A recently-released report by The New York Times revealed startling connections between district attorneys and debt collection agencies across the country. According to the report, debt collection agencies are getting permission to use the letterheads of district attorneys to threaten debtors with jail time over unpaid debts.
More than 300 district attorney offices have allowed debt collection agencies to use their seals and signatures in letters sent to debtors. Debt collection companies seek payment for the unpaid debt plus fees for classes on budgeting and financial responsibility. Some of the class fees often go back to the district attorneys’ offices. One example is a woman who owed $47.95, but was told to pay $280.05, which included $180 for a financial accountability class.
Consumer attorneys fighting back against unfair debt collection practices have claimed that district attorneys do not have the authority to threaten prosecution when they have not reviewed the cases. In essence, district attorneys are renting out their stationary to claim that criminal charges will be filed, although rarely is such action taken. In total, approximately 1 million debtors are targeted by such practices each year across the country, including Los Angeles, according to the study.
Riverside fair debt collection lawyer Howard D. Silver is committed to helping consumers targeted by collectors who use unfair practices. For more information on how we can help, call (855) 341-2611.