Fight Back Against Unfair Debt Collection Practices: Know Your Rights and Protect Yourself from Threats, Lies, and Intimidation by Fred Williams
This year, America’s enormous, poorly regulated debt collection industry will make more than 1,000,000,000 collection calls. They will threaten. They will lie and mislead. They will intimidate. Over the past five years, they’ve racked up more than 300,000 complaints to the Federal Trade Commission: more than any other industry regulated by the FTC. Financial reporter Fred Williams knows more about the industry than anyone else. Not only has investigated America’s debt collection agencies, he spent three months working for one of the largest firms in the business. In Fight Back Against Unfair Debt Collection Practices Williams reveals what he learned and shows you exactly how to fight back and protect your rights. Williams weaves indispensable practical advice together with stories straight from his collection agency cubicle. You’ll learn what to do first if a collector calls; what collectors can and can’t do; which debts you are and aren’t responsible for; how collectors choose accounts to focus on; how to stop harassing or abusive calls; how to keep the advantage in a negotiation for a lucrative debt settlement; even how to take the offensive with a lawsuit that can halt collection and win yourself a $1,000 penalty!
A business journalist for most of the past 24 years, Fred Williams has written about debt collection for Kiplinger’s Personal Finance and for The Buffalo (N.Y.) News, where he started covering the industry in 1999. He undertook a six-month research project on the industry in 2006, supported by the Kiplinger Program in Public Affairs Journalism at The Ohio State University.
In 2008, he worked as a debt collector for 11 weeks at a collection agency near Buffalo.
Fred graduated from Binghamton University in 1986 with a bachelor’s degree in economics. He currently lives in Charlottesville, Virginia, and is careful to pay his entire credit card balance each month.