What To Do When a Collection Agent Acts Improperly

So, state collection agents are under a very tight guideline for how they are supposed to behave and their behavior is mandated through either statue or through administrative collections manuals or procedures so a lot of the conduct that they have is governed internally. Although you do want to foster a generally good relationship with the agent, some agents are notoriously difficult to deal with or some go off the reservation from time to time. So, if you have a situation where you have a breached of conduct, you'd make sure you want to document the conduct that occurred, you want to get the agent's name and ID number or station number and then you want to ask the collection agent for a phone conference with their manager. One of the rights that is installed for most tax payers is access to an immediate supervisor so the collection agent - In California, for example, collection agent is supposed to have the supervisor give you a call back within 48 hours. Some collection agents will not do this, they'll refuse to enter notes in the system, they won't pass the message along and in which case you are still entitled to that phone call.

And I've got a lot of really good results by escalating and making an issue of the conduct of the collection agent over the actual situation of the tax payer and that's been a really good result. In cases where you can't get a hold the manager or don't have access to the information, I would suggest that you reach out to the tax payer advocates office in California or in your state of residence. At the Tax Payer Advocates Office, it has mix results depending on what state you're in. But in California one of the things that they are really good at is facilitating phone calls review and an immediate collection supervisor. All calls that come to the State of California are recorded so the supervisor has the ability to go and pull the back-up tapes of the phone calls in the event that they need to review transcripts and that is a really useful tool for getting to the bottom of any really bad behavior from collection agents. Up next


Sam Brotman, JD, LLM, MBA

Owner and Director of Legal
Brotman Law