The Buffalo, New York area has the largest concentration of debt collectors on the East Coast. The Bureau of Labor Statistics shows that the Buffalo-Niagara Falls area has approximately 4,700 collectors. The Buffalo area is also home to many companies that are the subjects of debt collection complaints at the Federal Trade Commission. The “Buffalo Treatment” refers to the following illegal debt collection strategies:
- False threats that consumers would be arrested if they did not pay their debts within a short time period
- Threatening lawsuits with no intention of actually filing a lawsuit
- Calling a consumer’s family members, friends, co-workers, and employer and disclosing that the consumer owed an alleged debt
- Refusal to provide verification of the debt to a consumer
- Lying that they are affiliated with a government agency
- Failing to provide consumers with required disclosures aka mini-miranda
Debt Collection Firms
Somewhere between 4,000 to 5,000 debt collection firms are engaged in third-party collection of debts. There are 456,000 people working as debt collectors according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. These debt collectors make perhaps 1 billion contacts with consumers every year.
Illegal Collection Tactics
Debt collection companies threaten consumers with arrest and civil lawsuits they don’t intend to file. It’s a common practice for debt collectors to contact friends, relatives, even the employer of the debtor in an attempt to force payment of the debt by publicly humiliating the debtor.
Abusive debt collection practices contribute to personal bankruptcies, marital instability, loss of jobs, and invasions of privacy. These practices are debilitating to consumers and in some cases, cause them to pay debts they don’t owe at all. This affects enormous numbers of consumers. Studies have shown that about 15 percent of adult Americans, that’s nearly 30 million people, have an account in collection.
Stop Debt Collector Harassment – FDCPA
Regardless of how much money you owe, your rights as a consumer are still protected. The Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA) is a federal law intended to help guard you from illicit and harmful debt collection activity. The law can be a powerful ally. As your attorney, I can bring aggressive collectors to justice.
As a longtime defender of consumer rights, I empathize with your situation. I want to help. In our consultation, I will bring my extensive experience to bear, asking the right questions to discover the true extent of the damage. I provide honest counsel, and I ask the same assurance in return – honest answers. I can help any consumer who is currently in collections, or has suffered from collection harassment. For a free consultation on your next financial decision, call (215) 551-7109.
Abusive collectors are subject to a $1,000 fine for unlawful behavior in addition to compensating your court costs and attorney fees. Additional injuries suffered as the result of illegal debt collection action can also be reimbursed