Thursday, September 20, 2012
Debt collectors sometimes do mention the possibility of prosecution -- legally
On Sunday, September 16, an article by Jessica Silva-Greenberg in the New York Times reported on a trend among debt collection companies to include a seal and signature from a local prosecutor’s (or district attorney’s) office. The practice occurs when collecting bad checks, where an additional “financial accountability education” fee is added to the debt.
Prosecutors in some states allow the practice (which occurs even before prosecutors or police determine that a crime has occurred) because prosecutors' office get some of the "financial education fee" money. (I don't think this is allowed in Virginia, which is stricter on prosecutor procedures than most other states.)
The link for the story is here.
Normally, it’s illegal for debt collection companies to mention threats of prosecution or even lawsuits to consumers (although companies that have “bought debt” can sue consuners).