Debt Collectors: How Low Will They Go?

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Not only are local DAs farming out debt collection to sleazoids who then get to be pretend to be law enforcement officials, but guess what else? Debt collectors are now gunning after the dead. From the NYT: 

“The banks need another bailout and countless homeowners cannot handle their mortgage payments, but one group is paying its bills: the dead.

Dozens of specially trained agents work on the third floor of DCM Services here, calling up the dear departed’s next of kin and kindly asking if they want to settle the balance on a credit card or bank loan, or perhaps make that final utility bill or cellphone payment.

The people on the other end of the line often have no legal obligation to assume the debt of a spouse, sibling or parent. But they take responsibility for it anyway.”

You have to read the whole piece to understand just how scuzzy their methods are, especially at a time when so many are financially devastated. They give these operators special classes in faking empathy and other forms of emotional blackmail. The only bright spot is that about half of DCM’s grave robbers don’t make it past the first 90 days of torturing an unemployed person whose mom just died. Yoga and foosball is enough to get the rest of them through the day, though.

Imagine DCM going bankrupt (i.e. corporate death). Would it still pay the debts it had legally incurred but was no longer legally responsible for? Yeah, that could happen.

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Thank you!

We didn't know what to expect when we told you we needed to raise $400,000 before our fiscal year closed on June 30, and we're thrilled to report that our incredible community of readers contributed some $415,000 to help us keep charging as hard as we can during this crazy year.

You just sent an incredible message: that quality journalism doesn't have to answer to advertisers, billionaires, or hedge funds; that newsrooms can eke out an existence thanks primarily to the generosity of its readers. That's so powerful. Especially during what's been called a "media extinction event" when those looking to make a profit from the news pull back, the Mother Jones community steps in.

The months and years ahead won't be easy. Far from it. But there's no one we'd rather face the big challenges with than you, our committed and passionate readers, and our team of fearless reporters who show up every day.

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