In Mexico, debt collection harassment complaints have more than tripled in the first half of this year compared to the same period a year ago.

Mario di Constanzo, head of the country’s agency for protecting bank customers, said Friday that approximately $12 million in fines have been levied against collection agencies that work for banks or other financial entities. 

More than 16,200 complaints were registered in the first six months of this year compared to nearly 5,000 in the same period of 2014. Mexicans reportedly are increasingly complaining about late-night or early-morning calls for debts they allegedly do not owe, with half of the total related to those types of complaints. The next biggest causes of complaints involved collectors allegedly using threats or insults.

Mexico’s laws call for anyone complaining of harassment to attend a hearing where they must prove the debt isn't owed before the calls can be stopped.

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