We have written extensively about the dirtbags that seem to run rampant in the debt-collection field. My wife and I have filed a lawsuit against unethical debt collectors, and that case almost certainly caused someone with connections to the debt-collection business to cheat my wife out of her job at Infinity Property & Casualty. Evidence increasingly suggests that debt collectors played a role in my unlawful termination at UAB.
But now we learn that debt collectors don't just try to defraud individual consumers. They also are fighting against consumer-protection initiatives--and health-care reform--across the country. That's why they pulled out all the stops to help elect Scott Brown.
An article at Democratunity.com provides insight into the role debt collectors played in Brown's victory:
We often hear about the role that the pharmaceutical industry, for-profit health care companies, and big banks have in influencing and corrupting elections and elected officials. But there is another group to add to this list: Debt Collectors. This is a billion dollar industry, and its political agenda goes far beyond the day-to-day regulation of collecting debts. The debt collection industry opposes any number of financial reforms as well as access to health care. Why? Predatory lending and huge health care bills keep people in debt. The more people that are in debt, in turn, the more profitable the industry.
In essence, debt collectors are the bottom-feeders that get rich digging and feeding on the garbage produced by our current system.
Regular Legal Schnauzer readers already know about the bottom-feeding ways of unscrupulous debt collectors. Our personal battle has been against a Pennsylvania-based outfit called NCO and a Birmingham-based law firm called Ingram & Associates.
We've operated under the assumption that some debt collectors behave in an honorable fashion. After all, there is nothing wrong with trying to collect a legitimate debt. But a law called the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA) must be followed. Unfortunately, the FDCPA is weak, and many debt collectors violate it with impunity. That is the basis of our lawsuit against NCO and Ingram & Associates.
The recent article from Democratunity.com makes us think the entire field is filled with lowlifes. Let's revisit the statement about why debt collectors oppose health-care reform. It's because large health-care bills are one of the prime reasons consumers get into debt, and the debt-collection industry fears that reform would help regular Americans stay out of debt. That, of course, would put a crimp in the bottom lines of businesses like NCO and Ingram & Associates.
Disgusting, isn't it? These people actually want as many Americans as possible to be saddled with burdensome debt. And a press release from the Association of Credit and Collection Professionals (ACA) makes this clear. ACA crows about its role in Scott Brown's victory and makes it clear why it opposes consumer-protection and health-care reforms:
ACA Immediate Past President Jay Gonsalves and fellow New England Collectors Association member David Sands reached out to ACA members and mobilized them to contribute approximately $11,000 to the Brown campaign to assist with its get-out-the-vote efforts. Not only did members send money, but many agencies offered use of their phones as an in-kind contribution to the campaign.
This kind of ACA member mobilization just days before an election is unprecedented. With the very real threat of the Consumer Financial Protection Agency looming in Congress, as well as wholesale changes to a health care system that would affect many credit and collection professionals' livelihoods, ACA members helped the Brown campaign create a groundswell to victory.
In the days and weeks ahead, we will be spotlighting our legal battle with NCO and Ingram & Associates. But we now know such fights are not about individual consumers like my wife and me.
Debt collectors don't just want to cheat us and other individual consumers. They are out to harm all of us.