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Why No One Likes Debt Collectors

(Photo by Shaun Heasley/Getty Images)

I qave a couple of good friends who happen to be debt collectors., and thier genuinally nice people. Unfortunately, there are some that aren’t so so nice, and they ruin the reputation for everyone else.

People go into debt. The businesses that own that debt want their they hire debt collectors. CNN Money  recently published a few debt-collection horror stories. Here are some examples that highlight why the debt collection industry has a bad name:

1. You Shouldn’t Threaten To Take Someone’s Kids Away
The Federal Trade Commission shut down a debt collector in Texas that allegedly told debtors it would have the government take their children away if they did not pay up. It also threatened to have the debtors arrested.

2. It’s Just Gross To Tell Debtors You’re Going To Desecrate Family Members’ Dead Bodies
In 2011, an agency was accused of telling some alleged debtors that if their debts were not repaid, that the dead bodies of their family members would be desecrated.

One  example cited in the complaint  involves a mother who lost two sons within one week of each other. When she was having trouble paying the debt owed to the funeral home, the collector is accused of asking how she would like it her dead son’s body was dug up and dropped outside her door.

3. And Don’t Mess With People’s Pets Either
According to the FTC complaint, this same firm also made the threat to one customer that it would have her dog, “arrested… shoot him up and… eat him.”

4. You Can’t Pretend To Be A Lawyer, Let Alone A Courtroom
Debt Collectors are not lawyers, but one Pennsylvania debt collection agency went a step beyond merely pretending attorney — in 2010, it was accused of  setting up an entire fake courtroom in it’s office to hold bogus hearings.

While most debt collectors do not go this far, it’s these sort of bad acts that taint the the entire industry.

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