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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THE TRUTH...

is the first thing despots go after. An unwavering commitment to it is probably what draws you to Mother Jones' journalism. And as we're seeing in the US and the world around, authoritarians seek to poison the discourse and the way we relate to each other because they can't stand people coming together around a shared sense of the truth—it's a huge threat to them.

Which is also a pretty great way to describe Mother Jones' mission: People coming together around the truth to hold power accountable.

And right now, we need to raise about $400,000 from our online readers over the next two months to hit our annual goal and make good on that mission. Read more about the information war we find ourselves in and how people-powered, independent reporting can and must rise to the challenge—and please support our team's truth-telling journalism with a donation if you can right now.

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