Money

Debt Collectors Harass U.S. Soldiers Over Fake Debts

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Debt collection companies have reportedly harassed thousands of U.S. U.S. service members and veterans; many for non-existent debts.

According to The Center for Public Integrity, a new report by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) says that since July of 2013 about two out of five of 3,800 debt collection complaints were related to “phantom debts,” which service members didn't owe.

Holly Petraeus, assistant director for service member affairs at the CFPB, wrote in her introduction to the report that some of the tactics used by debt collectors included: "Contacting a service member’s military chain of command, threatening punishment under the Uniform Code of Military Justice, threatening to have a service member reduced in rank, or threatening to have a service member’s security clearance revoked."

U.S. service men and women have special protections under the law that are supposed to protect them from high interest rates on credit cards and loans, mortgage foreclosures (while deployed) and debt collectors.

Sources: CFPB and The Center for Public Integrity

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