I have a secret to share with you … and it was something I didn’t share with you all before because … well, I have no good reason why – but here it is: Prior to my current job, I worked at a debt collection agency.
Yup – I’m going to let the irony sink in for all of you guys. Me with the bad credit score and the former expertise of ducking bill collectors worked for the enemy. Sure, I worked on the sales side of things (or, as I would tell people, “I acquire debt for the company, I don’t make the phone calls.”) but with my memories of collection calls still ringing in my memory, I went to work for a debt collection agency in my town.
In the three years that I worked there, I learned a few things – the world is full of all types of debt, the kind you can prevent (credit card) and the kind that’s hard to prevent (medical bills). I learned about the laws that govern the debt collection industry, I learned the psychology behind a collection call and I also learned that there are bad debt collectors, but there are also crappy and vindictive debtors. So when I read this article today from the New York Times on “Learning How to Fight the Collector,” I don’t know … I’m at a loss for words. Because the article shows people who are out to fight bad debt collectors and utilize the laws available to sue them. That’s OK. What sticks in my craw is when you have people who dodge collectors because they simply won’t pay what is a legitimate bill.
But since I cannot really write a review or a non-biased summary of this article, I leave it to you guys to read the article and take from it what you will. In the meantime, if you have legitimate questions about debt collection or the laws that govern the industry (I’m talking about the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act – FDCPA or the Fair Credit Reporting Act – FCRA), this a good site that was set up by ACA International, the trade association that advises the debt collection industry.
And as for the company that I used to work for – I was surrounded by some of the best professionals that a person could encounter. They were well trained and their goal was to help people who had encountered financial difficulties. Was this the exception and not the rule? I don’t know, but I know that not all debt collectors are poo stuck to the bottom of your shoe.
Now I’m off my soap box. And off to get coffee.
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