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29 Mar 2012

Denver Debt-Relief Watch: Debt Collection Practices Top List of Colorado Consumer Complaints

Denver bankruptcy attorneys were not surprised to read that a 2011 national consumer complaint survey found that out of 1.8 million consumer complaints, debt collection trailed only identity theft for lead complaint category. In this two-part series on dealing with personal debt, Colorado debt-relief attorneys break down the numbers for common consumer complaints and offer tips on dealing with debt collection calls.

According to the Federal Trade Commission report, identity theft complaints captured 15 percent of all consumer complaints filed in 2011 with debt collection claiming second place at 10 percent. Nationally, the 'Top 10' consumer complaints and their rankings are as follows:

  1. Identity Theft: 279,156 complaints (15 percent).
  2. Debt Collection: 180,928 complaints (10 percent).
  3. Prizes, Sweepstakes and Lotteries: 100,208 complaints (6 percent).
  4. Shop-At-Home and Catalog Sales: 98,306 complaints (5 percent).
  5. Banks and Lenders: 89,341 complaints (5 percent).
  6. Internet Services: 81,805 complaints (5 percent).
  7. Auto-Related: 77,435 complaints (4 percent).
  8. Impostor Scams: 73,281 complaints (4 percent).
  9. Telephone and Mobile Services: 70,024 complaints (4 percent).
  10. Advance-Fee Loans and Credit Protection/Repair: 47,414 complaints (3 percent).

Further, the FTC report indicates that across Colorado, consumers registered 28,854 complaints (33,010 if you include identity theft complaints) in 2011. Of those, debt collection topped the list by a comfortable margin. Statewide, the 'Top 10' consumer complaints and their rankings are as follows:

  1. Debt Collection: 3,210 complaints (11 percent).
  2. Internet Services: 1,966 complaints (7 percent).
  3. Shop-at-Home and Catalog Sales: 1,928 complaints (7 percent).
  4. Impostor Scams: 1,881 complaints (7 percent).
  5. Banks and Lenders: 1,705 complaints (6 percent).
  6. Auto-Related: 1,456 complaints (5 percent).
  7. Prizes, Sweepstakes and Lotteries: 1,327 complaints (5 percent).
  8. Telephone and Mobile Services: 1,176 complaints (4 percent).
  9. Advance-Fee Loans and Credit Protection/Repair: 1,021 complaints (4 percent).
  10. Credit Cards: 931 complaints (3 percent).


According to the Coloradoan, Colorado had the highest per capita consumer complaint rate with 573.7 complaints filed per 100,000 residents, and was followed by Delaware and Maryland, respectively. At least one Colorado-based consumer expert attributes the high number of statewide complaint filings to better consumer awareness.

If you or someone you know has been plagued with harassing debt collection calls, Colorado Springs bankruptcy attorney Stephen H. Swift can help you navigate the bankruptcy process and reduce the financial stress facing many Colorado residents today. To schedule a free confidential consultation, call (719) 520-0164.

Stephen H. Swift

Managing Attorney
Law Office of Stephen H. Swift, P.C.

Client Testimonials


    "My attorney (Matthew Hansen) is a very kind person.  I felt very confident in his skills. He is very knowledgeable and efficient.  He didn't make me feel embarrassed to be filing for bankruptcy.  Thank you Matthew!  Laura was very friendly, and everyone I interacted with was very nice and helpful as well." 


      –  Sherry M., Colorado Springs, CO



    "Steve explained things well so you know what you're doing.  The staff was very helpful with everything, including the paperwork." 


      – Raymond & Rhonda P.,                         Colorado Springs, CO



    "From the first time that I entered the office, I was treated with the utmost respect. It was like I had been knowing all of the employees for years!! Every person that I came in contact with was extremely courteous!!!

    I rate my overall experience a 12!! And I wouldn't change a thing on the website.

    Cris is absolutely wonderul!! While Alicia was extremely courteous and humorous!!!  Stephen (Swift) was extremely professional and courteous. One of the nicest gentlemen that I have Had the pleasure of working with. I can't thank him enough."

      – Pete, Colorado Springs, CO  



    "Upon my first visit to the office, I was in an unfamiliar part of town.  I was also bewildered and experiencing anxiety.  I was not even sure I should be there or how to proceed in a very new situation where my back was against a wall.  The first person I met in the office was the lovely receptionist.  I have to say that she has the absolutely right demeanor and is extremely successful in her position.  She has a slight but comforting smile and persona.  She is confident but not arrogant in processing the needs of clients.  I do not feel that this is a small achievement in any way.  I feel this person in many ways sets the tone for the office as the gate keeper of the office and emotional clients.  She definitely helped me thru this process with her silent and dedicated service to me, the clients and the office."


    John C., Colorado Springs, CO



    "Upon entering Steve's office, one immediately knows they have entered his "zone".  Steve will talk, think, contemplate, then act.  He then spins his chair around, garbs paper, types on the computer and zaps something thru the printer.  Occasionally, a document needs to be scanned or something else from outside the office is needed, and Zap someone appears without having to yell down a hall or call out.  There is definitely a team here that is in sync.  There may be a question out of the blue suddenly or a brief conversation about something else.  The whole time, Steve is on point.  I felt from day one, a trustworthy confidence in placing my future in his hands.  I was not wrong.  I also never once felt rushed, brushed off or that my concerns were not his.  I felt that Steve is in this for me and his clients.  I have a debt, gratitude and confidence in Steve and the Swift team that far exceeds the fees pain." 


      – John C., Colorado Springs, CO



    "Thank you to everyone who worked on my case.  My driving priviledges are now restored and I have a fresh start.  I am very grateful to the Swift Law Firm!   Everyone was very kind and helpful and easy to talk to.

    Ward was very knowledgeable and knows the pros and cons of your case. Definitely a man to listen to concerning your case, and he was very helpful!

    Matt Hansen is a good man, very helpful, gives good advice  AND he is willing to go the extra mile.  Steve Swift is a man of action who knows his profession.  He lifted a heavy burden, and I cannot thank him enough for an excellent job!"  


      - Henry R., Colorado Springs, CO  


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