More consumer debt always leads to more bankruptcy
Does more debt lead to more debtor harassment?
The November data are in, and, yes, consumer debt, that month of big Christmas shopping, went way up.
Having read the latest Consumer Protection Financial Bureau consent judgment against a debt collection law firm, I wonder if there is a connection.
This law firm collected medical debt. A lot of it, From the CPFB consent judgment:
Corporate Respondent is a law firm that specializes in medical Debt. It has offices in Tulsa and Oklahoma City, Oklahoma that attempted collection on approximately 700,000 Debts totaling over $500 million annually. Corporate Respondent is paid on a contingency basis for its collection work and this work has generated millions of dollars in revenue.
Wow. Medical debt is different from consumer debt, in that few of us choose when we incur medical debt.
Illegal Debtor Harassment?
I love capitalism, the only ethical economic way of life.
That does not mean there is no sin or bad guys operating. It does not preclude greed, one of the seven deadly sins.
Greed has led to nickel scraping outsourcing, in the case of this Oklahoma law firm, the lawyers did not bother actually reading the files that it received. (You can read the entire order at the link above.)
- Upon receiving a new account from a client, Corporate Respondent’s computer system automatically sends the Consumer whose Debt is the subject of the account an initial Demand Letter.
- Prior to October of 2012, this initial Demand Letter did not include any disclaimer to alert Consumers that no attorney had reviewed their account prior to the initial demand being mailed.
- Since at least January 2012, in many instances, no attorney reviews Consumers’ accounts before Corporate Respondent sends Consumers the initial Demand Letter.
- After the initial Demand Letter is mailed, Corporate Respondent assigns accounts to account managers, who, after 33 days, call Consumers seeking payments.When account managers call Consumers, they immediately identify themselves as calling from a law firm. When Consumers call Works & Lentz, if a person does not answer, the automated greeting identifies Works & Lentz as a law firm, stating: “You have reached Works & Lentz, Attorneys at Law.”Now, this type of mass produced lawsuit, run by potted plant attorneys, who just robo-sign everything, is not an exception. It is the norm in consumer debt collection.
I just succeeded this week in getting a case dismissed in which the zombie debt buyer produced NO documentation that it had actually purchased the loan on which it was suing. On which loan the last payment was made out side the statute of limitations, so they would have lost the suit anyway.Our FDCPA (Fair Debt Collection Practices Act) suit is in the works.
- Contact me if you are being harassed by debt collectors, including law firms.
- (I do not know why I cannot get rid of these numbers. !@#$%^&*()