Calls from debt collectors and telemarketers were the two most common consumer-reported complaints to the Missouri attorney general's office in 2011, KY3-TV reports.


AG Chris Koster stated that he received 22,000 complaints about the state's No-Call Law, double the number of gripes about any other issue.

The primary reason for the spike, Koster said, is because telemarketer calls to cellphones are not yet prohibited by the state.

Missouri is also one of the only states in the country without its own debt collection laws that mirror federal regulations, the Post-Dispatch reports. Because law enforcement receives no help from collections, this makes it difficult to crack down on illegal practices.

"Federal laws limit how far debt collectors can go to pursue debt," Koster said, as quoted by KY3. "Your best protection against harassing and abusive calls from debt collectors is to know your rights."

The Federal Trade Commission receives more complaints about debt collection than any other industry, the Post-Dispatch adds. Although 2011 figures have yet to be released, the FTC saw more than 140,000 grievances in 2010 - a 17 percent rise from 2009.