Being harassed over a debt you don’t owe? You’re not alone.

Since the start of the new year, the CFPB has already received over 1,600 complaints about debt collectors.  Over 44% of those complaints were about repeated attempts by debt collectors to collect a debt that is not owed.  In most cases, the debt did not belong to the consumer, with cases where the consumer already paid the debt coming in a close second.

It comes as no surprise to those of us who represent consumers that many of the collection agencies trying to collect those bogus debts are debt buyers.  A debt buyer is a company that buys debts, often for pennies on the dollar from businesses that range from medical providers to banks and other lending institutions.  The debt buyer then tries to collect to turn a profit.  Debt buyers often try to collect these debts without first determining whether the debts are actually owed.

Wait…it gets worse.  Debt buyers sometimes re-age your debt so that it stays on your credit report for far longer than it legally can.  Just ask Asset Acceptance, one of the country’s largest debt buyers.  They were fined over $2 million dollars back in 2012 for doing this very thing.

Determining whether a debt is owed takes time, and time is money.  As a result, debt buyers and the collection agencies they hire often shoot first and ask questions later, by trying to collect these dubious debts and leaving it up to the consumer to object.  While this debt collection practice leads to hundreds of complaints to the CFPB each month, it is also a successful method of collection.  They wouldn’t do it if it didn’t work!

Don’t fall victim to this crooked debt collection practices. Debt collectors know that most consumers would rather pay a debt they don’t believe they owe just to get the collection agency off their back.  In fact, many debt buyers count on it!

If you are contacted about a debt you don’t owe, stand up and take action.  Call or email Attorney Gary Nitzkin at Credit Repair Lawyers of America (888) 293-2882 for a free, no obligation consultation. The call is free and the advice is priceless.  You can also email him at gary@crlam.com.

Caucasian businessman with open hand in front of African-American male

Debt collector looking for money from relative.