What have we done for you lately?

If you’re a regular reader here, you might know the FTC gets more complaints about debt collection than about any other industry. And you might have read a thing or two about what we do about debt collection. Like the giant law enforcement sweep last month, where 70 partners nationwide brought more than 115 cases against bad debt collectors. Or the cases we bring ourselves – and the refunds we’ve gotten for people. Or the nearly 100 debt collectors we’ve banned from the industry.

These efforts have stopped a lot of bad guys: put them out of business, taken the cars and houses they bought with the money they stole, and helped clean up the debt collection industry. But your reports of ongoing bad behavior tell us there’s more to do. So this year, we decided to add a new approach into the mix.

Over the past six months, the FTC hosted a series of three Debt Collection Dialogues around the country – half-day sessions where debt collectors got to hear from federal and state law enforcers and from leaders in the debt collection industry. In Buffalo, Dallas and Atlanta, the debt collectors who attended heard about government agency enforcement priorities, how state and federal enforcement works, and issues for particular audiences – like collection attorneys or debt buyers.

But the government officials also got to hear from industry officials, who raised their own concerns: how to reach people from whom they’re trying to collect, the high cost of complying with many federal and state laws, and the need for clarity in the laws and regulations that affect them.

In the end, the dialogues were a valuable way to share information in both directions – and remind the collection industry that collectors actually can help shut down illegal collection operations by sharing information with law enforcement. That’s where your report matters, too. If you see bad debt collection practices, let us know. Every report makes a difference.

Blog Topics: 
Money & Credit

Comments

Any chance you can get the credit card companies to lower their interest rates? After medical and veterinary and auto repair bills cause one to run up balances on credit cards, they raise the interest rate causing it to be harder to repay the amounts borrowed for emergencies....

I would personnally thank you for all the great reporting that you do to protect the consumer. I rely on this site for any future purchases, there are times that I would like to put in a complaint about the bad experiance that a dealership did to me but I doubt you would have any results since it happened this year. that dealership is unfair and rip offs, but there is nothing that this site can do to them. they are professionals, I work for a dealership and what Buena Park Nissan does to people is a crime. if you have time I would love to tell you about it.

If you have a consumer problem, you can report to the FTC at ftc.gov/complaint. The details you give go into a database that law enforcement uses for investigations.

Blog comments don't go into the database.

What have you done for ME? As a Disabled Veteran on the verge of Bankruptcy and in need of home care for my wife and I...absolutely NOTHING!!!

I have problems with solitators calling trying to sell you medical stuff or I have been getting a lot of scam calls from St.Johns, MI. What can we all do to stop these calls. I even started turning my fax machine and answering calls that I know, but then I don't get my phone messages from other ppl.

well as a whistblower. federal. n state. subsequent. to millions thousands of my tips. over several. yrs leading. to huge bust from my information. im entitled to.a percentage. of those. funds recovered by law or ill b sueing the ftc the fed gov the cfpb. these hospitals +collectors treators medicare even sickly. corrupt fraudulent. law firms r in it togerher by which ive given "playbyplay"against each theyve all retaliated vs me with no enforcement. no lawyer aide. no tips for me?zdunn rest im out goodluck to yall nextyr not another tip will. u reveiv from me.

Your not Edward Snowden are u? If so u didn't do it for the money u did it to help everybody.

Thank you FTC, you are doing millions of citizens such a service that it is terrible to see someone ask you for money!!! We ought to be grateful for your FREE service and caring enough to investigate these traumatic experiences we've got to endure. Thank you FTC staff.

Always nice to meet a fellow whistleblower. Good Job

EXCELLENT!! Sounds like a productive program and taxpayers finally get some bang for their buck!

You have done nothing about the so called collection agency Advance Cash, ACE or ACS America Cash Services. They have threatened, harassed, sent arrest warrants, said they were with Federal Trade Commission, now I'm getting Final Warning. They are threatening to call my parttime work, fix it so I can never get a job, stop my cheeks from SS and my pension. They emailed me finally that this is a loan with CashNet USA for a loan on December 02, 2012. I went through all my statements and there was no transaction on that date. After totaling the real loans I received $3,475 from them and they took out of my bank account $4,706.59 but they say that they didn't take money from my account. Got an email last week from Andrew.Carter @acepaydaycollection that said IC3 has decided to mark this case as a flat refusal and press charges. This is getting nerve racking. I can't get help, lawyers say they can't help because it's a scam, emailed State's attorney of MD, got nowhere, written to you many times, talked to Sheriff of our county and no body wants to help. Why can't these so called collection agencies can't be stopped? If you google their names you get dozens of complaints about them.

Dear Gmom,

If you looked at your transactions and you know you don't owe the debt, the calls are probably a scam. If a scammer is harassing you, you don't have to keep talking to him. If you know you do not owe a debt, you can stop talking to him. You can report him to law enforcement. You can ignore the emails. You don't have to listen to him.

If you gave him your bank account number and he's taking your money without permission, call your bank and tell them what happened.

The Federal Trade Commission does not call people and threaten them. Anyone who pretends to be from the Federal Trade Commission is lying to you.

The IC3 is a law enforcement group that investigates scammers. IC3 does not press charges against people who owe private debts. Anyone who says the IC3 will press charges for a private debt is lying to you.

Here are signs of a fake collector. If the person calling you does the things in this list he's probably a scammer:

  • He says you owe a debt that you don't remember
  • He won't tell you his mailing address or phone number
  • He ask for personal or financial information
  • He threatens to report you to law enforcement or says he'll stop your benefits checks.

Please report the calls to law enforcement. Give the details that law enforcement needs to investigate. Report to the FTC at ftc.gov/complaint. Or report to your state Attorney General’s office.

Exactly right Bridget. The ONLY problem that I have is how long it takes for some crooks to get caught after the FTC or FCC or SEC gets a lot of information about the scammers, but, it takes so long to get a case against them. Because of that reason the FTC is swamped with the complaints.

Thank you for the latest information.

I had an equity line loan on my home, loaned the money to my son, he never repaid it. I couldn't pay it, got a HARP loan (new first mtg)and Chase forgave the lien; however it is still on my credit report and is now two loans, one was original with WAMU that Chase took over, the other is Chase. different numbers same origination date. ANything I can do?

If you think there is an error on your credit report, this FTC article about disputing errors on your credit report may help.

Under the Fair Credit Reporting Act, both the credit reporting company and the person, company, or organization that gave information about you to a credit reporting company are responsible for correcting inaccurate or incomplete information in your report. To take advantage of all your rights under this law, contact the credit reporting company and the information provider. The article explains more.

Someone needs to investigate Discover Bank from top to bottom. There is something going on with that company and the collection agencies that it uses to collect debts. Look at all the "judgements" Discover Bank has filed across the nation. The "justice system" is blind to see it. Discover Bank is using the justice system to its advantage against the American people..?

Back in September of 2015 I was contact online through Facebook by a women who introduced herself as a government official offering a government grant that I qualified for. And later down the line I was informed that I miss understood and this is a international lottery that I have won in the amount of $430,000.00 with the bouns of a new car. I have paid processing and delivery fees in the amount of approximately $6000.00 and I still have not received my winnings. At this time I am being asked for additional final fee for gas and escort fee of my delivery in the amount of $420. I am seeking advice as to what I should do. Because I have paid all these fees a few times in the past and never yet received my delivery as promised. So with this said I am under the impression that this is a fraudulent company or work of business.

If someone you don't know contacts you about a contest you didn't enter, or a grant you didn't apply for, and they want you to send them money, it's probably a scam. This FTC article tells more about prize and contest scams.

If you send money to a scammer, you probably can't get it back. And when scammers know you will send money, they will keep contacting you and asking for money. They might even sell your name to other scammers so they can contact you too.

You can report this to the FTC at ftc.gov/complaint. The details you give will go into a database that law enforcement uses for investigations.

Some people offer me a refund for scammings suffered for me. they said that i'am entitled to $7,500+- , but my bank does not has "mobile tranfers deposit" which is a Puerto Rican and send me as the only option to open an account in mainland.The only method is by money Gram and I have to apy $300.00 out of pocket which I do not have. Rolando

This might be a scam. Sometimes a criminal will call people who got scammed before. The criminal will pretend to help you. But really, he wants to take your money. If you send money by the wire transfer, you cannot get the money back. It is never good to send money to a stranger who calls you.

I have a question? I was recently scammed like a few days ago. These scam artists said it would have been easier for me to get the promised cash (which I did not get) if I had an account with chase bank. Can someone please tell me why they wanted to use chase bank in which they have all closed in the area where I live.

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