A Chicago television station featured an Aurora, Ill. collection agency Wednesday in an investigative report after a former employee spoke out about collection tactics she said the agency uses to target unsuspecting consumers.

The former employee of Second Chance Financial said the agency regularly threatens to have consumers arrested and sometimes claims their children will be taken away. In many cases, the consumers never even took out the loans in question, she said in the news report from NBC5.

Chantelle Dickey, the owner of Second Chance Financial, did not return calls for comment. The Federal Trade Commission and Illinois Attorney General’s office combined have received 146 complaints on Dickey’s business, from consumers nationwide.

The television station reports it called many names on a national list that the former employee provided and that those who agreed to speak supported the whistleblower's claims - including a minister in Los Angeles who said the agency threatened to take his driver’s license and harassed him with calls "75 to 100 times, 2 to 3 times per day, for four months." A New York woman on the list said the collectors threatened her "as if they were the mob," according to the news report.

It is not immediately clear whether Dickey has a license to operate a collection agency. NBC5 reported that she does not, which would be a violation of Illinois rules. The Illinois Department of Professional and Financial Regulation would not comment on any investigations by the state into Second Chance Financial.

Subscribe Now

Access to authoritative analysis and perspective and our data-driven report series.

14-Day Free Trial

No credit card required. Complete access to articles, breaking news and industry data.