Federal data shows that aggressive debt collection companies were the cause of many consumer complaints last year.
A report released by the Federal Trade Commission found that companies trying to collect credit card debt were the reason behind a full 10 percent of consumer complaints last year, the second highest percentage of any complaint topic, behind only identity theft.
The agency added that it puts all its complaints into Consumer Sentinel, an online database authorities can use to further research cases and help victims with debt relief.
"The Consumer Sentinel Network is a treasure trove of information for law enforcers," said Richard Cordray, director of the newly created Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. "We plan to contribute consumer complaints we receive at the CFPB to the Network and urge other state and local law enforcers to join the Network, too."
Other topics of common complaints were prizes and sweepstakes, shop-at-home sales and banks.
Debt collectors operate under strict rules regarding when they can call consumers inquiring about debt. For instance, they cannot call overnight unless a person agrees to it.