Consumers in Minnesota have recently been victimized because of incorrect information about their debt.
Debt collectors across Minnesota have been sending out letters informing consumers that they owe thousands in credit card debt and other late payments. According to a report in the Minneapolis Star-Tribune, a number of these letters are based on inaccurate information. The firms sending the letters are in the business of debt collection, having purchased massive databases of unpaid debts for pennies on the dollar and flooding courts with legal actions in which they demand the full amount plus interest and fees.
The report says the firms’ claims can be impossible to verify, and that advocacy groups estimate that one in 10 debt-buyer lawsuits across the country are the result of inaccurate information. The problem is especially bad in Minnesota, where proof of the claims’ accuracy is only needed if a debtor disputes a claim in writing. That happens in less than 10 percent of cases.
A recent report from TV station KUSA in Denver said that the Federal Trade Commission received nearly 100,000 complaints about third-party debt collection agencies last year.