Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Collection Agency Must Pay $11 Million to Couple It Hounded

Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Collection Agency Must Pay $11 Million to Couple It Hounded

Article excerpt

The phone calls came at all hours of the day and night, interrupting Marianne Driscol's sleep and disrupting her work.

For two years, 1991 and 1992, the callers made numerous profanity-laced calls to her home and office, she said. They made at least one death threat and one bomb threat to her place of work.

Ultimately, she fled El Paso with her husband - all because a collection agency was pressuring the couple to pay a $2,000 credit-card debt. Now, it's the credit-card company that owes.

A jury awarded the Driscols $11 million, ruling that the bill collectors hired by the company went too far.

"They literally scared the hell out of this poor lady," Marianne Driscol's attorney, Noel Gage, said Thursday. "She cracked. They broke her; they literally broke her."

The state jury ruled Wednesday that Household Credit Services Inc. of Salinas, Calif., and the now-defunct Allied Adjustment Bureau had violated the state Debt Collection Practices Act. The law prohibits debt collectors from threatening violence or making harassing or obscene calls. …

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