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Thursday, February 11, 2010

Debt-Collection Industry Helped Pave the Way for Scott Brown's Victory in Massachusetts

Debt collectors are near the top of our list of public enemies here at Legal Schnauzer. And they should be near the top of all progressives' lists now that we know debt collectors played a prominent role in Republican Scott Brown's victory for Ted Kennedy's U.S. Senate seat in Massachusetts.

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.


Anonymous said...

And in case you didn't know: there's a Ft. Worth, TX consumer advocate named Bud Hibbs who also fights against debt collectors and their sleazy tactics. He's helped me quite a bit and everyone can use the info he provides.

Here's a link to his website:

Anonymous said...

Since this is a Constitutional Republic and this means what it says: rePUBLIC, then, where is the DEBT in digital computer strokes which have been manufactured for all the people?

In 1956? The digital system began to be implemented and I do believe there has been enough money made from compound interest on nothing, but, fraud.

Why would any DEBT be legal in America, when it has been manufactured via the rePUBLIC?

Cannot be.

Digits belong to us all, period.

Complex interest sold to Americans as debt, when it is only fraud, is fraud.


truthseeker said...

"After all, there is nothing wrong with trying to collect a legitimate debt" Give me a break! Are you talking about an honorable average citizen who is suing a defendant for some real loss as a result of a breach of contract? If that is what you mean, then debt collectors by all means are not that claimant. Debt collectors are not in the business of doing right. That is something that should be clear from the beginning. The nature of their business is based on unjust enrichment and predatory practices. Consider the history of any or almost all debt collected by debt collectors who purchase charged-off accounts that have been in whole or partially compensated for through tax credits, insurance claims, or even government bailouts. Accounts are sold over and over many times to other debt collectors and finally litigated for a breach of contract founded upon a debt instrument that is never or rarely presented into evidence, and where the amount of debt is inflated along with interest and attorneys fees which are unauthorized either under the original contract or by state law. Consider the false affidavits of indebtedness filed by the debt collector alleging personal knowledge of the debt when the debt collectors never had direct contact with the original creditor. Consider the fact that over 90% of judgments against debtors are obtained through default where in some cases the defendant is never informed or notified of the case or the judgment. Consider the relaxed county court rules which make it a piece of cake to win default judgments (mostly rubber-stamp motions for default judgment.) Consider the fact the most debtors are financially disadvantaged as to hire a counsel to represent them. Consider the fact that many of the debts are time-barred and that is one major reason they have been sold over many times among debt collectors. Consider the fact that such debts were purchased in computer generated lists without any original documentation for cents on the dollar and the outrageous unjust enrichment sought by debt collectors in turning a debt claim value of $300 including filing and attorneys fees into $10,000 revenue! Finally consider the outrageous government bail outs for the financial institutions who extend credit to consumers and who allegedly incurred the loss from the consumer. This makes a disgusting case against the consumer and an outrageously predatory unjust enrichment case for the debt collectors and their assignors who could show no or so little damages by the debtor as a result of the breach of contract.

D. Ebt said...

Consider the fact that many of the debts are time-barred and that is one major reason they have been sold over many times among debt collectors.

Anonymous said...

Here is a Alabama blog