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Federal Trade Commission complaints have risen by 17% from this time last year, the Wall Street Journal Reported today.  Late-night phone calls, physical threats, and repeated calls after the collectors  have been asked to stop calling are the major complaints that violate the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act. 

The biggest  subject of complaints  has been  Portfolio Recovery Associates, Inc., identified in the WSJ article as “a buyer of distressed consumer debts.”  The largest civil penalty in U.S. history ($2.8 million) was awarded in March against West Asset Management of Omaha, NE.

The FTC disclosed information to the WSJ following a public records request, the article said.