Stop Debt Collector’s Empty Threats

Calls from debt collectors can add to the stress of having financial problems.  When these calls involve harassment, threats and intimidation, the situation can get worse–especially if you don’t know your rights

In 2014, the Federal Trade Commission filed a complaint against National Check Registry for violating the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act by using outrageous and intimidating methods to get people to pay debts immediately, often debts that were in dispute.  The company will tell the victims that they had committed check fraud or another crime and threatening them with lawsuits, garnishments, arrest or imprisonment if they don’t pay within 12 or 24 hours.

According to the FTC complaint, National Check Registry has no authority to make arrests or seek other criminal punishments for failure to pay these debts.

For additional information go to

http://www.consumer.ftc.gov/blog/stop-debt-collectors-empty-threats

Teaching Suggestions

  • Ask students what actions are commonly recommended if a person has difficulty making credit payments.
  • Ask students to outline the actions they should take when they receive phony debt collection calls.

Discussion Questions

  1. Are debt collectors allowed to discuss your debt with anyone other than you, your spouse or your attorney?
  2. What can you do if you think that a debt collector has violated your rights?

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