Providence Attorney Stands Up to Debt Collectors

Kudos to Providence lawyer and public relations strategist John Longo for standing up for consumers against the illegal and unethical practices of debt collectors.  NBC-10 political analyst Jim Taricani reports the story:

Providence lawyer John Longo has filed dozens of lawsuits against collection companies. He said a debt collector can not threaten to call your supervisor.

“One of the more common things they do is threaten to call your boss or employer and disclose to them you owe a debt. That’s absolutely prohibited under federal law,“ he said.

The man who’s embarrassed about the credit card debt he can’t pay, said he was harassed and getting multiple calls each day.

“Three hours later, the same company called me again. I said, ‘I just got done talking to somebody who works at your company. I’m out of work and been out of work since 2007 and I don’t have the money to pay,‘“ he said. “I actually was put on high-blood pressure medicine because of the (harassment).“

Longo said once you tell a debt collector you don’t have the money, the collector is supposed to suspend calls for at least a couple of weeks.

Longo said you can put a stop to the nagging calls.

“A lot of good people are having a tough time paying their bills. Debt collectors are getting increasingly abusive and harassing to try to bully people into paying. They are not allowed to do that under federal law,“ Longo said.

Longo said debt collectors cannot:

– Call you at work or threaten to disclose your debt to your employer
– Call your friends and neighbors and disclose your debt
– Keep calling your home every day if you tell them you don’t have the money

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One response to “Providence Attorney Stands Up to Debt Collectors

  1. Hmm, I wouldn’t clap Longo so hard on the back. All the debtor had to do was send a validation request with a graduated cease-comm. That’s under six dollars via USPS Certified. A lawyer did not need to hold his hand unless the debtor wanted to sue for violations.

    Also, Longo got only two out of three correct bullet points. Nothing in the FTC FDCPA or the copycat Rhody version says a collector has to suspend anything over a flimsy “inability to pay” excuse. Maybe as a courtesy the number can be taken off the autodialer a while, but collection activity itself is not suspended except under validation or notice of legal rep.

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