The New York Times recently ran an article that highlights just how low debt collection has stooped — it analogizes debt collector’s prowess in obtaining court judgments against anyone and everyone to the egregious robo-signing foreclosure banks of the Great Recession. And A LOT more people are facing debt collection now than were facing foreclosure then. As the article points out, “one in seven adults in the United States is being pursued by debt collectors, according to the Federal Reserve Bank of New York.”
To repair some of the damage done, New York attorney general Eric Schneiderman recently reached a settlement with Encore, a large debt buyer based out of San Diego, to vacate over 4,500 court judgments. This will hopefully help the many consumers who are fighting bogus judgments. In the settlement, Encore also agreed to pay a $675,000 fine. Sadly, given Encore’s vast financial resources, $675,000 is not likely to be sufficient financial incentive to rid the organization of offensive practices. Too often, I feel like these companies treat the fines and related expenses as simply a cost of doing their very profitable business.
I am happy to report that this recent settlement is not the only success of the NY attorney general; he also recently reached settlements with PRA Group and Sherman Financial Group. Together they vacated court judgments totaling over $16 million against New York consumers.
Here is the source article for more information: http://dealbook.nytimes.com/2015/01/08/debt-buyer-faces-fine-and-loss-of-thousands-of-court-judgments/?smid=nytcore-iphone-share&smprod=nytcore-iphone&_r=0
Kevin Fallon McCarthy
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