Them’s Gettin’ Theirs

I get a call the other day from a party representing the “Debt Collection Fraud Hotline.” They want to offer assistance just in case I am currently or have been hassled illegally by anybody attempting to collect a debt. Not including colleagues who loaned me a dime.

collection-agenciesI perk right up. Thanks to some of the people for whom I’ve worked, as well as my own casual attitudes toward lenders, my experiences with collection agencies is extensive. I love it when they call, and guaranteed: there’s hassling and abuse. I show these cretins no mercy. I use language highly inappropriate for the professional workplace, words that could get me sued or arrested — or maybe just beat up, if she’s big enough — in other circumstances. I use strange voices (Peter Lorre and Mister Ed are my specialties). I’ve actually made them cry. The best was the moron who summoned his supervisor, who, when he picked up and heard “Hello, I’m Mister Ed,” just cracked up before disconnecting.

In fact, sometimes, when bored and/or drunk, I call them to give them a hard time. Bitch ‘em out for being uneducated losers with dead-end jobs.

“Are you drunk?” one asks me, voice dripping with a fine blend of icy contempt and flabbergasted incredulity.

Fuckin A! Friday night, I’m drinking, and you’re still working! Trying to get my money to give to your client! Fat chance, Fapper! I’d say I win THIS round.

The Federal government recently announced its intention to crack down on illegal debt collection practices, and much to my delight, it has targeted not the little sleazy gumball operations working out of dingy basements offices — those clodpates aren’t to be taken seriously — but big corporate players like Capital One Bank, JP Morgan, etc. And they’re winning! One outfit called Expert Global Solutions of Plano, TX was fined $3.2 million “for using unfair and deceptive practices and illegal debt-collection techniques.”

WeSueCollectionAgenciesHeh heh heh. Hey, if they can’t pay up, maybe I can offer my expertise to help collect. Who are they gonna call? Perry Mason? Ghostbusters?

The Feds are involved now because at long last they recognize how culpable banks and investment houses were in extending credit (especially mortgages) to risky parties, repackaging that debt for resale in questionable products, and then routinely violating legal collection protocols in frantic attempts to cover their own losses. These, by the way, are the same santorum-scum who were bailed out with trillions of taxpayer funds.

But it turns out this so-called Hotline that called me isn’t a regulatory agency at all. It’s a private operation cooked up by bottom-feeding lawyers with no interest at all in stopping illegal and abusive debt collection activities; they’re simply trolling for plaintiffs to represent (on a contingent fee basis) in litigation they’ll bring against individual collection agencies. Hotline representatives make thousands of calls screening potential litigants, then pass on leads to the dens of attorneys for further action.

A noble calling, not. But bottom line, I’m on their side. There’s absolutely zero nobility involved in any aspect of this whatsoever, which doubtlessly is the reason it appeals to me. I’m a purist, after all.

This entry was posted in Gen. Snark, Maj. Snafu, Corp. Punishment, Shaken and Stirred. Bookmark the permalink.

7 Responses to Them’s Gettin’ Theirs

  1. Mr. Answer says:

    Simple solution. PAY YOUR BILL!

    • Diesel Fitter says:

      That’s simple, alright. Here’s the simple answer to war: Surrender!

      My experience with collection agencies isn’t real deep, but both times it was about bills I was disputing — failed service, faulty product — which I wasn’t going to pay for, period. So the companies gave up and sold the account to collection thugs. I told them to fuck off, and eventually they did.

  2. 'Nonymous says:

    Maybe you think you’re elevating it to an art form, but essentially you’re just another lowlife deadbeat who’s costing the rest of us money.

    • "Esq." A Lawyer says:

      Having done some work (at different times) for clients on either side of the general issue, I’d caution against painting with a broad brush. Generally, people pay their bills when they can. Generally, businesses that are owed money make efforts to accommodate debtors. Sure, there are deadbeats and sharps, just as there are bullies and thugs. That — unfortunately — is often where I came in.

      But the bigger picture is, business is business, and despite these companies sounding a Big Moral Note about “paying your obligations,” there isn’t one outside the legal context. Everything is negotiable, even after the contract. If it’s the goal of a business to make money, it’s the goal of a consumer to save. Refuse to pay, deal with a collection agent, resolve the dispute, clear the record — and you’ve saved some money. What’s wrong with that?

      I share the sentiment that the Big Boys, as stated here, richly deserve a spanking, a much bigger one that just their collection activities have earned.

  3. C.B. Hudirolf says:

    My grandfather and father ran their family business for 60 years. They used to tell me, “There’s two kind of people in the world, the ones who pay their bills and the ones who don’t.” I got out of business because there are more of the second kind, and whatever stigma once attached to their M.O. has vanished entirely, probably because of people like “esq.”.

    • "Esq." A Lawyer says:

      CBH: If “by people like “Esq.” you mean experts in the business of defending Constitutional rights and protections, I quite agree. As I stated, beware of painting with a broad brush. Contracts protect all parties — sometimes that fact is lost sight of. But as my business law teacher said years ago, “There’s 2 kinds of people in the world — the ones who understand the contracts they sign, and the ones who don’t.” Maybe he knew your family.

  4. Constance Turmohel says:

    there’s always money to be made

    i remember my neighbor, Naked Shorts,

    used to keep the window open when he smoked in bed

    seeing this, i bought a Conflagration Default Swap

    made a fortune when his house went up in flames

    and to think, people said it was too big to burn…

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