Debt collection practices act needs updating


How often have you gotten a robocall or other annoying call from a debt collection agency for a debt you never incurred?

I get them regularly because someone who had my telephone number before me didn't pay her bills. Some of them just won't believe I'm telling them the truth that I'm not that person and just keep calling my number. I quickly report them and their number to the FTC. And my story is tame compared to the case brought by Dianne McLeod in which she says her husband died because of credit collection calls.

So why is that happening more often? The U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) just did a study on the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act and found that the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has limited ability "to address the concerns related to the adequacy of account information, collectors' use of modern technologies, and other issues that arise in an evolving marketplace." The GAO definitely thinks it's time to update the act.

As the numbers of people who are late on their payments continue to rise, we're seeing the highest rate of past due accounts in 18 years, the GAO found. To recover this delinquent debt, credit card issuers use their own collection departments, outside collection agencies, collection law firms or they just sell the debt to someone else.