August 11, 1991 |
Anyone who has checked into a hospital knows that once you check out, you'll be confronted with a staggeringly expensive, dizzyingly confusing bill. But what is not common knowledge is that many of these bills contain errors that can cost consumers and their insurers thousands of dollars. How big and how common are the errors? The answer depends on whom you ask.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
April 22, 2011 |
Two sheriff's deputies sat conspicuously in the lobby of the Wilshire Hotel in Koreatown on Thursday. They were there to collect a multimillion-dollar debt. In March, a Superior Court judge ordered the company that runs the hotel to pay the city of Los Angeles nearly $3.5 million for unpaid transit occupancy taxes, known as bed taxes. City officials say the company, Majestic Towers, never paid up. So they turned to the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department, which serves court orders, to play debt collector.
December 23, 1998 |
The bats and balls are gone, the uniforms consigned to the nostalgia bin. The Mission Viejo Vigilantes play only in court now, with the city suing the team and the team suing the city. The minor-league baseball team vacated its offices soon after its second season in Mission Viejo ended in September. The team disconnected its phone and left no forwarding address, leaving an angry band of creditors wondering when--and if--they might get paid.
July 13, 1990 |
Virtually unnoticed among the many superpower negotiations, the United States and Soviet Union are trying to settle U.S. claims of more than $1 billion on debts that predate the Bolshevik Revolution, including old czarist bonds bought by Americans. Recent U.S.-Soviet commercial talks have focused on Soviet efforts to obtain most-favored-nation trading status, which would enable the Soviets to get the U.S. government credits and loans they need to resuscitate their economy.
May 1, 1997 |
Chicago-based Montgomery Ward Holding Corp. may have violated practices related to the collection of debt from credit card customers, based on an internal audit by the retailer's majority shareholder. General Electric Co.'s GE Capital Services unit said an internal audit of debt collection practices identified some "issues which we're moving swiftly to rectify," according to spokesman John Oliver. Oliver said GE was confident that the matter won't be material to GE or Montgomery Ward.
February 8, 2008 |
The long arm of the law reaches only so far, according to a federal appeals court. In a win for consumers, a three-judge panel of the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled this week that a San Clemente debt collection company could be sued for alleged overly aggressive tactics, even when the company is working on behalf of prosecutors. The appeals court ruled in a lawsuit against American Corrective Counseling Services Inc.
November 15, 1986 |
The Reagan Administration announced stepped-up efforts Friday to collect $68 billion in delinquent debts and government loans, with one official declaring that "Uncle Sam ain't gonna be Uncle Patsy anymore." At a Justice Department news conference, officials said they will use four laws recently signed by President Reagan to toughen federal debt collection and better combat waste, fraud and abuse.
November 11, 2007 |
The voice-mail message was angry and unrelenting. "The situation will not die, I guarantee you!" the woman said in a steely voice, adding that she would call "every day." It was not a stalker or a jilted lover. It was a debt collection company. And it was illegal harassment, according to the Federal Trade Commission, because the caller went on to threaten that the person's wages would be seized.