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Report abusive debt collectors, say state financial officials


MADISON, Wis. (WSAU) - If you're having problems with debt collection services harassing you, state officials say you should call them.

Jean Plale with the Department of Financial Institutions says debt collectors have a number of rules they're supposed to be following and if they're breaking the rules, they could be in trouble. "Calling before 8am or after 9pm, making calls to consumers at their workplaces, calling multiple times, those sorts of things are certainly ones we look out for."

The message comes in the wake of a major crackdown on the nation's largest debt collection service. Expert Global Solutions and its subsidiaries will have to pay $3.2 million dollars after the Federal Trade Commission cited them for violating the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act.

Plale says if you are being harassed to get in contact with the department as soon as possible. "It's best to give us a call or file a complaint on the website. A lot of times these are not complaints that involve paperwork that needs to be attached, so you can do that online and it gets to us immediately."

You can reach the consumer line at WDFI at 800-452-3328 or online at http://wdfi.org/wca/consumer_credit/complaints_and_questions.htm