The Suicide Call That Wasn't

Yet another collector who goes too far


Anne Sessions, an 85-year-old Oregon woman, told the Wells Fargo collector on the phone that the harassment he was dishing out was bad policy, and the pressure from it may lead others to abandon their homes or even commit suicide.

That flipped the switch.

The collector started asking Sessions if she was going to kill herself and how she would do it. She stated that she had absolutely no intention whatsoever "but that, in the abstract, she might consider it some years down the road, if, for instance, she was diagnosed with a terminal disease."

That must have been good enough for him, because less than 30 minutes after the call ended, three cops showed up at her home. They said they had received a 911 call from the collections person requesting police be sent to her home because she had supposedly made "multiple suicide threats."

She was taken to a local emergency room despite her objections, held there for several hours, and even seen by a doctor on the hospital's crisis staff. She was later released when the staff realized she wasn't going to kill herself, but then she got doctor bills totaling $1,055 a few days later.

Sessions is suing Wells Fargo for $250,000 over the whole deal. If the abuse and the hospital visit weren't bad enough, she said that when she called back and complained to another collector about the 911 call, she heard laughter over the phone and the words, "Hey Chuck ... that woman you called the police on got taken to the hospital by the police."

Just another day in the world of collections.

When you run up debt or miss a payment on your credit card, you let collectors into your life. And their very purpose is to make you so angry or upset that you pay them (which you should do) before the mortgage or light bill (which you shouldn't do). This story is just one of many examples you can find on the internet.

It's also one of the reasons why debt collectors generate more complaints to the Federal Trade Commission than any other industry.

Opening your life to abuse like this by using debt is like opening your front door and letting in a rabid dog. It's trouble you don't need. Keep the jerks out and the money in. Stay away from using debt.

Source: ABC News

Reader Comments (6)

Wow, a good example of why not to talk to them over the phone
Member at 8:24 AM, February 21 2012
I hope she wins the suit! However, if she really was suicidal it was responsible of the collector to call the police....responsible and collector in the same sentence????
Member at 11:47 AM, February 21 2012
Obviously the collector wasn't being responsible when she heard laughter in the background when she called to complain. He was being a jerk. It is just sad that anyone would do this to an 85 year old woman.
Member at 12:10 PM, February 21 2012
Of course, this is only one side of the story. It could be that the collector was genuinely concerned about her. I think it's good that he called. Better safe than sorry.
Member at 12:11 PM, February 21 2012
It would be interesting to hear a recording of the call. I wonder if it is automatic for the emergency responders to take someone in to the hospital if they are denying suicidal thoughts? If it was abuse of the 911 system, the collector should pay big bucks and the individual collector should spend a few days in jail. Might be hard to prove if it was real concern or "harrassment" though...
Member at 3:14 PM, February 21 2012
Big banks..big jerks. They do this sort of thing for fun. I hope she wins the lawsuit and that Wells Fargo will not be able to victimize anyone again. We had a very similar situation occur with another big bank - Chase - a couple of years ago. They seem to have since redesigned their policies.
Member at 11:08 AM, February 23 2012