Abusive Debt Collection Agency Ordered to Cease Operations

Abusive Debt Collection Agency Ordered to Cease Operations As part of its effort to crack down on scams that target Americans in financial distress, the Federal Trade Commission has sued more than 30 debt collection companies. On Wednesday, another collection agency made the list.

At the request of the FTC, a U.S. District Court ordered Rincon Debt Management, a California-based company, to halt its debt collection operations. According to the FTC, Rincon made "bogus threats" telling consumers they had been sued or could be arrested over debts that they often didn't even owe. Employees of the collector also posed as attorneys, demanding consumers pay various nonexistent legal fees.

The FTC receives more consumer complaints about debt collectors than any other industry, including identity theft and fraud. Aside from the FTC's obvious interest in ensuring that debt collectors abide by the law, the agency is focused on the industry because of the important role it plays in consumers' everyday lives. Unfair or illegal debt collection practices can mean that "consumers often pay more than they owe, inadvertently waive their rights, have their privacy invaded, and get deeper into debt," the FTC says.

However, many of us are unaware of the difference between legal and illegal debt collection practices. Under the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act, a statute created in 1978 to protect consumers, Americans have a variety of rights that debt collectors must respect.

For example, debt collectors cannot contact you too early in the morning, or too late at night. Nor can they call you at work if you specifically tell them that your employer prohibits personal calls. You can require a debt collector to stop calling you and instead communicate strictly in writing. A debt collector must inform you, in writing, of exactly the size of the debt, to whom it is owed, and what you should do if you believe that you do not owe the debt. Additionally, debt collectors can't threaten you with violence, nor the possibility of arrest, nor any other legal action.

These are only some of the rights afforded consumers under the Act. To see a more extensive list, click here. To report an abusive debt collector, click here.

As for Rincon Debt Management, which allegedly earned almost $10 million through these illegal practices, the court order not only halts operations but also freezes the company's assets and appoints a temporary receiver to oversee the business while the FTC pursues its case.

Loren Berlin is a reporter with the AOL Huffington Post Media Group. She can be reached at loren.berlin@teamaol.com, on Twitter at @LorenBerlin, and on Facebook.

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rijohnst2

direct tv /was given a deal/when i got my bill jt was 2xs more than the deal and it wasnt working half the time/they said they would check it out and let me know/ next person says i dont know who said that but we dont have a plan like that/bill still doubled and no reception/i said im not paying until u fix the system/they came and took receiver/then drafted my account for full years worth service/and they had the receiver so i called bank/they say anybody who has account info can draft your account for what ever amt/ be aware, be careful,get everything in writing b 4 u purchase

May 17 2012 at 2:15 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Sky Fairlane

Regarding unemployment and debt:
If you’re unemployed or under employed, chances are you are not going to be able to pay your way. People are

getting arrested for their unpaid debts in six states. And collection agencies are behind it. A petition has been

started on moveon.org to prevent the return of debtor’s prison in the USA. Once enough signatures are obtained,

it will go to the US Congress and President Obama.

To sign the petition go to

http://signon.org/sign/outlaw-the-return-of

February 13 2012 at 2:08 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
ramgrc8

my debt with SST I had my Harley finance in 2007 I have been doing good makeing all my payments untile the economy bust and the comapny I work for laid all of us off I worked in Construction as the GC well everyone know it hurted the construction realy bad well any ways I got unployment so I was able to make my payments then after that I ran out of unployment and still had to make my payments I called SST even fax them what had happen and on Jun 13thru 21 I called them asking them for and two month extention on my loan I was already backed up with late fees and interest I explained to them I would be starting a new job and I would be able to try to get cought up with my payments well I do so I send payments after payment know they called me and there saying I diden make my payments I have send 5 payments try to et cought up with them I was told that I still owed more then the two payments but I said diden they get put back behind my note the said it never happen and know SST has been rude to me and calling me that there going to repoe my harley when I kept my end of the agreement of trying to get my self cought up well they keep changeing there story about my payments I have seen a billing staments since 6 months so I asked them where ae my payments going to then I send them copys off all my payments like I promis to get cought know there demanding 1600.00 dallors when I explain the two payments are put back what happen to that well another call came from SST and they said ok I owe only 795.00 I said well which is it I send you 9 payments and its August and I send that payment as well then they tell me I diden send it for August so you owed for that month then I get a copy of my billing statement after I been asking for one every time I have called SST and gues what the August payment is posted but they dont have it I have all the copys for them payments know there going to repoe my harley when I only owe two years on know I'm behind since I diden send this months payments the y have been send out repoe trucks to pick up my Harley since August when I show them all my copys they wont touch but SST keep telling them to pick it up I'm tired stressed out I dont know what elts to do I even faxed the VIP for amswers from SST and I have heard back from them

November 06 2011 at 11:03 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Scotty

When the banks added a bunch of charges to my accounts I paid my normal amount and cut them off. When they call I simply explain that's all their getting and everytime they make future calls they will be hung up on immediately. I did that for a few months and never heard from either one again. Did the same to the attorney's that followed suit. Unless you owe a great deal, it costs them more to take you to court than it's worth and they write it off.

October 27 2011 at 9:34 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to Scotty's comment
ewrug

Yeah then they sell the debt to a third party debt collector, who legally, can post to your credit report as an account an monies owed. Some states allow this practice for years.

March 31 2012 at 8:25 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Morris Cantonitis

Satan will be doing the debt collection of the Wall Alley PIGG.

Russia, China

NUKE NYC

300,000,000 OCCUPIERS find the U.S. , SEC and FED Reserve and Financial Agencies GUILTY of failing to protect Americas & The World’s investments from Predatory Wall Alley PIGGS.

Fidelity, E-Trade, Wells Fargo, Ameriprise and more are being sued by American investors for hundreds of million of dollars for not only failing to protect, but contributing to the looting.

October 27 2011 at 8:24 AM Report abuse -2 rate up rate down Reply
Joyce

I wish they would do something about Racheal at Card Holders Solutions. We all know it's a scam and no one can stop the calls at all times of the day.

October 27 2011 at 8:21 AM Report abuse +3 rate up rate down Reply
John

I pay all my bills on time, but after i pay a bill and someone comes back and says i owe more, i refuse to pay. So therefore i do have debt collectors after me......I paid my bill and will pay no more. Hospitals are famous for this practice,,,,charge you a co-pay, then after you get home, they send you a bill, and thank you for the payment they have already recieved in the form of co-pay........This is FRAUD, Why are they not being brought to task for it? What if a car dealer sold you a car and after you got it home, they sent you a bill for the tires? Would you pay that? of course not. But hospitals regularly deal with insurance which is a scam so they get away with it.....

October 27 2011 at 8:09 AM Report abuse +3 rate up rate down Reply
John

Just hang up on the bastards

October 27 2011 at 8:05 AM Report abuse +3 rate up rate down Reply
WT

The best one I had was an agency who called me regarding my neighbor. The caller said my neighbors would not answer their phone calls..... so he wanted me to go next door and tell them to call a 1-800 number. What?

I declined to assist them in harassing my neighbors.

October 27 2011 at 7:59 AM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply
zcapitalism

Way back in the day when AIRTOUCH was a cell phone company I got a cell phone,this was back in the 90s.I had the contract on the phone and toward the end of the contract I paid the contract off about 3 months early.I was stepping out of the shower when my home phone number rang and I had a phone in the bathroom and I answer it while butt naked and drying off.The lady said she was calling about my cell bill and wondered when I was going to pay my bill.I said NICELY I had already paid off that cell bill and didnt think Id get another 2 year contract and suddenly she started SCREAMING AT ME as loud as she could.I was like WHAT THE HELL?I said mam,I dont owe anything to you,I paid it off long ago.She still kept SCREAMING at me to pay my bill and she'd take me to court YADA YADA YADA.Finally I yelled back at her and DARED her to take me to court and DOUBLE DOG DARED her to call my house again .......Maybe she rechecked my account because I never heard from her again and never got a bill either.Some of these companies need to be shut down.

October 27 2011 at 6:20 AM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to zcapitalism's comment
ncinkman

The double dog dare tactic is probably the best one. People in the South understand it's a veiled threat to kick arse or even shoot if neccessary. Most Notherners mistakenly think it means you'll call out your Rotweiller's if they don't cease and desist with the phone harrassment.

October 27 2011 at 9:42 AM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply