One of the world’s “best” collection agents was sued by a woman, Jessica Burke, who claims he ruined her life. According to the latest report by ABC News, Jessica Burke, sued debt collector “John Anderson” and the collection agency that he works for. She won the suit, and was awarded a whopping $33,000.
The details of the suit reveal that the California woman owed $350 in back monies for a used vehicle that she had purchased, and that John Anderson and his agency would call her and harass her multiple times a day, even during inappropriate hours. According to her, he was also insulting and offensive in his words and tone.
He often threatened the woman, telling her that he could find her because he was a background investigator with deep knowledge of how to track someone down. The overly pushy debt collector also fat shamed her by talking about her weight and texting the words “Porky Pig.” The collection agent also called Jessica Burke’s boss to humiliate her.
“He suggested that because he was a private investigator, he knows everything. He could find me no matter where I was. He knew who I worked for, and he had contacted my boss at that time and released the information that I had a debt.”
In an interview with ABC’s 20/20, John Anderson says that he follows the law but pushes boundaries at times. Anderson, whose real name is being withheld, gives an example of how he pushes the edges.
“[I] push the edges a little bit sometimes,” Anderson told 20/20. “You’re not supposed to call after 9 o’clock at night. I might call at 9:15 [p.m.].”
For many, Jessica Burke did the right thing by stopping the collector harassment. The Marketplace states that every consumer should know their rights in order to stop harassing phone calls and behaviors. Collection agencies and debt collectors have to abide by fair collection practices. The Fair Debt Collection Practices Act has set guidelines regarding phone calls at work and harassing behavior while trying to collect a debt.
This is by no means an isolated event; the CFPB reports that at least 30 million consumers are contacted every single day by these companies.
As a consumer, be sure to do your part. Don’t ignore the phone calls. Communicate with the collection agency, and be sure to find out the representative’s name.
ABC’s 20/20 piece will run tonight at 10 p.m. ET. The Inquisitr ran a story in 2013 about a debt collector who tried to collect $8 for a DVD rental from five years prior.
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