In recent years, some debt collectors have gone to great lengths to go after those who owe money. Yet, some have used tactics that violate federal collection laws. In Texas, a person who was repeatedly harassed by a debt collection
agency successfully sued the firm for harassment. Texas resident Allen Jones took Advanced Call Center Technologies to court after he received calls beginning at 6:30 in the morning and ending at 11:30 p.m. The calls included racial slurs and sexual messages about the man's wife, and did not stop even after the debt was settled. The jury awarded Jones $1,500,000 in damages after a two-week trial. According to attorney John Skiba, consumers should be aware of their rights. "What a lot of people don’t know is that there are rules that govern collection agencies, what they say to you, and when they can call. These laws are found in the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act," he wrote on the website JD Supra. Other experts have been giving information to people targeted by debt collectors. According to an article for the Escanaba Daily Press by Gary Ballweg, a sheriff in Michigan, people should request proof of the debt in writing before paying the collector.