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View Diary: Debt Collector's Untold Role In Scott Brown Victory (284 comments)

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  •  After I got laid off in 2002, it was a struggle. (6+ / 0-)

    We had money laid by. Remember the old rule: 'Have six months' salary' as a cushion against unemployment?

    Well, we had a year's worth. Unfortunately, it was 2.5 years until I got a temp job. That was one of the more horrible times of the recent past.

    We took on that debt being completely able to pay it off. But circumstances change. At first, I would discuss my situation with the collectors but eventually, they got nastier and nastier.

    There was one collection agency that was so absolutely horrendous that I finally quit answering the phone altogether. The emotional damage was not worth the effort to deal with these bloodsuckers. (I still can't answer the phone without knowing who is on the other end.)

    Once, they called every ten minutes for an hour and then once an hour for the remainder of the collection day. They would leave messages filled with chicken imitations and insults. It felt like I was dealing with the Mob with an imminent kneecapping in my future.

    I finally landed that temp job, just in time, as we were entering foreclosure on the house. My first three months' salary went to bailing out the house and the remainder of the year I was there, we paid off all of the remaining credit card debt. It took almost my whole paycheck but it was worth it to get out from under those monsters.

    Never again. We use debit cards and if someone won't do business with us because we don't have a credit card, it's their loss. We take our cash business elsewhere.

    I learned something on that job. I was documenting the Accounts Receivable procedures for a major corporation.

    One of the documents I created was the flowchart of the debt collection process.

    People from within the company called the debtors in a first attempt to get paid. That was for 30 days. If that didn't get the desired results, the debt got passed to a first-tier collection company - three months.  Then second-tier - three months. Then last resort collections - three months. Then if the debt was over $5K, they were taken to court. Otherwise, the debt was sold to the vultures. (I hear from inside that that process has tightened up considerably since then with shorter timelines.)

    Never again. We use debit cards and if someone won't do business with us because we don't have a credit card, it's their loss. We take our cash business elsewhere.

    I wish you well. Hang in there.

    Do what you can with what you have where you are - Guild of Maintainers

    by bablhous on Mon Feb 08, 2010 at 02:09:58 PM PST

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