Collection agencies and the mistakes they make

Collection agencies are tasked to secure past-due debts. Oftentimes, they engage in aggressive and outright harassing tactics to convince targeted debtors to make good on what they owe.

What they fail to consider in far too many cases is that they may be contacting the wrong person or the debt could be invalid. Studies are showing that they may be wrong far more often than they are right, whether they want to admit it or not.

A growing problem for consumers contacted by creditors is not about past-due balances they owe, but so-called delinquent debt that they do not owe. Simply stated, creditors are making more and more mistakes, yet still with equally ruthless aggression.

The United States Public Interest Research Group (US PIRG) and the Frontier Group reviewed more than 17,000 complaints regarding medical debt collection. Their findings came from three years of data from the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.

The results were staggering. Sixty percent of the complaints had the following common contentions those debts:

  • Were not owed in the first place
  • Did not belong to the consumer
  • Had already been paid
  • Discharged in bankruptcy

Medical debt ranks behind credit card debt in complaints about debt collection made to the bureau. Twenty percent of all complaints were from only 10 collection companies.

Few things increase the stress over past-due debts than creditor harassment. A continuingly ringing phone with collectors making unsubstantiated threats only makes bad situations worse. The best way for debtors to even the odds they face is to secure help from an experienced bankruptcy attorney.

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