Outrageous collection threats!

Discussion in 'Credit Talk' started by Hal, Aug 7, 2001.

  1. Hal

    Hal Well-Known Member

    While working for a credit counseling agency I became accustomed to having others relay stories to me about the threats collection agents had made. In one case a woman who had received several calls actually conference called me and then returned the collectors call, as she wanted a witness to the threats. The collector did not know I was on the line:

    Mrs. X: Can I speak to Mr. Smith.
    Mr. Smith: Hello Mrs. X, are you ready to give me your checking account information so we can set up the debits from your account?
    Mrs. X: Well, I spoke to my husband, and he does not want me giving our checking account information over the phone.
    Mr. Smith (Interrupting): You know Mrs. X, We have been more than patient with you. You need to pay this debt or your credit will be ruined. You made a promise to give me this information so we can make debits. If you don't provide the information now, I can't be responsible for what our legal department does.
    Mrs. X: We want to pay, but my husband said...
    Mr Smith (Interrupting again) Hold on for a few minutes Mrs. X (Placing her on hold).

    A few minutes later Mr. Smith returns:
    Mr Smith: Mrs X are you there?
    Mrs X: Yes, I'm here.
    Mr Smith: I had to place you on hold because our attorney was walking by and had some information for me. Mrs. X, are you working?
    Mrs. X: No, I watch the children, I am a housewife.
    Mr Smith: Well Mrs. X, I hope you can find a babysitter.
    Mrs. X: Why do I need a babysitter?
    Mr Smith: While you were on hold our attorney informed me that the sheriff has been dispatched to your home to arrest your husband for grand theft for not paying this debt. He will be kept in jail until you make a payment.
    Mrs. X: (Hysterical and crying) Why are you doing this to me?
    Mr Smith: I suggest you think about your husband sitting in jail and decide if you want to make arrangements with me right now and provide the information for your checking account.

    Me: Hello Mr Smith, this is Hal from big credit counseling agency, I have been listening to this call and am curious if you are aware that what you are saying to Mrs. X is not only a lie, but violates several of her rights under.....
    <Click> (Mr. Smith hangs up at this point)

    I spent the next 30 minutes consoling Mrs. X and assuring her that not only was he lying to her, but that there has not been a debtors prison in this country for a hundred years or so.

    I know others have heard outrageous threats and stories and thought I would share this one as it was the biggest load of bovine manure I have ever heard a collector try to lay on anyone.
  2. Hope

    Hope Well-Known Member


    There's never been a tru "debtor's prison" here. That was one of the things the settlers were escaping from Europe and elsewhere.

    But, it makes my blood boil reading your story. I'm only glad she had the presence of mind to have you conferenced in. Just think how many poor, unsuspecting folks have fallen for this crap.

    So, what happened next?
  3. Struggler

    Struggler Well-Known Member

    This reminds me of the tactics used in the 60 Minutes II report about the college kids who committed suicide because they were hopelessly in debt. The collectors harassed their parents to the point of insanity, and this on top of them recently losing their child. If you ask me, there should be a "collector's prison."
  4. cable666

    cable666 Well-Known Member

    I hope that Mrs. Smith sued for violations of the FDCPA. Did she?
  5. tom65432

    tom65432 Well-Known Member

    Can you tell us what collection agency this was?
  6. Hal

    Hal Well-Known Member

    The client did not file any type of lawsuit, I am not certain that she would have been able to cope with that. After the incident, we contacted the original creditor and asked that the account be pulled back from collections, which they happily did.

    The collection agency was Credittrust. I believe they have since filed bankruptcy and gone out of business.

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