Debt collectors are terrifying to face whether the person owes a debt to them or not. People who feel harassed by collectors are subject to numerous letters and phone calls that never stop. There are even those companies that will call neighbors and family members about the money owed. In some instances, the credit company has the wrong person and the collection process can literally destroy their financial life.
The biggest problem is that many consumers do not realize they have legal avenues to help them stop the calls. If the bill is not that of the person being contacted, the collector must stop contacting them when they are told they have the wrong person. Here is some advice from Bruce Karatz of brucekaratz.com: if the consumer can prove that it is not their debt and they are still harassed, the company can be sued for millions of dollars in damages.
A Missouri woman sued Portfolio Recovery Services LLC for just that reason. They were pursuing the wrong person and had been made aware of the situation. The court agreed with the woman and awarded her a total of $83 million. The company says that it will fight the decision because they believe that it is ludicrous. That aside, other people in similar situations might take a cue from this woman to help put a stop to unfair practices by companies that make a habit of intimidating innocent people.