agencies are often cited for their persistence, tenacity and at times shady tactics when attempting to track down defaulters.
Florida-based firm Brooks, Newman and Stone is no exception. According to the Minneapolis Star Tribune, the agency was hired by Intelligent Touch Dental of St. Paul, Minnesota, in February of last year. After collecting $2,030 in fines from a customer, it decided to pocket the funds instead of returning them to the dental business. The company was fined $7,500 by the Minnesota Department of Commerce, and was given an F rating by the Better Business Bureau for failing to respond to inquiries on behalf of disgruntled customers. Overseas in Britain, bogus collection firms are pocketing money from innocent customers by offering to find cheap loans for those with poor credit histories, The Daily Mail reports. "Current economic conditions are providing fertile ground for unscrupulous credit businesses," Gillian Guy, chief executive of the Citizens Advice Bureau, tells the news source. These scam companies take an upfront fee of £300 from desperate customers, and then never follow through on their promises. An estimated 45 percent of conned victims are not offered a loan, while the remainder typically do not receive the type of loan they wanted.