Stop a debt collector’s empty threats

Calls from debt collectors can add to the stress of having financial problems. When those calls involve harassment, threats and intimidation, the situation can get even worse — especially if you don’t know your rights.

The FTC enforces the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA) to protect consumers from deceptive, abusive, or unfair debt collection tactics. On June 23, 2014, the FTC filed a joint complaint with the State of New York against National Check Registry for violating the FDCPA by allegedly using outrageous and intimidating methods to get people to pay debts immediately — often debts that were in dispute.

Among the alleged tactics that National Check Registry used was telling people they had committed check fraud or another crime and threatening them with lawsuits, garnishments, arrest or imprisonment if they didn’t pay. The FTC and the State of New York alleged that National Check Registry routinely told people they had to pay within 12 or 24 hours to avoid having a local court system or law enforcement agency come after them. Frequently, the company would tell a person’s family, friends and coworkers that the person committed a crime or was involved in a legal proceeding.


In fact, these were empty threats. According to the complaint, National Check Registry has no authority to make arrests or seek other criminal punishments for failure to pay these debts.  

If you are facing debt collection, understand your rights. Under the FDCPA, debt collectors are not allowed to:

  • call you before 8 a.m. or after 9 p.m.
  • contact you at work if you’ve told them verbally or in writing that your employer doesn’t allow you to get such calls in the workplace
  • harass or abuse you or anyone else they contact about you
  • lie about the amount you owe
  • use deceptive methods to collect a debt from you. For example, they may not:
    • falsely claim to be law enforcement officers
    • claim that you’ll be arrested if you don’t pay your debt
    • threaten to seize, garnish, attach, or sell your property or your wages — unless they are permitted by law to do it and intend to do so
    • give false credit information about you to anyone, including a credit reporting company
    • use a fake company name

Collectors usually are prohibited from contacting third parties more than once. Other than to obtain location information about you, a debt collector generally is not allowed to discuss your debt with anyone other than you, your spouse or your attorney.

Be sure to file a complaint with the FTC if you think that a debt collector has violated your rights.


Tagged with: debt, debt collection
Blog Topics: 
Money & Credit


Thank You Much




I just received an ACS threat about a payday loan. I made NO such transaction.

I am trying to work out a problem with Target Credit card, I have notified the attorney general in Boston/Lawrence area for me. waiting for response. What can I do with that still standing on my credit report. $84. How can I assure that my credit that is cleared up is noted on my 3 credit score companies. It has made my life a mess. Please respond on how to clarify these facts so they reflect my good credit history of payments?.

If you find mistakes when you review your credit reports, send letters explaining the mistakes to the 3 credit reporting companies and the businesses involved. This article provides you with information about what to do and it includes sample letters you can use in your dispute.

I recently in March tried to get a loan from America Cash Payday.They called me and said I was Approved for a loan. And was told that I needed buy a green dot card put a $1OO on the card call them back and I will be receiving the money on my Visa on 15 minutes and the $5000 would be in my account. I waited for 30 minutes called them back cause it was not wired I didn't have the funds in my account. And Brian Bradley the person who was the person I talked to wasn't answering my phone calls.My Approved loan was for $5000 and when I was getting the information from him he said I could receive $10,000.Of I send another $1OO.I told him that I can't do the extra $1OO o just want to stay with the $5000.He calls me back after a week and says that I wad Approved for a $10,000 loan and I will have to pay the other $1OO.So i told him I want my mou back. and he said that I can't have the money $1OO back cause it was put on a hold until I send the other $1OO. Than I got a call from I Christine Brown and she said that they wouldn't be able to pay me back my $1OO or get the loan for $5000 wired to my account but they will be able to send r to my thru Western Union but i would have to pay the $1OO first Startzman the green dot card and I trusted her I did what was told to me. And to call her back in half hour .I waited called her back. And she said that I owed the IRS she gave me the number I called it and the man I talked to said that i had 24 hours to pay over u $1000 but since I was Approved for a loan I would just need to pay half of the thousand something to America Cash Payday and if I didn't do what he said I will be arrested with in that 24 hours. I hung up called the police and made a police report.Add till this day i still have it gotten the $200 I set them.
I also called IRS and haf no record of the man I talked to.T police officer said that it was a scam a d my IDENTITY THEFT my name and social security number was at risk. IF you are able to help me with my complaint please do.

Or you could pay your bills on time and not have to mess with them at all....

Pete you must be a "bill collector" or just have a general lack of compassion.



they are calling my employer about six times I am afraid that I will loose my job for this they are threatening me with a warrant for my arrest.

I am still waiting for the court case against JACKSON HUNTER MORRIS AND KNIGHT debt collectors to come to give back the $5700.00 they took from me in 2012. I hope this is resolved soon.

You get them good. I've had it with abusive collectors as well as abusive attorneys acting as collectors.

Thank you so much for your web site; the information available allows me to be more confident in dealing with these robo calls and possible cheats.

Got 8-10 calls today saying I owed a payday loan. I was threatened, told he was an officer, then an investigator then an arbitrator. Threatened with court, jail etc. He screamed, I hung up, he called back.. over and over and over.

Hey Frazzled. Sounds like this could be a scammer trying rip you off. Don't give them anything.

My husband got a call like this July 25th they gave us a case number and he would be served papers to go to court . My husband called the number they said 844-891-8228 ,they said it was about a charge card ,he never had. They told him they couldn't help him then, they would see him in court. Are these practices legal or scams .

Some debt collectors can be ruthless, calling all hours of the day and night, and threatening arrest and violence if they don’t get paid. Speaking in heavily accented English, they may use foul language and they don’t hesitate to lie about who they are, where they are calling from, or what they will do to you if you don’t pay up right away.

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