Rip-Off Alert: Debt collector makes repeated threats, keeps payments
LAS VEGAS (KSNV News3LV) —
Debt issues can be hard to manage, and a collection call from a persistent creditor can make a difficult financial situation more stressful.
Robert Brady Jr. has worked in his family's heating and cooling business for 10 years.
“Making sure the parts are ordered correctly, finances, payroll, human resources I try to do it all,” he said.
He also dealt with debt collection services.
“We hired a subcontractor to do the electrical work,” he said. “We had a couple of issues with whether or not we felt they had done it correctly.”
He admits his Boston company didn't pay right away as they disputed the job, so he wasn't surprised to get a call from a collection service. But this was unusual.
“He was threatening,” Brady said. “He was contacting my employees when they would answer the phone. He would say that he would tell them the company was going under. And this was all over $4,000, $5,000. It was so minimal. And so, at the time, I laughed about it.”
The owner of the debt collection agency was Neil Madison.
“He told me he was going take my car from me, repossesses my car,” Brady said.
Eventually, Brady sent Madison $5,000. The company claimed they didn't receive that money, so they would need a cashier's check.
Days later, Brady was out the cash.
And he wasn't alone. Six hundred victims lost $6 million. Instead of returning it to the business owners who hired his company – Madison kept it all for himself.
“There were numerous small mom-and-pop American businesses who were forced out of business once the debt was paid,” said U.S. Postal Inspector Camille Hammonds.
Brady even got a call from the subcontractor who hired Madison.
“They asked if we paid it, and I said, ‘Actually, you got it twice from us,’ and they still to this day never got any money from it,” Brady said.
Madison pleaded guilty and was sentenced to 8 years in prison. Authorities say you have debt collection rights, which include no early morning or late calls, no verbal abuse or dire threats.