Minnesotans are being harassed by debt collectors over debts that don’t belong to them. In 2012, there were over 30 million in the U.S. harassed over alleged debt. Unfortunately, the regulatory system has fallen behind technology and now that has resulted in these individuals not being adequately protected against being harassed for debt they don’t owe. This has left millions of individuals in Minnesota and the U.S. all alone when protecting themselves against debt collectors that harass individuals.
One Bloomington man stated that a debt collector kept calling him over a debt that he did not owe. He told the debt collector that they had the wrong number and the wrong person. However, the calls were intended for the previous owner of the telephone number. It did not matter how much he told the debt collector that they had the wrong number; they continued to harass him.
This is something that the Consumer Financial Protection (CFPB) looked at. They wanted to hear about the experiences the public had with debt collectors. The case of the Bloomington resident was one that the heard.
Four years after the CFPB was created by Congress, the bureau was given limited authority over debt collects. The agency is still studying the matter of debt collectors collecting from the wrong individuals. It plans to do a survey in the summer of 2014 about experiences and to see how knowledgeable consumers are of their rights.
Although the economy is improving slowly, it is not believed that an improved economy will improve the number of complaints that are being received, nor the speed of debt collection and harassment issues. As people regain their ability to pay, it is expected that debt collection agencies will be even higher in demand.
The Federal Trade Commission, FTC receives many complaints about creditor harassment in Minnesota and throughout the entire country. They receive more complaints on debt collectors than they do any other industry. In fact, the number of complaints they receive constitutes around 24 percent of the total complaints that the field. In 2012, there were 199,721 complaints. That exceeded the number of complaints in 2010, which stood at 119,609.
The FTC’s report said that many consumers don’t file complaints with anyone other than the debt collector because there are some consumers that are not aware that their rights have been violated. Many throughout Minneapolis, St. Paul, and the entire 11 county Twin Cities metro don’t know that the harassment has violated the Fair Debt Collection Practices act (FDCPA). This means that they don’t know that they can receive creditor harassment assistance in Minneapolis that will allow them to exercise further rights to take action against the debt collector.
This has the FTC saying that the number of complaints they receive is well below what is actually happening.
But the FDCPA can be confusing. For instance, it doesn’t apply to banks. If a bank harasses someone, then the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency needs to be contacted. The federal Deposit Insurance Corporation can also receive the complaint.
If you are ever in doubt as to whether or not the way you have been treated is illegal, you can consult with a creditor harassment attorney for answers.