The FTC’s new Hall of Shame — Banned Debt Collectors
There’s the “A List,” and then there’s the “D List.” I know which one I don’t want to be on.
Now the FTC has its own version of the “D” List — its list of banned debt collectors.
Consumer complaints to the FTC about abusive debt collectors have more than doubled over the past seven years, coming in second only to identity theft, which has held the top spot for more than 14 years.
The law is clear: debt collectors can’t use abusive, deceptive, or unfair practices. Debt collectors who cross that line will end up in trouble with the FTC. Some are fined, punished, promise to comply with the law going forward, and are monitored by the FTC to make sure they do. But the behavior of other debt collectors gone bad is so egregious that the FTC asks the courts to permanently ban them from participating in the debt collection business. You can learn about the lawsuits that resulted in the bans, including press releases and links to the legal complaints, by visiting the FTC’s list of banned debt collectors.
As this list highlights, the FTC has been cracking down on illegal debt collection practices. In 2014, the FTC:
- filed 10 new cases against 56 new defendants;
- resolved nine cases and secured nearly $140 million in judgments; and
- banned 47 companies and individuals from the debt collection business.
Since January 1, 2010, the FTC has sued over 180 companies and individuals who broke the law, banning 63 from the industry, and securing more than $220 million in judgments.
It’s important to understand your rights if you’re contacted by a debt collector. And if you believe a collector has violated those rights, the FTC wants to hear about it. Your complaint gives us a lead to follow, and may stop a collector from mistreating someone else. Got a minute? Watch our short video about Dealing with Debt Collectors.