Frequent readers of our Philadelphia consumer protection law blog know that our focus is on ways in which city residents can be protected from fraud, scams and abuse. We read recently of an abusive debt collector who is being sought by a state's attorney general for using phantom debts to prey on victims.
According to a TV station report, a woman lost $30,000 to the debt collector, believing she might owe money to pay off debts incurred by her former husband. Like many victims of similar schemes, she said she "never thought it would happen to me."
She told a Chicago TV reporter that she was repeatedly called by debt collection agencies over a $7,000 to $9,000 bill that she thought more properly belonged to her first husband. But she paid the debt, only to find herself besieged by other debt-collecting companies.
As it turned out, the first payment she made went to a company owned by a man who is barred from debt collection in Illinois. That state's Attorney General said the debt collection agency employed "really abusive debt collection practices." The prosecutor said the company pursues phantom debts and uses threatening, abusive tactics in phone calls.
A second company got more money out of the woman, and is apparently operated by a relative of the owner of the first company.
"The hope is that he will end up in prison," said Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan.
The story has a mostly happy ending: the woman got most of her $30,000 back because of the efforts of a bank employee.
An experienced Philadelphia attorney dedicated to consumer protection can help you stop debt collection harassment, threats, intimidation and other forms of abuse. Contact Bensley Law Offices for more information about how we help you fight for your rights.