|Received:||9/10/2007 3:55:25 PM|
|Agency:||Federal Trade Commission|
|Rule:||Debt Collection Workshop|
Comments:Thank you FTC for a good job so far. My comments pertain to consumer credit, debt collection practices and credit reports. Consumer Credit: Companies have the ability to keep adding late fees and charges to the amount owed and then they sell the bloated amount to collection agencies. This practice must be stopped. Any average consumer who has the genuine intention of discharging his/her debts can ever possibly pay interest upon interest and charges upon charges. When the bloated amount is put on paper and consumer gets tired of fighting, that amount becomes the new fact of money owed. I was a good paying customer for over 9 years during which companies like Discover & Citi have increased my credit limits. Later I was unable to pay the bills due to turmoil in post 9/11 world. However, the card companies sued me and obtained judgements against me. Attorney's for Citi card froze my bank account which was infact a joint a/c with my wife and her funds. I am still not sure how my bank allowed it to happen. My question to you FTC is - when credit card debt is called unsecured and they charged me ridiculous rates for 9 years and enjoyed profitable business for such long time, how come regulators are allowing these credit companies and their legal aides to destroy average hard working families? The trick most credit card companies play is to tell the consumer that he/she is a risky customer and charge sky high interest rates. When a person is charged such high interest rates the end will be quite near for that person as expected out of any illogocal greedy business agreement whether it is for credit cards or for home loans or for that matter any other loan products. No wonder we are in credit crunch. Debt Collection Practices: In my opinion, any person who has demonstrated good paying record for atleast one year should be considered a good credit risk and should not be punished by credit issuers for difficult situations a person faces in his/her life. For that mater we are talking about consumer debt and I do not see any company being understanding of the fact how consumer life can change due to so many factors beyond their control. However, consumer is the one who always gets punished. We should not be allowing this kind of stone age type of barbarian mentality by credit companies Credit Reports: Reports are prepared on people not some steel pipes. Report should be the sole property of the person and not the reporting agencies. Reporting agencies should be paying consumers a royalty for accessing updating and selling that info. Not the other way around. Companies should obtain permission from the consumer prior to accessing such files credit for such privilege of acquiring new customer. I think then we will see very few companies will abuse their customer and probably infact work with customer to develop a healthy business relationship. With regards to mistakes made on credit reports by agencies and other clerical errors, reporting agencies should compensate the consumer due to the fact they are smearing someone's credibility by taking a callous approach. My wife & I have the similar spelling first name and with last name being common. Every time she applies for a credit, they recite my record to her even though her SSN is different and hence she never got a chance to establish her so called glorified credit history. Who pays for that? Regretably she is the one suffering. We tried working with agencies and to followup the paper work you need a lot of people. All credit reporting agencies set up another shop to sell, protect and advice people like us regarding credit for which ofcourse they will charge. Not to mention all the attorney's who are desperate to make a buck keep shuffling papers around and skimming average people. I am sure there must be some other way of using all this convoluted brain power some where else to actually HELP people instead of hurt them. Thank you for your attention.