World of consumer debt collection "dark, labyrinthine, and extremely lucrative"

When a credit card bill goes unpaid for a few months, the bank sells the debt. To whom? These guys.

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  1. Sqarr says:

    There's an errant space in the URL, which makes it unclickable. :x

  2. Eesh. Reading this article over, and all I can think is "r>g." This guy had the money to make an investment and squeeze as much out of the stone as he could.

    EDIT: And, having finished the whole thing, I think this one paragraph from the end really summarizes the whole crapshoot:

    And so far, regulators have concentrated on debt collecting, as opposed to the buying and selling of debt, which is the source of many of the industry’s problems. As long as paper continues to be stolen, double-sold or otherwise exchanged without accurate supporting information — like statements or copies of the original signed contracts — consumers will be exploited and collectors like Siegel and Wilson will have to fend for themselves.

    Pretty much!

    And I'd really recommend reading the article... slowly. With a bottle of antacid in hand, and maybe a leather strap to bite so you don't grind your teeth together. Yeesh. The whole thing is a saga of a rich guy and a thug figuring out how to best turn the screws on desperate people, and then getting upset when other crooks got there first, and that there's no more blood in this stone. I find it really hard to be sympathetic.

  3. I prefer to think that whoever they are are so dark and labyrinthine that they can't even be clicked to...

  4. About 10 years ago my wife opened a credit account with Old Navy in order to get the 10% discount at the register. She already had an older, inactive account with The Gap - which is Old Navy's parent company.

    When she sent in the check for the $79 or whatever it was to pay it off, they applied the payment to the inactive Gap account rather than pay off the Old Navy bill. Months went by and they kept sending us nasty letters. Every time we tried to explain that we already sent in the check they would promise to fix it, only to come back next month with a new round of letters, late charges, etc. After a year of this incompetence we finally gave up and stopped responding.

    Then came the debt collectors - round after round of the same thing: explaining to the Indian call center what happened; sending in documentation; promises to take care of it; silence for a month or two - then a new round of calls from a new debt agency. I had to changed our phone number. Fast forward 10 years and I'm still having to explain the charge off on her credit report to the mortgage company.

    The whole experience was insane. Now anytime a cashier asks if we want to save 10% I just laugh at them.

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