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Debt Collections

February 22, 2012 | By Jim Puzzanghera, Los Angeles Times
  Federal regulators warned of a new scam in which so-called phantom debt collectors harass people into paying bills they don't even owe, typically preying on Americans already burdened with financial problems. Officials said Tuesday that they had shut down a Villa Park operation that they alleged in a lawsuit fraudulently collected about $5 million in phantom debts. In a lawsuit filed by the Federal Trade Commission, a court froze the assets of American Credit Crunchers, an affiliated company called Ebeeze and their owner, Varang K. Thaker.
February 21, 2012 | By Jim Puzzanghera
Federal officials said Tuesday they have shut down two phantom debt collection companies run by a Villa Park man, alleging they took in more than $5 million over the last two years by tricking people into paying back loans they didn't owe. Often posing to be law enforcement officers or other government officials, callers from India threatened the victims with arrest, lawsuit or the loss of their job if they didn't repay online payday loans....
September 5, 2011 | By Stuart Pfeifer, Los Angeles Times
Here is a roundup of alleged cons, frauds and schemes to watch out for. Using ruse of debt collection There are few things more intimidating than a telephone call from a collection agency. Some scam artists have been using that fear to bully people into giving up their debit card numbers on the telephone, then draining their bank accounts, the Better Business Bureau said in a recent alert. In some instances, the callers have personal information about the target, including actual debts, making the call seem legitimate.
March 20, 2011 | Liz Weston, Money Talk
Dear Liz: I had a mobile home that was repossessed in 2003 after I was unable to make the payments. In 2005, I was contacted by a debt collector saying that I owed $20,000. They were very aggressive and threatening, saying that they could sue me. I told them I did not have that money, and they kept harassing me, telling me that I could borrow it from my bank. I finally agreed to send them $50 a month. I just received a letter stating that I have not met my contractual obligations and if I don't take care of the balance, I could be sued.
January 10, 2007 | From Bloomberg News
Congress should revoke the Internal Revenue Service's authority to use private debt collectors because the program doesn't work and the collection companies may be using unethical methods to "take advantage of taxpayers," the tax agency's independent watchdog said. Nina E. Olson, the national taxpayer advocate, said in her annual report to Congress that the agency struggled to supply contractors with accounts to collect.
May 13, 2000 | Associated Press
Debt collectors could phone people any time day or night and charge them high fees if they fail to make good on bounced checks within 30 days under a proposal by Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Orrin G. Hatch (R-Utah). Hatch is pushing the measure as an amendment to legislation that would make it harder for people to erase debts through bankruptcy, a proposal that has raised protests from consumer advocates, unions, women's groups and religious leaders.
June 12, 1999 | Bloomberg News
Sears, Roebuck & Co. faces a new class-action lawsuit accusing the nation's largest department store company of using illegal tactics to collect debts from more than 1.5 million bankrupt customers since 1987. U.S. District Judge Vanessa D. Gilmore granted class-action status to a 1997 suit filed by a Texas couple claiming that Sears bullied consumers into agreeing to repay debts wiped out in personal bankruptcies, and harassed them with lawsuits if they didn't.
Yankee pride runs fierce and strong in this cold, harsh pocket of rural poverty, but so does a spirit of ingenuity that is often born of hardship. These qualities met head-on a year ago, just as hospital administrator Pete Tucker was wondering if he would be buried alive by the mountain of unprocessed paperwork in his office and when, at the very same moment, 60-year-old Della O'Leary was worrying about how to pay off her gallbladder surgery.
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