These days, many Nevadans have large debts that they have difficulty managing. Often, they default, leading banks to sell their debts to collection companies. It’s obvious that debts are debts, and what collectors do is legal, but the federal and state governments also hear from debtors complaining of all kinds of abusive practices collectors engage in. The federal government passed the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act, and the Federal Trade Commission regulates debt collectors for the public’s benefit.
Despite the law, collectors have difficulty resisting the benefits of ruthless behavior. Case in point: the Texas-based Goldman Schwartz, Inc., which a federal court shut down in late January thanks to an FTC complaint. Goldman Schwartz allegedly broke debt collection laws flagrantly, for example:
- Claiming to debtors that if they didn’t pay, the government would take away their children
- Telling a debtor she would lose her disability payments and go to jail for three years if she didn’t pay a $980 debt
- Disclosing information about debtors debts and collection actions to debtors’ family members and work superiors (which may have violated the Telephone Consumer Protection Act)
- Falsely claiming it was working with local police authorities
- Collecting bogus late fees and attorneys fees
- Falsely claiming to be a law firm
- Calling debtors during prohibited hours and harassing them with profane language
- Failing to inform debtors of their rights
The court froze Goldman Schwartz’s assets and barred it from engaging in debt collection activities while the FTC proceeds with its case.
It’s good news when the federal government takes decisive action against such unconscionable behavior. If you have dealt with a debt collector who treated you like this, you should report it to the FTC. You should also contact a bankruptcy lawyer who can help you take your civil claims against the collector to court and help you deal with your financial problems.
For more questions about bankruptcy in Las Vegas, please feel free to contact an experienced Haines & Krieger Las Vegas bankruptcy attorney for a free initial consultation. Call us at 1-702-880-5554 to set up your free consultation.