Let’s go through some of the specifics these bad guys were nailed for:
First, what they had in common:
In all four, the company pretended to be someone they were not – a court official, law enforcement, process servers. In all four, they threatened consumers – telling people they’d be arrested, their vehicle would be impounded, their wages garnished, they’d be sued if they didn’t pay. And all four failed to give consumers the information they’d need to dispute the debt. Which is, of course, required by the law.
But wait, there’s more!
Warrant Enforcement Division made their false claims in writing – sending letters and postcards saying things like: “FINAL NOTICE BEFORE ARREST.” AFS Legal Services didn’t even verify that the people they were calling actually owed money – yet they contacted relatives, friends and co-workers about the person’s debts. And Williams Scott knew the debts weren’t real, but they tried to collect them anyway. All illegal.
Abusive debt collectors use these tactics because, well, they work.
They terrify people into sending money.
DON’T FALL FOR IT!
And law firms can use abusive tactics as well, as reported by John Sandman of TheStreet.com:
The CFPB found that Hanna focuses almost exclusively on debt collection litigation, and its three principal partners, Frederick J. Hanna, Joseph Cooling and Robert Winter, were architects of the firm’s business practices and strategies.
Law firms do things like, not review the lawsuits they file.
Most debt buyers do not give their lawyers ANY backup information, any proof that the debt they allegedly purchased is still owed.
Because the debt buyers do NOT have proof that the debt is even owed.
Most contracts for the sale of debt DO NOT EVEN WARRANT THAT THE DEBT IS STILL OWED.
The contracts contain disclaimers that the debt may be disputed, already paid, discharged in bankruptcy, or past the statute of limitations.
But consumers get sued anyway.
I repeat: DON’T FALL FOR IT!
Contact me for a free consultation if an abusive debt collector contacts or sues you.