March 13, 2013
Family outraged after debt collector threatens dead woman
CYPRESS - Most people don't want anything to do with bill collectors. But a Cypress woman is calling the tactics of one company "despicable" after she says the business called her home and threatened her sister for money.
Allison Currie’s sister died years ago.
Currie shared the phone message with the KHOU 11 News I-Team. In it, the caller claims to be from a civil investigations unit, and threatens a restraining order and lawsuit.
But what really threw Currie for a curve was the demand that her sister, Samantha, appear in court.
Samantha was 18 years old when she died in 2005.
"I was just like what kind of nerve does this person have?" explained Currie.
The phone number left on the message was from a North Carolina area code. A recording claimed it was from "Global Litigation Group."
The 11 News I-Team checked, but couldn't find any record of a company by that name registered in North Carolina.
There was also no sign of the company as being on file as a bonded debt collector with the Texas Secretary of State's Office. That's required by law before a company can collect third party debts here.
Monica Russo of the Better Business Bureau listened to a recording of the message.
She never heard of Global Litigation Group, but said the threats of a lawsuit and restraining order did ring a bell.
"We see them all the time with phony debt collectors," Russo explained.
The 11 News I-Team exposed the problem of phony debt collectors last November.
In those cases, the callers left similar messages with similar tough-talk to the message left for Currie's sister.
Despite a warning that Samantha had 24 to 48 hours to contact the collector, no one picked up the phone when Currie called Global Litigation on Tuesday.
"I mean, it's just so sleazy," said Currie.
She doubts the company’s claim. She can't believe it would take anyone nearly eight years to try and collect a debt.
Now Currie has added her voice to a growing list of online complaints against the business.
She says, even if the entire thing is a mistake, it's still cruel.
"Anyone who would do this scheme, this is the worst kind of way to make money," said Currie. "This is awful."
There is no indication that the Global Litigation Group that called Samantha has any ties to other companies with similar-sounding names nationwide.
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