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Dealing with creditors isn’t something that most people want to do. When you know that you don’t owe the debt, dealing with the bill collectors is even worse. An annual report by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau shows that the case of creditors trying to collect from people who don’t owe a debt is a problem.

The annual report, which was released on March 20, 2014, shows that 34 percent of 30,300 complaints reported to the CFPB from July to December of 2013 were due to continued attempts to collect a debt not owed. That was the top complaint lodged with the bureau.

This might be partially attributed to the fact that when debts are sold to third-party debt collectors, accurate information might not be passed along. A spokesperson for ACA International says that documentation is sometimes an issue for the third-party debt collector industry.

The vast majority, 65 percent, of the people filing a complaint about attempts to collect debt not owed stated the debt the collectors were trying to collect was someone else’s debt. Some of the complainants, 27 percent, said that the debt was already paid.

The complaint in the second spot was communication tactics with 23 percent of the complaints. Third on the list was threatening an illegal action or taking an illegal action, which accounted for 14 percent of the complaints.

Anyone who has been dealing with bill collectors who violate the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act might have the right to take legal action against the debt collector. Understanding your rights under federal law and Florida law might help you to decide if the debt collector has violated your rights.

Source: Consumer Eagle, “CFPB Report: Collection Agencies Go After Non-Debtors” Josh Brokaw, Mar. 27, 2014