Consumers in Oregon and around the country can become involved in serious situations when debt collection activities go too far. Many credit card companies have been known to or suspected of using inappropriate means to recoup monies owed to them by debtors. Unfair practices for collecting consumer debt can make financial challenges for already-strapped debtors even worse. Many people can feel unsure of where to turn in the face of severe creditor harassment.
According to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, at least one company that marketed itself as a law firm to assist creditors with collecting credit card debt was not a law firm at all but actually a credit collection agency. The firm is accused of falsely pursuing many people for debts not necessarily owed. One attorney is said to have approved up to 138,000 lawsuits against individual creditors in only two years. That is a caseload that signifies minimal time spent on each case by the attorney, which may be unfair to the consumers.
Many large national banks have contracted with the agency involved and multiple lawsuits have been initiated against consumers. The CFPB has instigated its own lawsuit against the alleged fraudulent organization. In the suit, the CFPB accuses the debt collectors of pursuing lawsuits without even verifying the amount owed by the creditors. It is not known what damages may be sought in the case.
People who carry high balances on credit cards and are unable to make minimum payments regularly may wish to talk to an attorney to learn what options exist for help. Filing for bankruptcy is one route but others may exist as well. Getting professional input may make the process of relieving debt easier.
Source: The Seattle Times, “US consumer bureau sues debt-collection law firm,” Jeff Horwitz, July 15, 2014