Monday, January 31, 2011

i want to help you but please, don't lie to me

So, I work for a small consumer law firm... our clients are an interesting lot of people, but what bothers me the most are the people who owe our clients money.

Granted, yes, I know the economy sucks, and everyone has suffered in one form or another; but really, some of these debtors could go jump a bridge and I wouldn't care. [Well, I would care, but only a little.] Some of these debtors deserve to win an Oscar for some of the lies that they say. They all seem to think that a medical excuse grants them a free pass [or in some cases, the debts have magically disappeared because a fairy godmother paid it off for them (which has happened once to one lucky debtor whose godmother did pay for her debts that incurred while she finished her vet school -debtor had no clue she owed some big company money and her godmother stepped in. lovely story really; wish I had a godmother like that!]. They also like to say that they never received a letter about this debt and why should they pay for it if they never told that they owed, etc (which really how could you forget you owed money to someone? hello: if you use a credit card, the balance on it doesn't magically disappear, you moron).

Loads of shit, I tell you. Especially the ones who say they never received a letter because a) it so happens that I wrote the letter that was sent to you so, yes you did just lie to me, b) you were sent a few letters indicating that yes, you do have a debt, and yes, you do have to pay it back and yes, if you don't pay for the debt, your wages can be and will be garnished because the court says so.

I feel bad for them, but at the same time, I don't because who in their right mind doesn't pay back an enormous amount of money? Here's a clue: if you pay it back as soon as you have the money, you don't have to worry about the interest accruing or hell, being taken to court because you didn't pay in the first place. [Also, this will cut down the bullshit I hear when your dumb ass calls in giving me a sob story about your daughter whose boyfriend is cheating on her and how your daughter wants to murder this other girl... etc etc.]

I've been on the other side of this. I've had collection agencies call me before about debts* and you know what? Some of these collection agencies truly want to help you. Not all, but some really do, like the small consumer law firm that I work for [we don't just handle these types of cases, but we also handle other cases, too, and I wish we didn't have to handle divorce cases for they are downright depressing].

Anyways, this ends my rant [for right now] about debtors and their damn stories.

*My naive self didn't know that my then ex-fiance opened accounts under my name, and when I graduated college, ha, was that eye-opener or what. And yes, I'm still working on paying those debts back. Consider this as a lesson learned the hard way.


  1. I mostly agree, but having been under some financial stress recently, I can also appreciate how hopeless it can seem sometimes. You need to pay a bill and you can't afford it. You skip a payment, and get charged a late fee. Now you owe even more money. Eventually it gets to a point where maybe you could afford to pay off the original bill, but not the newly inflated one... this only increases, snowballing until it seems like you'll never make it out.

    While I don't condone that kind of behavior, I can understand and, to a certain extent, sympathize with it.

  2. The thing with having a debt with a collection agency is that the principal never changes, BUT there's accruing interest that is calculated daily. Say the total debt is 1100.57. The following day it could be 1188.52 ... that irks me, too. And it's not like we don't send letters out and try to do settlements, but some people would rather risk the chance of winning at a court hearing, which btw doesn't work because when you're being summoned to appear at court, then yes, we are taking default judgment, and the thing for them to do next would be to make payment arrangements with us, then we'll excuse them from court, but we still take default judgment because we -as in us and our clients- don't want to be screwed over.

  3. Yeah, I agree, the best thing to do is call the service you owe a dept to and see if you can work something out. They are often very amiable, if you are willing to work with the.