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.
I 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.”
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.