More Dirty Deeds Done by Debt Collectors

Collecting on debts not even owed

Andy Spears
4 min readJun 13


Photo by Mehdi MeSSrro on Unsplash

Getting a call from a debt collector is no fun.

It’s even worse if that collector is attempting to collect on a debt you don’t owe.

That’s what happened to thousands of individuals thanks to Phoenix Financial Services.

This case is particularly insidious because it involves medical debt.

Here’s more on Phoenix Financial including the good news that they are being held accountable for their illegal collection tactics:

“With medical debt looming over so many American families, we are taking action against companies seeking to illegally profit off patients,” said CFPB Director Rohit Chopra. “Given widespread inaccuracies in medical billing and credit reporting, the CFPB will be working to ensure that patients are not coerced into paying debts that they do not owe.”

The CFPB investigation uncovered thousands of cases in which Phoenix continued collecting even after a consumer dispute and even when the debt was not valid.

In addition to refunding consumers, Phoenix will pay a $1.6 million fine.

In any case of debt collection, the collector should be able to substantiate that the debt is actually owed by the consumer from whom they are trying to collect.

Anytime you receive a collection call, you should always ask the collector to provide substantiation that you owed the debt — and provide it in writing.

Believe it or not, debt collectors do not always operate above board.

Here are a couple more cases of bad (illegal) actions taken by debt collectors:



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Andy Spears

Writer and policy advocate living in Nashville, TN —Public Policy Ph.D. — writes on education policy, consumer affairs, and more . . .