Collection Horror Stories. Do These Sound Familiar? Skip to main content

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Collection Horror Stories. Do These Sound Familiar?


Sometimes debt collection can have a humorous side. Usually, it shows itself when the collection is happening to someone else. Schadenfreude aside, here are some collection agent slip-ups that AOL gathered from a number of their users. See if you can't relate to some of their situations.

  • A family who runs a retail business was disputing an invoice that showed they owed double their original order for supplies. Turns out, a sales rep had inadvertently doubled their order. The timing was terrible, as the rep soon after left on maternity leave and the company stated only she could repair the mistake. Regardless, the company sent the bill to collections while the family had thought it was being held for later reconciliation. When a collections agent reached the family's seven-year-old daughter, the agent told her, in no uncertain terms, ..."Because of your daddy, you are not going to be able to live in your house anymore, or have Thanksgiving with your family." Nice.
  • Collections activity was started on a couple whose car payment was only 10 days past due. When the family couldn't be reached, the agency repeatedly called their daughter in-law, leaving messages with her to call about the late car payment.
  • This is a good one relative to credit reports: One AOL user had a credit score of 750. When his wife entered graduate school, their debt to credit ratio increased. Once they reached about 45% after her graduation (when you can begin reducing it), American Express dissolved their $25,000 credit line, which had a zero balance. Thus, their percentage of credit to debt jumped to 60%, thus lowering their credit score substantially. Other creditors soon fell in line and their score dropped yet again.
  • Another AOL customer received a phone call about a credit card bill that was delinquent 15 years ago for $300. At that time, the credit card company charged it off, citing it would be a mark on her credit. She accepted that. Well more than a decade later, they're back, asking for $600 or it will be back on her credit report.
  • Beware of "official documents." One user included a story about a collections company that sent paperwork meant to look as if it was coming from an official city court office. Upon smartly following-up, she learned the court knew nothing of the action against her and had no record of her for anything.
  • Here's one surely driven by the commission structure collection agencies offer their employees for what they collect over the phone: When a woman was late with a credit card payment by more than a month, she admitted her mistake to the phone representative, saying she would hang up and pay it online immediately. The rep responded harshly, saying it could only be paid over the phone. Politely disagreeing, woman proceeded with paying online. This did not sit well with the phone rep, who promptly assigned the woman's phone number to the collector's auto-dial system which called every 15 minutes for the next two days.
  • This sounds like a Hitchcock tale. When a woman's ex-husband's insurance company was slow to pay some medical claims, a collections agency began harassing her because they could not find her husband. Despite not seeing him in eight years, they began to wait outside her house to serve him with papers. One day, while roofing her house, she spotted someone behind a hedgerow with binoculars. The police had no problem putting a stop to the situation.

Do you have any stories like this? Speak with a bankruptcy attorney today. Bankruptcy can stop the collection calls and you may be entitled to damages for harassing creditor conduct.

In North Carolina, call the Law Offices of John T. Orcutt to set up your free initial debt consultation and find out for yourself how to stop the creditors for good. +1-919-646-2654.

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