I have been told that many, many long years ago the unions were the "bosses" and the mafia and the mobs controlled the unions. We all know that from our history lessons. Whether true or not, that was the perception at that time.
The longshoremen's union controlled the docks and the dockworkers and the teamsters controlled the truckers and so on and so forth.
You paid your union dues or you did work. And if you did not pay your debts to the mobs that were always willing to lend money you ended up with broken bones or maybe a pair of cement overshoes and a final resting place in the harbor. At least that is what movies were made of. Elliot Ness being famous at that time.
And there was also such a thing as a "blacklist" which was one place you never wanted your name to end up on because if you got your name on the "blacklist" which was circulated all over you couldn't get work if you were on a union blacklist and you couldn't get any credit if you were on the merchant's blacklist. And if you were on both, you and your family would simply starve to death or you had to move out of town to where the mob did operate.
Soon you couldn't move far enough because the mob was everywhere. They got there because they controlled and owned the credit bureaus and the collection agencies too. There was almost no limit to the power they had to control people lives. Then in 1914 the FTC was born and began to clamp down on what the collection agencies and mob-controlled credit bureaus could do to enforce their debt collections.
But the FTC was largely ineffectual until about 1960 when they began more rigorous enforcement actions and implementing new laws. One of the first to go was the practice of blacklisting workers. That could no longer be done. Then they moved to strike down the public blacklisting of debtors.
Today, even in the face of possible lawsuit for violation of the blacklisting laws, some stores still make the practice of blacklisting prevalent when they post lists of hot check writers on their cash registers or other publicly visible places within their stores. Doing so could easily lead to a serious lawsuit because it is a public humiliation of the debtor, which is highly illegal.
So if you ever see your name in a store on a hot checklist be sure to get a camera and shoot pictures of the lists whether the store owner likes it or not. Then sue the pants off of them. You can collect huge damage awards because of their having done so.
But I digress.
The point is that collection agencies and the credit bureaus alike all started out because of the underworld and the mob bosses and they still have not lost all of those trappings today. As a result of their failure to heed the handwriting on the wall and the laws, they continue to act in their typical ways not far removed from the mafia and the mob mindset. While they cannot now go about breaking legs and fitting people with cement overshoes with impunity, they still browbeat and do other highly illegal things to effect collection and they think that because they are dealing with debtors, people who are on the wrong side of the equation Because they could not pay their bills they have the right to treat people like dogs and break the laws with impunity.
The time has come to change that and make the criminals cringe in fear. The only way to do that is to know the law and know your rights and be willing to go to court if necessary to defend your rights and help uphold the law against their criminal acts.
Remember, when they break the law and violate your rights they are the criminals, not you. And remember too that the collector who called you and abused you is just as liable for his criminal behavior as the collection agency or company who hired him. You can and should file suit against the collection agency and the individual collector who made the call (s) to your home or your workplace. When they call, demand to know their name and write it down and the time and date they called. When you sue them, you can file for deposition and demand their call records and the names of all persons having called you and the time and date of their calls. They will have to produce those if you subpoena them through the discovery process.
If they have used any false name that is a violation of the law and once you have the name of the person who called and abused you, then you should demand and subpoena their personal address and other information, which you would need to sue them individually and personally as well as the company they work for.
While it is true that the company may be responsible for their actions, they are also personally responsible for their own transgressions and violations of the law because they are supposed to know better and ignorance is no excuse of the law.