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Collection agency sues wrong person over credit card debt

New Hampshire residents may be aware that the activities of debt collection companies are sometimes questionable. The tactics these organizations employ can border on harassment, and putting an end to such behavior is one of the reasons that people consider filing for bankruptcy. However, sometimes the individual being targeted by a collection agency does not even owe the debt.

One such case involved a New York woman who received a notice informing her that she had been sued over a credit card debt. A court had ruled that she was required to pay back $10,000, and she was told that her paycheck would be garnished to collect the money. The woman was only able to clear the matter up by bringing a lawsuit of her own. The judgement was vacated after the woman showed that the collection agency had targeted the wrong person even though she had the same first and last name as the debtor.

This happens when old debt that has been written off is bought from credit card companies. This kind of activity has more than doubled since 2009 according to the Center for Responsible Lending. The information on these old debts is often incorrect or out of date, and borrowers may be unaware of legal proceedings because notices have gone to the wrong person or the wrong address. Experts say that this happens as often as 20 percent of the time.

Filing a Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 bankruptcy puts an immediate end to collection efforts and gives those coping with unmanageable debt the opportunity of a financial fresh start. There are a number of debt relief options available, and a bankruptcy law attorney may be able to advise which of them makes the most sense in a given situation.

Source: Go Banking Rates, "Chase Debt Collector Garnishes $10,000 of Woman’s Wages for Debt that Wasn’t Hers ", Jessica Bosari, June 02, 2014

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