Mexico watchdog agency fines debt collectors $12 million for harassment as complaints triple

Mexico's agency for protecting bank customers says complaints about harassment by debt collectors have more than tripled, with Mexicans unhappy over late-night and early-morning phone calls dunning them for debts they often don't even owe.

Agency head Mario di Constanzo says the agency has levied about $12 million in fines against collection agencies that work for banks or other financial entities.

He said Friday that about half of the 16,201 complaints registered in the first six months of this year involved people getting calls about debts they didn't owe. There were a total of 4,997 complaints in the same period of 2014.

Di Constanzo said the next biggest causes of complaints were late-night calls or calls in which collectors used threats or insults.