Borrowers behind on payments have likely experienced phone calls and threatening letters in the mailbox. However, some debt collection companies go a step further and break laws. For example, a debt collector pretends to deliver pizza to your house. Westlake Financial Services recently got into trouble with the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) for resorting to these unjust tactics.
Debt collectors with Westlake Financial Services used a tool called Skip Tracy to manipulate Caller ID information so it appeared calls were originating from pizzerias. Why go through the trouble? Debt collectors were attempting to update information on borrowers. Even worse, Westlake Financial Services owns subprime auto loans, debts that affect poor and vulnerable borrowers.
The CFPB recently ordered Westlake Financial Services to pay a civil penalty of $4.25 million in addition to providing affected borrowers with $44.1 million in balance reductions. Lying to borrowers and presenting false information is a violation of the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act, which protects debtors from harassment and misinformation.
How To Protect Yourself From Illegal Debt Collection Tactics
We don’t want to leave anyone reading this with no information on how to fight back against debt collection companies that are breaking the law. Borrowers can document illegal behavior and submit complaints to federal and state agencies. After documenting illegal behavior, submit complaints to the Federal Trade Commission and the Missouri or Kansas Attorneys General offices.
For regular updates on how to fight back against debt, continue following our blog by adding The Sader Law Firm on Facebook.
The Sader Law Firm – Kansas City Bankruptcy Attorneys