State Ignores Debt Collector Complaints

Eva Porter can’t get the phone to stop ringing.

Debt collectors trying to get in touch with her brother have been calling Eva seven times a day.

Her brother moved out a year ago, but that hasn’t stopped the calls.

“It’s just aggravating to have to deal with those harassing phone calls,” Eva said.

Federal law prohibits debt collects from calling before 8:00 AM or after 9:00 at night.

They’re also not allowed to make threats. Eva says the company calling her doesn’t play by the rules.

“They’ve called at 7:00 o’clock in the morning on Saturday.

They’ve even called one morning and woke me up at 6:30,” said Eva.

Debt collectors have become more aggressive since the economy tanked.

Six thousand calls and emails have come into two state agencies.

But most of the complaints have been ignored because of confusion over who has the authority to police the debt collectors.

Attorney General Bill McCollum says his office lacks authority.

“A lot of confusion exists about this issue and I want to be sure we have the powers people think we do,” said McCollum.

The AG’s office refers the complaints to the Office of Financial Regulation.

CFO Alex Sink, who doesn’t oversee the OFR, says she doesn’t care which office is to blame, she just wants the problem fixed.

“I’m not into pointing fingers. I’m into making the right thing happen and to protecting Florida citizens from these practices,” said Sink.

Both McCollum and CFO Alex Sink are asking for legislation to make the policing process easier.

The state cabinet members, who are both running for governor, are asking lawmakers to act quickly.

Both are hoping for legislation to be passed in the 2010 legislative session which begins in March.

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  • by VA and NJ spanked a democrat Location: ...Boyd? on Nov 4, 2009 at 05:35 PM
    Hey Anonymous on Nov 4, 2009 at 08:52 AM. I understand that about a job and income. It's all about choices and DISCIPLINE. I stated they shouldn't be harassing people, but they have the right to be a pain in people's rear ends. They spent their money that they offered to them in good faith.
  • by GV Location: Ga on Nov 4, 2009 at 01:11 PM
    CRS,I agree with most of what you said,but people like you who run up your credit cards and don't pay for them is one reason why this country is in such a mess.The gov't has already had to bail out the banks because of people like you.My hard earned tax dollars are going to have to pay off your card.I would harass you too.
  • by CRS Location: Tallahassee on Nov 4, 2009 at 11:43 AM
    The issue is that debt collectors are telling people they will be thrown in jail and yelling at people trying to collect a debt. Some of these debt collectors call people who are the family members of a person that owes the debt and they harass them and that's not right. There are fraudulant companies too calling people that don't even owe a debt harassing them trying to get them to pay money and people are scared into paying some company that they never owe and that's not right. There needs to be a stop to and a ligitament way to collect debts. I know I'm a single mom and I know that I have paid my mortgage before I paid a creditor for Discover. I gotta sleep somewhere and a having a roof over my head is way more important than paying an 18% interest rate on a card I'm never going to pay off.
  • by GV Location: Ga on Nov 4, 2009 at 10:22 AM
    Debt collectors have the right to "harass"people who owe them money.I'm glad the state seems to want to say out of it,because they too know that it is not really "harassment"when you are trying to get someone to pay what they owe.If you don't have a job and can't pay for them gold rims and teeth,you need to give um up.
  • by ccw Location: inyourface on Nov 4, 2009 at 07:39 AM
  • by Anonymous on Nov 4, 2009 at 05:52 AM
    VA: People would pay it if they had a job and income. Some things are just more important. I would buy food and pay the utility bill before I would pay those people. The debt collectors can just get over it. Either way there is no need for people to call outside of those hours and harass people. The state needs to step up and take care of this problem.
  • by Captain Crunch Location: Payday loans on Nov 4, 2009 at 05:26 AM
    Calling about you debt is one thing. Calling about someone else's is another. I only had one of those. When I discussed with him his parentage, sexual preferences, and the extent of his tan, I never heard another word.
  • by Jack Location: Wakulla on Nov 4, 2009 at 04:33 AM
    The way that i see it is this.How is it that dept collectors want to settle for less than you owe.How come the people you owe the funds to cant give you that kind of deal minus the dept collectors fee..Then the funds would possibly get paid.. Offer the next Dept Collector $10.00 A month but record the conversation if they turns you down then he or she has just refused your money and if you for any reson have to go to court then you have proof you tried to pay..Ill bet you the judge lets you pay them $10.00 amonth after all.
  • by VA and NJ spanked a democrat Location: .....BOYD? on Nov 3, 2009 at 08:40 PM
    They shouldn't be harassing people and people should be paying their debt. You accumulated it, you pay it. If you were making payments, they wouldn't be calling you. Trying to pay it is not getting on the phone and giving excuses. Tell em how nice your rims are...that'll get em!
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