News & Resources

Debt collectors charged with harassment, fraud in separate cases

Feb 24, 2011 Kyle Duncan

A debt collection agency in Texas is in legal trouble after a consumer accused it of inflicting emotional distress as it tried to collect a debt.
 The Southeast Texas Record, of Beaumont, Texas, reports that Zach Perry filed a lawsuit against NCC Business Services after the company allegedly engaged in harassment and abusive tactics in an attempt to ruin his credit rating. Perry said he had requested the company send verification by mail, but instead it called his home and cell phones with the intent to annoy and harass. Now, the company is being charged with violating the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act and the Texas Debt Collection Act, intentionally inflicting emotional distress and invasion of privacy by intruding on private affairs, the legal journal reports. Companies who do not keep up-to-date on federal and local laws regulating how collectors operate put themselves at risk for lawsuits. In one case in New York state, debt collector Stephanie Lowinger was permanently banned from collecting after she pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor count of scheming to defraud, The Associated Press reports. According to the charges, Lowinger and her employees lied to members of military families, telling them those on active duty could be arrested and dishonorably discharged if the family didn't pay debts.