I just read an eye-opening story about the seedy world of debt collection in the New York Times. It was enlightening to learn about the shady practices of this industry of bottom feeders who are making big profits on the backs of poor people. Those who became over-extended, lost jobs, grew old became ill or otherwise lost their ability to pay their bills.
A lot of the story focused on some scumbags in Buffalo, a deeply depressed city with people trying to rebuild their lives. It was shocking to read that debts many years old and which would no longer appear on one’s credit report were being sold and re-sold for pennies on the dollar. There were all kinds of illegal and unethical practices discussed and I recommend that people read the article and follow through with complaints to your state attorney general, the federal Consumer Financial Protection Bureau and the financial regulators in your state. Ask questions when someone contacts you about money that you supposedly owe and force them to prove that they are the legal owners. Ask yourself how old the debt may be and don’t automatically promise to pay anything. You may have already paid and there’s no need to enrich these crooks.