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Stacy B Miller (Abbie) On 4th Apr,16
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South Carolinians seek help to get rid of debt collectors

Most people hate debt collectors and creditors - and they do not even think twice before admitting the fact. If we go on assessing the consumer complaints that have been filed during the last few years, we’d be surprised to know that most of the complaints have been made against debt collectors and due to the reckless and abusive industry practices. You could find a similar accountability report from the S.C. Department of Consumer Affairs.

The numbers of consumer complaints for specific industries go thus: Insurance 70, mortgage issues 171, contractors 234, real estate-related 247, credit 356, regulated industries 387, utilities 582 and vehicles 678.

However, complaints registered against debt collectors topped the list totaling 804.

The agency, S.C. Department of Consumer Affairs, says, “A continuing concern is mortgage fraud and housing-related complaints, following the collapse of the housing market nationwide,”.

The regulator of Consumers Affairs could easily do something regarding the high book of consumers who have been dogged by the debt collectors. The industry for which the regulators conquered credits, refunds and adjustments of $236,000 - the second-highest sum (the highest being $368,000 for the category of vehicles).

However, as a whole, Consumers Affairs, recovered $2.66 million on behalf of the consumers.

Out of the 33 full-time positions available with the organization, 32 positions are already filled, as per the report. While the state machinery pays for seven, the revenue that the agency optimizes goes to pay the rest.

Some other notable points that the agency’s report for the fiscal year 2012 report indicates Consumer Affairs:

  • Worked in close contact with the S.C. DMV Automobile Dealer’s section to find auto dealers those were not following the law.
  • Conducted 297 accordance reviews and inspections of regulated businesses. However, this is somewhat that has drastically came down if compared to 2009’s statistics, when the agency had a larger staff and conducted 931 such inspections.
  • Received and processed at least 4,837 complaints during the last fiscal year.
  • Brought enforcement actions against 10 pawnbrokers based on referrals from local law enforcement and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms referred.
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