Report Highlights Debt Collectors’ Lack of Evidence in Collection Cases
For instance, in only about 6% of cases did debt buyers actually have any documentation showing that they own the debt. This means that if consumers challenged these cases in court, they stood a good chance of getting the cases dismissed. But often consumers are either coerced into paying with high-pressure collection tactics, or they fail to respond to lawsuits filed against them.
Additionally, some debt collectors have used false or forged documents to claim that they own debts, when in fact they have no documentation.
Surprisingly, 1 in 7 consumers have an account in some stage of collection. Although dealing with collectors is common, people often feel unnecessarily embarrassed. The average amount of a debt collected is $1,500.
Debt collection is extremely common. It is so common that it was the number one source of complaints by consumers to the Federal Trade Commission, over 200,000 in 2013. These are just the reported incidents, and there are likely many more.
Under Massachusetts law, there are many protections against debt collectors who engage in abusive and unfair collection tactics. These come from Chapter 93A, also known as the Massachusetts Consumer Protection Act, the regulations of the Massachusetts Attorney General at 940 C.M.R. 7.00, and the regulations of the Massachusetts Division of Banks at 209 C.M.R. 18.00.
The report is available here: The State of Lending: Debt Collection and Debt Buying
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