Man Goes From Debt Collector To Debtor

Jessica Burke was awarded over $33,000 when she sued the debt collector who made her life "hell."
7:37 | 11/29/14

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Transcript for Man Goes From Debt Collector To Debtor
Good evening, we hope you had a great Thanksgiving yesterday with your loved ones and didn't get too much in debt today on black Friday. Last year, an unbelievable $57 milli billion was spent. But when the credit cards come due, the debt collectors will do anything to get their money back. Even threatening murder. Here's Rebecca Jarvis. Reporter: How would you like to get a wakeup call like this? Good morning, you . You Son of a . Good morning. Reporter: You're listening to actual calls from debt collectors. Some so outrageous, they sound like somebody's getting punked. But they're no joke. James, give me my money back. I want my money or else I'll kill you. Are there good debt collectors out there? Probably. I just never met any of 'em. Reporter: These messages were provided to "20/20" by Florida attorney Billy Howard who says he delights in suing debt collectors. They are moblike tactics. And, just like the mob, they make a lot of money. So they continue to do it. You're on the way the jail. Reporter: Why do they have such a bad reputation? This collector agreed to reveal the secrets of his trade. Are you good at your job? I think I'm one of the best in the world. Reporter: What makes you good? Persistence. Reporter: He has had a long career tracking down people that skipped out on making their car payments. Once he finds you, he just wants to talk. When you're in the conversations, what goes on? You come at them offering to settle the deal. After that, you say, why shouldn't I take you to court. Reporter: He says he follows the law, pretty much. I would call at 9:15. Reporter: He certainly sounds like a model debt collector. But you'll find out later if he's as squeaky clean as it sounds. But other collectors can't pose as law enforcement officers. This is officer mark Henry calling. Reporter: And it's totally illegal to threaten arrest. See you in court. We're not terrible people. Reporter: And most collectors obey the law, and provide an important service to boot. But 31-year-old Jessica burk says the collector she encountered wasn't so scrupulous. Burke who lives in California now bought a used car in 2007. Then she lost her job, got behind on payments, and ran head-on into a debt collector who she will never forget. She says he just kept calling and texting. Fifteen text messages a day. If you don't give it up, get yourself some bail money. Porky pig, two hundred-pound slob in a double-wide. Reporter: He called you porky pig? That's disgusting. He was an unpleasant person. Reporter: Jessica says she soon turned over the car to the finance company and repaid her overdue debt, $350. But in the meantime, she says the collector wasn't giving up. At one point he had told me that he was outside my house, and he's taking pictures of me right now. And I called the police. They came out and looked and he wasn't there. Reporter: Did you ever ask him to stop? I begged him to stop. There was times where I was crying on the phone, begging him to stop. Reporter: Through her entire ordeal, Jessica never met her collector. He knew all of these things about you. Right. Reporter: But you've never seen him. Never seen him. Reporter: This is the man Jessica says made her life miserable. John Anderson. I wasn't really the one pursuing Jessica. The finance company pursued her more than I did. Reporter: Those nasty threatening messages -- he denies sending them. Did you send her text messages? No. Reporter: You didn't send her text messages. Not one. Reporter: What was it that sent the text messages? The collections manager at that particular car lot. Reporter: Jessica says you sent her texts calling her porky pig. Not in my vocabulary that's not something I would say. Reporter: Anderson says he did get angry after he claims Jessica got into a physical altercation with a woman he sent out to repo the car. He concedes, insults did fly on the phone, including remarks about her weight. She said, "I have a refund coming." I said, "A tax refund or a jenny Craig refund." Reporter: Meaning what? Meaning that she was overweight. Reporter: Is it legal to throw an insult like that at someone when you're collecting? Well, it's probably not the proper thing to do. Reporter: Jessica says that once you told her you were outside of her house taking pictures, and that she was terrified. That's not true at all. Reporter: You never said that? No. Reporter: But Jessica had had enough. She went on the offensive and sued Anderson. You turned the tables back on him. Yes, exactly. Reporter: Anderson never showed up in court and a judge awarded Jessica more than $33,000. All of a sudden, she was the collector and he was the one who had to pay up. So now, the tables have turned. Mm-hmm. Reporter: And you owe Jessica money. Some say I do. Reporter: Well, the law says you do. Why hasn't she gotten it? Because I don't have it to pay her. Reporter: You don't have the money? No. She's not collected a dime. She never will. Reporter: She'll never collect. No. Well, that's poetic. Reporter: As for Jessica, she says she can't be bothered chasing Anderson for the money. She's moving on with her life. If I never see the money, that's not really what matters to me. I came out on top. I fought back. He can't bother me anymore. So here's the question tonight. Do you have any horror stories about debt collectors? And how much did you spend today?

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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