World of consumer debt collection "dark, labyrinthine, and extremely lucrative"


There’s an errant space in the URL, which makes it unclickable. :x

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Yes, broken link is broken. However, fixed link is fixed.


Eesh. Reading this article over, and all I can think is “r>g.” This guy had the money to make an investment and squeeze as much out of the stone as he could.

EDIT: And, having finished the whole thing, I think this one paragraph from the end really summarizes the whole crapshoot:

And so far, regulators have concentrated on debt collecting, as opposed to the buying and selling of debt, which is the source of many of the industry’s problems. As long as paper continues to be stolen, double-sold or otherwise exchanged without accurate supporting information — like statements or copies of the original signed contracts — consumers will be exploited and collectors like Siegel and Wilson will have to fend for themselves.

Pretty much!

And I’d really recommend reading the article… slowly. With a bottle of antacid in hand, and maybe a leather strap to bite so you don’t grind your teeth together. Yeesh. The whole thing is a saga of a rich guy and a thug figuring out how to best turn the screws on desperate people, and then getting upset when other crooks got there first, and that there’s no more blood in this stone. I find it really hard to be sympathetic.


I prefer to think that whoever they are are so dark and labyrinthine that they can’t even be clicked to…


I’ve been tangentially involved in this once, where my phone number was (presumably) previously used by someone with credit card debt. I regularly got calls and robo calls from these agencies. Most of the time I’d ignore them, sometimes I’d explain it wasn’t me, sometimes they’d believe me. A week later, I’d get a call from a different agency.

I just ended up letting every unrecognized number go to voicemail and marking the agencies in my address book so I knew to ignore them.

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I have never understood something about this industry. Regardless of what transpires between Mastercard and Vultures, Inc, I have never promised to pay Vultures nor received anything from them of value. How then can they threaten to sue - the only real threat in their toolbox?

Buried in your contract when you agree to a credit card or loan is a right of assignment of that loan to a third party to collect balances that are not paid according to the terms of the loan. Sorry I posted originally in response to wrong thing.

A-ha-ha that explains everything. Thanks!

I got a new phone number almost two years ago, and I still get regular calls for the previous owner, and even the one before her. When it’s possible, I ask them to stop - but you can’t ask a recording.

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Same here – about ten years ago… I could tell when the debt got sold off because a new volley of calls would start rolling in. It looks like something new has happened after all these years because odd calls just started in the past few days.
My problem is that the number is my work cell phone that is mostly used for emergency-type calls, so I can’t ignore numbers that I don’t know – fortunately, they are usually from the same block of numbers, so after a few calls I know what to ignore.

Remember that, thanks to the Consumer Fair Credit Reporting Act, if you ask them plainly, “please do not call me again,” they have to stop. That doesn’t prevent a creditor from suing or messing up your credit or selling your account to the next zombie - but at least it stops the current one. I understand penalties for violations are really harsh.

Initially, some would respect that request and stop, but as it went farther down the food chain it became harder to identify the company or to get them to respect the request (I guess that scum really doesn’t have the proper sensors to detect sound waves).

Edit: Forgot my phone in the car, so the call went to voicemail… Looks like one of the scams as mentioned in the article… Must have gotten the guy’s info from 10 yrs ago.

My name is Mr. Steven. I have paperwork I need to serve you with and either your place of employment, or resident. If you have any questions you may contact the point us at 1(877) 670-1087.

Dollars to donuts this op Ed will be the basis of a “Better Call Saul” episode. My main reaction, paragraph after paragraph, was, “people actually do that?!”

Did that article seem to sputter and die to anyone else?

I may have missed what predicament mr. debt collector was in.

His excel spreadsheets were being stolen (gah, I feel stupid for even writing that :D)


Thugs threatening other thugs over Microsoft office documents. Who knew, apparently I’ve been a high roller all these years.

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That sounds almost as terrible as the predicament these guys placed that old women who only income is social security in.

Wait, no, not at all.

To be fair though, they are just part of the system. Everyone along the debt chain has some responsibility in this. I’d rank them above payday loans, who John Oliver exposed as focused on getting customers into endless cycles of debt.

About 10 years ago my wife opened a credit account with Old Navy in order to get the 10% discount at the register. She already had an older, inactive account with The Gap - which is Old Navy’s parent company.

When she sent in the check for the $79 or whatever it was to pay it off, they applied the payment to the inactive Gap account rather than pay off the Old Navy bill. Months went by and they kept sending us nasty letters. Every time we tried to explain that we already sent in the check they would promise to fix it, only to come back next month with a new round of letters, late charges, etc. After a year of this incompetence we finally gave up and stopped responding.

Then came the debt collectors - round after round of the same thing: explaining to the Indian call center what happened; sending in documentation; promises to take care of it; silence for a month or two - then a new round of calls from a new debt agency. I had to changed our phone number. Fast forward 10 years and I’m still having to explain the charge off on her credit report to the mortgage company.

The whole experience was insane. Now anytime a cashier asks if we want to save 10% I just laugh at them.


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