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Debtor attempts suicide after Debt Collection Call

Tuesday, June 18, 2013 - Posted by Philip Harvey

This is an extreme example of what not to do when attempting to collect debts. It also highlights the importance of attention to detail in the debt collection process, ensuring your debt is valid, and that your debt collection agency adheres to the law in pursuit of debts.

A case of abusive debt collection has been brought against a creditor (Community Health Center) and its collection agencies (Nationwide Collection Agencies and Receivables Management Partners Holdings) in the Federal Court (Detroit).


The Community Health Center believed they were owed money from a debtor who was suffering from multiple sclerosis (MS) and severe depression. However, the outstanding debt should have been paid by Medicare or Worker's Compensation. The hospital and the debt collection agent made "repeated, excessive and threatening" telephone calls in an attempt to collect the mistaken debt.

During one debt collection call, a debt collector told the debtor they would be arrested and "beaten and raped on the way to jail". According to court proceedings, this made the debtor feel so depressed that they attempted suicide by shooting themselves in the face. As a result the debtor is now blind in one eye and cannot speak properly due to damage suffered to the mouth.

Damages (actual, statutory, treble and punitive) are being sought for breaching the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act, the Michigan Collection Practices Act, the Fair Credit Reporting Act.

 Sourced - court house news service - (June 2013)

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