As someone that’s been in and out of debt, I know well what it feels like to be hounded and haunted by creditors. And I’m terrified over the increasingly aggressive measures collectors are taking to recover payments. U.S. collection laws are loose, but there are many lines they cannot cross. It’s important for every borrower to know the difference between persistence and harassment. Collector abuse is definitely on the rise. Since the recession, formal complaints against collectors have risen 66% and dozens of private debt collection agencies have lost licenses for their abusive collection methods. This is due in part to the major shove big banks have made since 2008 to recover billions in unpaid credit and penalties. Since then, most of these creditors, from Chase to the Dept. of Education, have contracted collections to private firms. These smaller agencies pay collectors little and reward with commissions on debts recovered. As a result, some collectors, many in debt themselves, have been found lying, stalking and even threatening to make collection quotas. I really hope that our latest infographic on this surprisingly large and mostly-legal industry will prove as a resource to those working hard to stay a payment and step ahead of their creditors.