Debt Collection Company Owes W.Va. Mom $10 Million

What's Hot


The Most Sinful City in the U.S. Is … (Hint: It’s Not Vegas)Family

How a Mexican Tariff Will Boost the Cost of 6 Common PurchasesFamily

This Free Software Brings Old Laptops Back to LifeMore

How to Protect Yourself From the ‘Can You Hear Me?’ Phone ScamFamily

Report: Walmart to Begin Selling CarsCars

Where to Sell Your Stuff for Top DollarAround The House

Is Your TV Tracking You? Here’s How to Tell — and Prevent ItAround The House

11 Staging Tips to Help You Get Top Dollar When Selling Your HomeAround The House

8 Tuition-Free U.S. CollegesCollege

4 Car Insurers That Might Raise Rates Even When the Accident Wasn’t Your FaultCars

21 Restaurants Offering Free Food Right NowSaving Money

20 Simple Hacks to Make Your Stuff Last LongerAround The House

Trump Scraps FHA Rate Cut — What Does It Mean for You?Borrow

How to Invest If Trump Kills the ‘Fiduciary Rule’Grow

12 Surprising Ways to Wreck Your Credit ScoreBorrow

10 Overlooked Expenses That Ruin Your BudgetFamily

A court ruled that the company owed her $10.8 million, and then the Federal Trade Commission froze its assets.

Diana Mey is trying to collect a debt from a debt collector — a 2-year-old, $10 million debt.

Three years ago, a debt-buying company called Reliant Financial Associates called the West Virginia woman and left a message suggesting the company would seize her home over a debt, ABC News says. Not only was that an illegal, empty threat, but it was completely wrong: Mey owed no such debt.

Mey, who calls herself “a mom, a housewife, and an accidental activist,” wrote a cease-and-desist letter to the company, ABC News says. Then she started getting hang-up calls from a number listed as the local sheriff’s department. One time, she answered — and a male voice on the line swore at her and threatened sexual assault. Phone records later showed it was a spoofed number that came from RFA, the debt company.

Mey was in the habit of recording her phone calls (it’s legal in West Virginia, though some states require mutual consent) and had plenty of evidence, so she sued for harassment and illegal collection practices, ABC News says. RFA’s lawyer didn’t even show up in court, and the judge awarded a record judgment of $10.8 million. That was in August 2011, and since then, more than 1,000 complaints about the company and others linked to it pushed the Federal Trade Commission to raid its property, sue it, and freeze its assets.

“The Federal Trade Commission estimated the companies took in $140 million in revenue between 2009 and 2013 using these tactics,” ABC News says. More than enough to pay Mey, right?

You can learn more about debt collection laws and how to fight back in our story, “Ask Stacy: How Do I Stop Collection Agency Calls?

Stacy Johnson

It's not the usual blah, blah, blah

I know... every site you visit wants you to subscribe to their newsletter. But our news and advice is actually worth reading! For 25 years, I've been making people richer without making their eyes glaze over. You'll be glad you did. I guarantee it!

💰🗣📰

Read Next: 25 Ways to Spend Less on Food

Check Out Our Hottest Deals!

We're always adding new deals and coupons that'll save you big bucks. See the deals to the right and hundreds more in our Deals section.

Click here to explore 1,909 more deals!