"Why don't you tell Chris to come over here and give me a quick <bleep>?
Know what 'bleep' means?
"I think it's crazy and I can't believe people still talk like that," said Emily Landry a former debt collector, who worked for four years at the Regional Adjustment Bureau here in Memphis. She hasn't seen anything quite this extreme, but close. "Someone threatened to send gang members to someone's house on an answering machine," she said.
Complaint Form: http://www.myfoxmemphis.com/link/645954/complaint-form
Outline of what debt collectors can and can't do: http://bit.ly/1aeO41D
We tried to interview someone at Regional Adjustment Bureau, but were told no interviews were allowed.
This is not the first time we've heard about a debt collector saying things like this, so we asked Landry why it happens. "To hit their goal..to get that commission check," she answered. Landry says it could be a big one. "It's unlimited. You can get anywhere from $800 to $10,000 a month."
"And so yeah, they're going to cross that line on a fairly regular basis and there are attorneys who make a living doing nothing but fighting those debt collectors." That's not how attorney Bruce Ralston makes his living, but he is one of the few attorneys in Memphis who takes on clients who are harassed by debt collectors. We asked him if the image of the debt collector is changing. "Overall, no. They still are the number one complaint that the FTC gets and most people will tell you they still have the same experience in the debt collection process."
That's with a Tennessee state law that regulates debt collectors. "We were required to have training every 3 months to update us on laws, take tests, if we didn't, we weren't on the phones," Landry said.
"They're not making some of the stupid mistakes they used to make, but there are still going to be the rogues, the people who don't think the laws apply to them or people who haven't been trained properly, or maybe they're under pressure to make quota this month," Ralston said.
"We're nice people," Landry said.
Maybe just not everyone.