Many Arizonans file complaints over aggressive debt collectors | Cronkite News

Each year millions of Americans struggle to pay back medical debt but many Arizonans who find themselves in that situation face another problem overly aggressive debt collectors. Arizona was in the top 15 states per capita when it came to filing complaints with the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau over aggressive medical debt collection. Cronkite News reporter Ziyi Zeng has more details from our Washington bureau. The latest report from US public research interest group claims that collection agencies have gone too far while pursuing people in debt making constant phone calls to friends and relatives and some even pretending to be lawyers. They pretend that it’s a lawyer collecting the debt to get around the debt collection law even though a lawyer had nothing to do with the collection. It’s just a basic big room full of people on the phone trying to scare people to pay their debts even if they don’t owe them. Mierzwinski said one reason agencies can get away with what he calls abusive practices is a lack of watchdogs. That’s why he says that for consumers, knowledge is power. But you absolutely have rights. They cannot call you all the time, they cannot harass you. A lot of times debt collectors threaten to put you in jail. That’s a very, very long stretch. Advocates say other problems include agencies trying to collect the wrong amount we’re trying to collect from the wrong person. In Washington DC, Ziyi Zeng, Cronkite News. Along with the report, US PIRG officials issued a call to strengthen the CFPB which has been targeted by Republicans who see the agency as government oversight that likes accountability.