5 new weapons to protect you from debt collectors who go to extremes

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If you’ve ever been hounded by debt collectors, you know how relentless they can be. Sometimes, they go too far.

“We continue to hear about serious problems with debt collection — debiting accounts without authorization, calling at all hours of the day or night, threats of arrest or criminal prosecution, or threats of physical harm to consumers and even their pets,” Richard Cordray, director of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (or CFPB), says in a statement.

Linda Guinn, president of CB Merchant Services and a member of the Association of Credit and Collection Professionals, says legitimate collection agencies are frustrated by “the unscrupulous bad actors we keep hearing about.”

It’s already illegal for debt collectors to harass or abuse consumers. Cordray’s federal watchdog agency, the CFPB, is proposing new rules aimed at making the protections even stronger.

Follow along as we explain how.

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