Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Did Debt Collectors Cheat Me Out of My Job at UAB, Part II?

We recently examined evidence that points to the prominent role debt collectors might have played in my unlawful termination at UAB. But how could they have done it? And what evidence did they leave behind at the scene?

Let's try to answer those questions by examining some of the characters and actions involved:

* The Angie Ingram/William E. Swatek connection--In our previous post on this subject, we raised an intriguing question: Could Bill Swatek, the sleazy Alabama lawyer who is largely responsible for the legal headaches my wife and I are experiencing, have sought a writ of execution on our cars and house as a means of helping Angie Ingram collect on a debt I allegedly owed to American Express? Could Swatek have offered this favor in hopes of receiving some favor from Ingram? If there is one thing we've learned about the legal profession, it's this: The field is filled with backscratching, and multiple sources have told me that is especially true in debt collection.

So it's not hard to imagine Swatek and Ingram entering some kind of "I'll do this for you if you'll do that for me" agreement. But what evidence suggests that might have actually happened?

For one, it seems clear that Angie Ingram and Bill Swatek know of each other. Not long after I started hearing from Ingram's representatives, I wrote her a letter to say that my wife and I had been the victims of multiple unlawful acts by lawyers in Shelby County--and as a lawyer herself, she had a duty to report such acts to the proper tribunal. The material I sent mentioned Bill Swatek prominently.

So we've established that Angie Ingram almost certainly knew of Bill Swatek and his roll in our legal drama. But what about Swatek? Did he know of Angie Ingram and her efforts to collect an alleged debt on behalf of American Express? The answer appears to be yes.

I've seen solid evidence that Swatek, or people close to him, keep up with this blog. And since I've written extensively about Angie Ingram, they almost certainly know about her connections to us. In fact, I wrote a post about the numerous anonymous threats and sick comments I've received on this blog, many of which have a Swatekian tone. One of the sickos' favorite topics has been the alleged debt to American Express. Here is one comment on that topic:

How much is your house worth schnauzer? I'm thinking of buying it for pennies on the dollar.Haven't heard you talk about AMEX lately.the folks still treating you nice?HA Ha

That's one of probably about a dozen AMEX-related snarks I've received. And the sender never seems to leave his name. Bold fellow, isn't he?

Bottom line: Angie Ingram and Bill Swatek might have known each other for years. But there is little doubt that they knew of each other in the months leading up to my unlawful termination at UAB.

* The Shelby County Phone-Calling Club--In the weeks leading up to the scheduled sheriff's sale on our house, we received close to 25 calls from deputies Bubba Caudill and Eddie Moore. The calls generally took this tone: "We're about to sell that property. Have you worked something out with the other side?"

Multiple sources who are familiar with the legal profession and debt collection have told me this is highly irregular. In a legitimate sheriff's sale, deputies have no reason to make such calls. They generally act as disinterested observers. If the parties "work something out," the deputies will be notified and the sale will be canceled.

So why did Bubba and Eddie repeatedly call us? It seems clear they wanted me to talk to the other side, who was William E. Swatek (supposedly working on behalf of our troublesome neighbor, Mike McGarity). But I've seen no sign that Swatek actually was working for McGarity. The bogus judgment against me of $1,525 had been sitting there for three years, and Swatek never made any effort to collect it. It would have cost McGarity more than that to try to collect it. And Swatek never sent a demand letter, which indicates he didn't even want the $1,525.

What did he want? My guess is that he wanted something that would benefit Angie Ingram--and himself. And that's why Bubba and Eddie were so anxious for me to contact Swatek.

We've established that Angie Ingram and Bill Swatek probably knew of each other and their respective roles in our legal drama. We've established that Shelby County deputies were making a highly irregular effort to get me to contact Bill Swatek. And we've established that Bill Swatek almost certainly was not working on behalf of Mike McGarity, but rather on behalf of something (or someone) else.

Here is a critical point: We know that audiotapes I made of conversations with Ingram's representatives are key evidence in our lawsuit against her firm and NCO for violation of federal debt-collection law--and for various state-law claims. We know the audiotapes are so important that attorneys for both Ingram & Associates and NCO have tried to commit fraud on the court in an effort to get them excluded.

How does this connect to my unlawful termination at UAB? Well, we need to consider these questions:

* How could the Ingram/Swatek nexus worm its way into UAB?

* How far might someone have gone in an effort to get their hands on those audiotapes, which conclusively show that Angie Ingram and her firm violated federal law?

* Did any actions by my superiors at UAB reflect an ulterior motive on someone's part?

We will address those questions shortly.

(To be continued)

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