Protecting Consumers in Debt Collection Litigation and Arbitration:A Roundtable Discussion
Debt collection practices are so loosely monitored and enforced that these collectors feel they can get away with nearly anything. I myself am NOT a litigious person, however, I've had to file suit against 3 different collectors who simply would not follow the letter of the law in regards to FCRA and FDCPA. Fortunately for me, I've settled 2 of the 3 before trial, the 3rd is pending. There have been many collectors that I've paid in full, mostly due to their respect for my rights and understanding that not everyone is a deadbeat intentionally. In my particular case, cancer and the resulting numerous surgeries, procedures, hospital stays and chemotherapy were the reason that my wife and I fell into debt. We owed nothing before, nor do we now. In any given hospital surgery there are typically 20-30 medical billings created from all the different doctors, assistants, medications, etc etc. It is virtually impossible to keep track of every single billing, and keep working full time while being the in-house nurse AND maintain a home for your children. What I would like to see the FTC do is respond more immediately to reports of violations/mistreatment by these collection agencies. ALSO, we need to keep a tight reign on their credit reporting as this is the basis for every one of my lawsuits. Simply because a debt is owed does NOT give a collector the right to maliciously report false information on a person's credit report. These agencies hire the cheapest labor they can find, and do not monitor closely enough their behavior. It also pains me to know that these types of persons would have access to my social security number and everything else they need to commit identity theft. I've had 3 bouts of ID theft in the past 5yrs. That is simply out of control. In short, I appreciate the FTC for trying to regulate this "wild wild west" profession of debt collection and credit reporting, more work is needed and much tighter controls on person's private information. Thank you for your time.