|Received:||10/12/2007 7:08:25 AM|
|Organization:||Creditors Interchange Receivables Management|
|Agency:||Federal Trade Commission|
|Rule:||Debt Collection Workshop|
Comments:First, I would like to commend the FTC on its initiative to hold hearings on the FDCPA. Observing and listening to the moderators and panelists brought a similarity to the Bankruptcy Review Commission Hearings that I participated in 1997. Each party, both debt collectors and consumer representatives presented valid issues and concerns but in reality neither are going to join in the middle and in all probability need not to. I have been in the debt collection business since 1964. However, there has been no major change in consumers obtaining credit and being required to repay. Collecting has not changed since 1964 because listening and providing alternatives remains the same between two people. However, what has changed is the inability of each to occur. Consumers know they owe debt and know that lenders and debt collectors are attempting to contact them to seek repayment. Technology was mentioned and while that has added to both consumers and debt collectors there is no added benefit unless consumers and debt collectors talk to each other. The one panelist from MMI expressed some issues that deserve a response. First, he suggests the different dialects in Spanish and debt collectors require people to take off work to obtain a money order to send as repayment. He fails to mention that the same debtor obtain goods and services which there was no language barrier and that debt collection agencies employ collectors who speak Spanish but maybe do not test employees to segregate language variety of dialect he suggests and neither does MMI. Also, since MMI offers DMPs is it also requiring debtors to take off from work? The sessions clearly indicate a need to continue searching for a resolution which may not accomodate either side fully because of the significant difference between both sides. A perfect example was a presentation about the number of lawsuits filed in Broward County but a failure to mention the total population of that county and that the debt collection industry has been a subject of frivilous lawsuits that a small number of lawyers make their living upon. However, the debt collection industry is at fault as well in that they make mistakes and should be held accountable when a federal or state law is intentionally violated. In summary, and based on my experience, there is more good than bad in an industry that is cited when a entity is sued, and in those cases deserving the action, but no mention is the number of consumers debt collectors have helped since that doesn't sell papers or media attention. I was asked by a reporter awhile ago how my family feels knowing I am a debt collector. My answer was they are proud of their husband and father and he is proud of an industry that does more right things than wrong things.