The Federal Trade Commission is the federal government's consumer protection agency. As such, the FTC recently announced that it has obtained court orders to freeze assets and stop two businesses from posing as legitimate debt collection agencies in pursuit of genuine debts.
The agency said that two men pretended to be attorneys would try to collect on debts that people did not owe, threatening them with lawsuits and arrest if they did not pay up. Unfortunately, even some authentic debt collectors use abusive tactics, issuing similar threats to people who might or might not owe money.
According to the FTC, the men called people and said they were debt collectors who would sue or have them arrested if they did not comply with demands for payment. When people asked for documentation, the men would give them a phony case number and bogus phone number to call.
Sometimes the men would say that the police were on their way or that people who did not pay their debts would go to prison, a report says.
Legitimate debt collectors know that these kinds of stories do little to improve the battered image of their industry. After all, one of the reasons people accept as authentic the tactics of phony debt collectors is that it is widely understood that far too often debt collectors rely on abuse, coercion and intimidation to collect payments.
A Philadelphia consumer protection attorney can help you stop the threats, abuse and harassment. In some cases, you can pursue damages against abusive collectors who violate your rights and the rules of proper collection.