they were delivered from official government offices.
Even with the protections provided by the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act, I have had clients relay experiences that they have had with various debt collectors. A most recent incident involved an email effort that threatened criminal action if a debtor did not call to set up arrangements to pay back a debt that the client was certain that she never incurred.
If you are in doubt of whether or not a collection call, letter or email is legitimate, it is always a good idea to speak to an attorney to get advice. Don’t ever respond out of fear. Please feel free to contact us at GTB&S.