Should Consumers be able to sue Debt Collectors?
WASHINGTON, D.C. – In a win for consumers, a federal appeals court ruled Wednesday that a private California debt collector can be sued for its overly aggressive tactics, even though the company is working on the behalf of local prosecutors.
The company, American Corrective Counseling Services Inc. (ACCS), is a so-called “check diversion” company, meaning that it uses its contract with local prosecutors to send out letters on official stationary threatening consumers who have written bad checks with criminal prosecution or jail.
The company then gives the prosecutors a share of its revenues. Consumers represented by Public Citizen claim that ACCS’s threats of prosecution violated their rights under state and federal consumer protection laws.
“In an era of increasing privatization of public functions – from private prisons to Blackwater in Iraq – this decision is an important reminder that private contractors can be held accountable.”
Is this OK?