Tales from the Dark Side | Debt Collection Horror Stories

Written by Alex Bach

Debt collectors rank up there with meter maids and tow truck drivers as some of the most loathesome positions in all of society. If we as a society voted to send three positions adrift, you’d bet it’d be those three. Part of what makes the collectors so disliked is that there appears to be no limit to the lengths they’ll go to to collect a debt; many of us still aren’t sure exactly what is actually allowed and are fearful of opening a Pandora’s Box of financial fallout if we don’t comply. Here are some of the most horrifying stories of debt collection tactics.

The FDCPA helps protect consumers from shady or illegal debt collection.  If you’ve been unfairly hit or targeted, here are a couple ways you take action, including how to sue them!

(Please note all of the tactics used in these horror stories are illegal.)

“The Horror, The Horror”:

Goldman Schwartz:

This Texas firm recently was forced to shut it’s doors by the Federal Trade Commission. The firm’s many offenses included: threatening to arrest people; calling the person’s coworkers and telling them of the impending arrest; and, perhaps most ridiculously, pretending to be lawyers and/or law enforcement and threatening to take away the consumer’s children.  They even went so far as to charge legal fees!

Asset Acceptance:

Based out of Michigan, Asset Acceptance is no stranger to the FTC.  The company has reportedly increased the interest on debts, harassed and threatened debtors, and tried collecting the debt to a dead man’s phone bill.

Rumson, Bolling & Associates:

These puppies reached a whole new level of sick and debased harassment. According to CNN Money, the debt collection agency, since fined over$700,000,  reportedly had collectors threatening the parents of deceased children, telling them they’d dig up the children’s bodies and hang them from trees if the funerary debts were not paid!

Other reported practices have also included, threatening to take away a debtor’s home (illegal in most states), stalking the debtor on Facebook, pursuing debtors for hospital bills while the debtor is still in the hospital, and sending debtors (including cancer survivors) to debtor’s prison (which does not exist in any legal fashion) over erroneously billed debts!