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Feds make collection firms open debt sale records

Isaac Wolf of Scripps Howard News ServiceĀ in Washington reports that "federal authorities have issued a sweeping order for some of the nation's largest debt-collecting companies to open their books. In its first investigation of the $60 billion consumer debt resale market, the Federal Trade Commission has directed the nine companies that buy the most second-hand debt to turn over essentially all purchase and sales records for a six-month period in 2009."

In November and December, a Scripps Howard News Service investigation showed how the development of a market for buying and selling old credit card debts has been blamed for leading collectors to pursue the wrong people, file baseless lawsuits and torpedo credit scores.

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