Brian Jones’ lawyer says that debt collection agency Advanced Call Center Technologies (ACT) has “a culture of thugs.” When you see the ABC Nightline report on the despicable, revolting language that collectors from ACT used to try and collect Jones’ $81 Bank of America debt, you’ll understand why. And, you’ll see ABC’s Brian Ross make Bank of America’s CEO squirm. After Ross’ gotcha, BofA fired ACT.
The larger issue, as was pointed out in the piece, is that some debt collection agencies use abusive language and violate the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act because they can, and because companies like Bank of America look the other way.
The debt collection industry, which typically takes the approach of “the best defense is a good offense,” and blames consumers and fair debt attorneys for increasing complaints of illegal practices, may be coming around. An editorial in the industry publication “Inside ARM” calls on the debt collection industry’s trade associations to “finally step up and do triage.” Michael Klozotsky writes, “In the service of the greater good of its members, ARM industry associations should begin actively dissociating its compliant members from companies that violate established rules of professional conduct.”
Let’s hope the industry takes Klozotsky’s advice.