In a post last week, we started discussing how consumers should be aware that debt collection companies are finally starting to evolve from a technological perspective, jettisoning antiquated tactics and deploying everything from avatars to ringless voicemails.
For decades, debt collection companies have relied on two primary tools in their efforts to collect on past due accounts: the letter and the phone. In fact, this largely proved to be the case even as technology advanced by leaps and bounds from the proliferation of WiFi and smartphones to the rise of social media.
Every year, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, the federal agency tasked with protecting Americans from "unfair, deceptive, or abusive practices," fields thousands of complaints about aggressive -- and frequently unlawful -- debt collection activities.
The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau has released its November 2016 monthly "complaint snapshot," revealing that the most common consumer complaint filed with the federal agency that month about debt collection was that debt collectors were trying to collect debts that were not actually legally owed. In addition, many complained that the collectors would not provide documentation to verify that the debts were valid.
It may seem hard to believe, but Christmas is officially less than 10 days away. This means that over the coming week, people will be gathering with family and friends to exchange gifts, share a meal and, of course, enjoy one another's company.
Imagine if your child, the center of your world, becomes ill. And not just run-of-the-mill sick, either, but goes into kidney failure due to a debilitating disease. She needs constant medical treatment to keep her alive and will likely need a transplant. You do your best to stay on top of the expenses, but the bills soon start to pile up. You eventually fall behind on payments and start dealing with medical debt collection agents on top of everything else.
If you have an account that has gone to collections - maybe you couldn't pay a staggering medical bill following an illness or a credit card balance after divorce - you are not alone. Seventy million American have debts in collections.