Yesterday’s AJC had substantive reporting on something that directly affects thousands of Georgia’s consumers. I almost fell off my chair! Here I thought the AJC had totally given up and had elected to string along ALL its content from the AP and WSJ.
Allison Young’s piece on debt collection shines light on the unsavory and illegal practices of one of our area’s most egregious bad actors–Fred J. Hanna and Associates and Mann Bracken. Read it here.
Companies like Hanna and MB operate by buying debt records from companies that you’ve done business with and them attempting to collect the debt. Sounds like your typical collection agency right?
What’s different is that they allege that because they are “law firms,” they can operate without the same rules that apply to collection agencies, which are merely companies. Lawyers apparently answer only to the state bar of Georgia?!
Believing this has empowered companies like Hanna and MB to persist in doing things that our state and federal law specifically prohibit. To add insult to injury they are apparently not too interested in checking the validity of the debt. See Allison’s reporting in the article about “zombie debt.”
Have you been harassed by Hanna or MB? If so complain at Georgia’s Office of Consumer Affairs by calling 1-800-436-7442.
Or call the Better Business Bureau: 404-766-0875, www.bbb.org
Or visit the Federal Trade Commission at www.FTCComplaintAssistant.gov
We will all have to wait and see if these “law firms” (really more like ant colonies with one or two attorneys served by legions of call staffs whose sole purpose is to thumb-screw you into opening your wallet) escape the scrutiny of our state agencies.