Harassing Collection Calls For Debts Not Owed

February 1, 2013

Hundreds of Thousands of Americans Are Receiving Harassing Phone Calls To Pay Debts They Don't Owe

Debt collectors from overseas call centers have been placing millions of abusive calls to people. The astonishing fact about these collection calls is that the loans had already been paid in full or were never owed in the first place.

Debt Collectors Targeting People Who Have Applied For Online Payday Loans

Online payday loans have become popular with people needing quick cash. It's bad enough that these loans carry an exorbitant interest rate; now overseas call centers are trying to collect money that was already repaid. The collectors call your home, cell and work number, sometimes dozens of times a day. They threaten to send someone to your home or work to personally collect the money. Collectors will even threaten legal action, including arrest. Unfortunately, their illegal tactics work. An ABC News investigation in 2012 found that call centers in India were successful in scaring people into paying more than $5,000,000.00 to them for debts they did not owe.

A Frightening Story of Abusive Collection Activity Shared by New Orleans Woman

Cindy Gervais obtained an online loan when her husband's car was damaged in an automobile accident. Ms. Gervais subsequently paid off the loan. Even though the loan was paid, she began receiving threatening collection calls. She was told that if she didn't pay, she would be arrested. They called her home, cell and place of business. They threatened to come to her job and take her to jail. She was so afraid that she paid them.

California Debt Collector Charged for Fraudulent Debt Collection

In August of 2012, United States Attorney Benjamin B. Wagner stated that Kirit Patel, a resident of Tracy, California, set up an American shell company called "Broadway Global Master". A call center in India would pressure people into paying nonexistent debts and then Mr. Patel's company would process their credit card payments. Mr. Patel's Sacramento based attorney, Mark Ellis, claims that Mr. Patel had no idea what the call centers in India were doing.

There Are More Abusive Debt Collectors That Have Yet To Be Caught

In the past few months, California consumers have been reporting collection calls eerily similar to Cindy Cervais' story. In mid January 2013, one woman said a collection company was trying to collect for a payday loan she had in 2008. She did not believe she ever had such a loan. Another, in January 2013, claimed a collection company called him over 100 times in the past year trying to collect for a supposed bad check he wrote in 2007 to a company called Allied Cash Advance. This man denied ever writing a check to this company. He called his bank and his bank confirmed that there was never a returned check from Allied Cash Advance. In late January a woman reported that a collection agency based in California who claimed they were collecting for HSBC. This woman claimed she has never owned HSBC and asked the collection company for proof of the debt. They responded to her request by hanging up on her. When she tried to call them back, at the same number they used to call her, the telephone just rang and rang and no voice mail would pick up.

Pursuant to the FDCPA Debt Collectors Have Very Specific Rules They Must Follow

The Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA) and the Rosenthal Fair Debt Collection Practices Act have established rules that debt collectors and creditors must follow then attempting to collect a debt. If those rules have not been followed, your rights may have been violated. If you are receiving collection calls on debts that you believe have been paid, or for debts you do not owe, you have rights. Our San Jose, California law office can help. Call us at 408-296-0400.