Newsweek Runs Excellent Story on Debt Collectors

January 3, 2012

Newsweek Magazine started the New Year right – with a great story on the seedy underbelly of the debt collection industry. A former debt collector relates that she was ordered to keep calling consumers to the point of harassment, and tells tales of threats made by debt collectors to consumers. Gary Rivlin, who wrote the piece, also delves into the world of debt buying, explaining that “zombie” debt may be pursued by three or four debt collection agencies over time, subjecting the consumer to repeated inquiries about debts that have never been validated. He even explains that many debt buyers have no qualms about collecting past a debt’s statute of limitations. He notes that one debt buyer he interviewed “doesn’t bother buying the paperwork that would substantiate the data contained in the spreadsheets he buys from other debt buyers because, he explains, that bumps up the cost of the purchase and therefore eats into the bottom line.

Sergei Lemerg is also quoted in the article, commenting on the Federal Trade Commission report that shows a huge uptick in consumer complaints about debt collectors. Lemberg says that the FTC numbers are “just the tip of the iceberg.”

You can read the full article at the Daily Beast: http://www.thedailybeast.com/newsweek/2012/01/01/america-s-abusive-debt-collectors.html

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