Submission Number: 00136
Received: 11/30/2010 1:37:21 PM
Commenter: Edward Holleran Jr.
Agency: Federal Trade Commission
Initiative: Statement of Policy Regarding Communications in Connection with Collection of a Decedent’s Debt; Project No. P104806
Attachments: No Attachments
Initially as I review this proposition and as I am investigating other supporting information with regards to debt collection practices in general, it seems that we will be paving the way for professional debt collectors to violate our rights under the federal Fair Debt Collection Practices Act even more so than they already do now. Looks like Government data including data from the FTC shows that debt collection practices ranked second on the FTC's list of most common consumer complaints last year after not even appearing in the top 20 list two years ago. Do debt collectors violate the federal Fair Debt Collection Practices Act currently? You better believe they do; often they operate quite unabashedly, with deliberate scare tactics and other Machiavellian threats. It would be interesting to discover data that would delineate just how many consumers victimized by professional debt collectors that go unreported. Moreover, just how long would it take for professional debt collectors to push the "envelope" by duping unobligated consumers, who may be related to the deceased, to pay for debts out of their own pockets to these manipulative fast-talking professionals! More often than not, these people will be guilted in paying money out their own fragile fixed incomes that would cause even more hardship on them and their struggling families such that they will likely fall behind in their own obligations thereby spinning even more potential charge offs and spiraling even more out of control debt! Is it too hard to envision this scenario or am I going too fast here? This idea of allowing debt collectors to reach "beyond the grave" in their collection practices is one of the most asinine ones I ever heard of to date! It would be interesting to see any data on debt collectors and how they hasten the deaths of people who may be struggling by bringing additional stress in their lives such that they stroke out or die of other stress-related diseases. More stress brings on more health care costs which bring on more problems in paying for those costs, which in turn, causes more out of control debt, which causes more charge-offs and collection efforts. I don't know about anyone else, but is there really any justification for the diminishing returns scenario here? I also wonder how many these debt collectors are up to their ears in debt themselves! While I would agree that yes indeed, there is a need for the debt collector in certain situations, why is it the small businessman who is struggling to get paid money owed to him so that he in turn, can pay his bill obligations cannot even be allowed access to the professional debt collectors? Only Big Business is granted access to debt collection companies in order to pursue monies owed to them. Small businesses are not even recognized by debt collection companies as a viable market. Before anyone jumps to the conclusion that small businesses don't really qualify, let me point out that it is small businesses that provide almost 4 out of 5 jobs in this great country - that's 80%! Furthermore, it is small businesses that pay the lion's share of the tax burden in this country overall! Look it up, you will find these two statements are fact! Small businesses don't get to "hide" their money in offshore bank accounts like Big Businesses nor do they recognized as one of the most important components of a healthy, thriving U.S. economy. Because of this outright discrimination against small business, in addition to some of the comments I mentioned earlier, I don't think that giving debt collectors anymore power than they already have is going to significantly drive down charge-off rates. What's more, Big Businesses negatively affected by their charge-off rates get to deduct those losses off their tax obligations anyway. Lastly, if the greedy Big Businesses would have done their credit grading properly, they would not have extended credit to the unqualified people in the first place!!!!