During tough economic times, debt collectors get even tougher, often engaging in activities that are against state and federal laws. Buffalo, New York, which has become a center for debt collection agencies is currently investigating debt collectors who have been accused of bullying.
From Yahoo News:
law enforcement and consumer groups point to a dark side: Buffalo, they say, has also become a center for some of the worst elements in the business. Debt collectors, some of them convicted felons, have illegally posed as lawyers or unlawfully browbeat people — threatening to have them arrested or stripped of custody of their children — to scare them into making payments.
“Get some clean clothes because you’re not coming home any time soon,” one debtor was told.
As the sour economy leaves people less and less able to pay their debts, the collection abuses have become so flagrant and numerous that state and federal authorities have moved to shut down several Buffalo-area agencies where the most heartless and bullying telephone calls originated. At least 20 people have been sued or arrested on criminal charges.
If you believe you have been harrassed, contact an attorney to see what rights you have under the Texas Finance Code, which is designed to protect consumers from unscrupulous debt collection tactics.
In some cases, the debt collection agency that is contacting you may not be bonded in Texas and may not have the legal right to collect debt from Texas residents.