Just click this URL to file a complain against any collection agency – including Allied Interstate. It’s the federal government’s consumer protection agency site, which “collects complaints about companies,” as well as any abusive business practices. In fact, by filing a complaint, you’ll actually be doing a public service. “Your complaints can help us detect patterns of wrong-doing,” the site explains, “and lead to investigations and prosecutions.”
Who will have access to your complaint? “Thousands of civil and criminal law enforcement authorities worldwide,” according to the agency’s web site. The process is handled by the Federal Trade Commission, which you may remember as the government agency which finally established the national “Do Not Call” registry for telemarketers. And they even have a separate dedicated complaint form for members of the United States Armed Forces.
First they’ll ask you if your complaint is about identity theft, but by the second question they’ll give you a chance to select “debt collection company” as the reason for your complaint. After that, they’ll list eight different kinds of abusive collection agency practices, and you’re allowed to check off as many as apply. Is the collection agency calling you after 9 p.m.? Are they harassing you at work? Click in the box, and a green X appears – and soon your complaint will be on its way from your web browser to the federal government’s site!
There are actually strict rules governing what a debt collecting agency can do – and what they can’t! For example, did you know that a debt collector is not allowed to call you at work if you simply say to them “I’m not allowed to take personal phone calls at work.” Fortunately, there’s a handy online consumer guide about debt collection agencies that was written by the federal government’s consumer protection agency. There’s lots of horror stories about debt collection agencies, but the government now has new rules to try to ensure the rights of consumer. For example, “If you send the debt collector a letter stating that you don’t owe any or all of the money, or asking for verification of the debt, that collector must stop contacting you.
“You have to send that letter within 30 days after you receive the validation notice.” But after that, the collector isn’t allowed to contact you again until they’ve come up with an actual written verification of the debt!