From the article Controversy accompanies growth in debt collection:
Thomas Backal calls his line of work the "ugly toe" on the big foot of commerce - "something that nobody wants to talk about." Backal, 32, is chief executive of Anderson, Crenshaw & Associates in Dallas, which operates Debt Liquidation Group, a debt-collection company.
"Ugly toe" indeed. An interesting analogy for the chief executive of a debt collection company to be making.
Despite the industry's shaky public image, Backal and his competitors make no apologies for how they earn a living. They see themselves as serving an important role in the economy and say if everyone would live up to their obligations, there wouldn't be any need for debt collectors, or any complaints about them.
Here we have the debt collection industry's attitude displayed right out in the open. There simply can be no excuse for anyone ever being late on a credit payment. Nevermind illness. Nevermind job loss. Nevermind the loss of a loved one. Just make the payment, and we won't have any problems. Oh yes, and nevermind that the debt may not actually even be owed.
Anderson Crenshaw is the subject of so many unresolved complaints from consumers that the Better Business Bureau of Metropolitan Dallas Inc. has given it an "unsatisfactory" record. Anderson Crenshaw is no longer a member of the BBB, so it has stopped responding to complaints from it, Backal said.
Ah, now we are getting somewhere. The "ugly toe" feels there can never be any viable excuse for a consumer to not make a credit payment, but apparently feels debt collectors can violate the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act at will in order to collect on the debts, and that consumer complaints should simply be ignored (after all, if the consumer would just "honor their obligations" they wouldn't be experiencing these problems).
Certainly consumers should, if they can, honor their obligations. But even owing a valid debt is absolutely no excuse for any debt collector to violate the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act. If you feel a debt collector has violated the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act, you should report them to the Better Business Bureau, the Federal Trade Commission, and contact a private attorney to learn about your rights. If in California, feel free to contact my office. Outside California, visit the National Association of Consumer Advocates website to find a "fair debt collection" attorney in your area.