Monday, June 13, 2011

Respect & Debt Collections--That's a concept?

Every time I hear someone (including my own adult kids) say "I'd never work in fast food," I wonder why not? It's not that I'd love asking "Do you want fries with that?" but if that was the only job out there, you can bet Grace would take it.

Still, that begs the real question, which is, 'Are there jobs Grace could handle but would never take?" Sure there are--and becoming a debt collector is chief among them.

Now the New York Times reports that debt collectors want more respect.

Say what?

Did they just use 'respect' and 'debt collector' in the same sentence?

I don't think anyone should have to face profanity or threats over the phone, even people deliberately calling at 8:00 a.m. on a Saturday morning or during the evening dinner hour. But my advice would be the same for the collector in that instance as it is for the person being dunned--HANG UP THE PHONE! What would be lost? Is it at all likely that a debtor threatening to cut off the collector's arms, legs, or more intimate parts has the money to pay the debt?

Am I supposed to be sad for the collector who has trouble getting cell phone numbers for those they are trying to chase down? Do they really think getting access to debtors' e-mail accounts would get the bills paid more quickly? Personally, I think e-mail collections would be fine--isn't that why spam filters and the delete button were invented?

I get a lot of collection calls on my landline since I've had it over twenty years and several of my children use that number on their (unfortunately, delinquent) accounts. Thanks to Caller ID, I seldom bother to pick up any of these calls. But in addition to the robocalls (does anyone really stay on the line when mechanically told "Please hold for an important call?"), lately I've gotten calls left on the answering machine whereby the mechanical voice says "Because you didn't hang up, we can assume that you are [X, the debtor]" and goes on to reveal details of the owed debt that collectors are forbidden to given to third parties.

Hence the lawsuits that the debt collection businesses find so annoying.

Pardon me if I'm not sympathetic.


It never occurred to you anyone other than the debtor would listen to answering machine messages?

A few years ago, my youngest daughter and I got our kicks harrassing the collectors back, but now I let the answering machine pick up.

I still wouldn't work for a debt collector.

I'd rather sell used cars!


Anonymous said...

I had a very nice experience with a collection agency. I kept submitting a medical bill to the insurance company and they kept promising to pay it, and then they'd not pay it (saying they'd already paid it, but they hadn't) and I would get billed again. Once it went to collections, I sicc'd the nice ladies from the collection agency on them and they cleared everything up. It didn't even hurt my credit rating.

My sister called up people to repossess their cars and boats and things when she was working for a law firm in high school. She even worked on Christmas eve... "Never go into debt for a depreciating asset," she would tell us. Wise advice indeed.

Terry said...

I sooooo agree with you. Lowest form of humanity, in my opinion

MasterPo said...


Sharon said...

I have to call to collect money in my office, but I must say I've NEVER use profanity. I know the bill collectors you speak of, and yes, I wouldn't work that job either!

LC said...

Great post!

Anonymous said...

I had a bill collector call me screaming and cursing awhile back for a bill from my deceased EX Husband. They were rude, vulgar and threatening.