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Surviving debt collection for the next few decades

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Rough Draft 1
By Bob Hoffman

Political Gateway - April 1st, 2009 - This article’s mission is to prepare you for possible nightmare debt collection problems in the next decade or two. It is important for you to read this whether you are having problems now or not.

What kind of debt am I talking about?
Your debt, for the purposes of this article, is mainly centered around car loans, mortgages, and unsecured credit. These are the items most likely to be involved in future issues for your family. This also concerns people who are not late and actually paid off debt or sold a house.

Debt process
2 things happen, you pay something off or you go into default. Paying off a debt is good, but it is not always recorded properly and can still go into a debt pool. A defaulted debt will go to a ‘normal’ collections process. Either way, eventually this non paid or mistakenly not recorded debt will end up in a debt pool.

Debt Pool
It is kind of like the internet, a big vast mysterious cloud full of old debt. Your old debts languish here until someone decides to buy them and attempt to collect the money owed.

Organized Criminal debt collectors
It is the debt pool that is the target of this article and the people who dwell there. These people may or may not be ‘mafia’ but you will find that they are very organized, attempt criminal acts in collections, and thus are ‘organized criminals.’

Bankruptcy
Even bankrupted debt goes into that pool. On purpose or accident, who is to say, but you will get calls on it 10 to 20 years later. Especially if a judgment was ordered by the courts.

The ‘Process’ of your demise
The debt thrown into the debt pool is sketchy at best. Usually it is a photocopy of the original contract and some contact information. Usually the data will never include your payment history, any modifications, or even payoffs. Once it gets in the pool an attempt will be made to collect the debt sometime in the future.

This debt is never ending. It could be 15 to 20 years later and you will get a call from these ‘guys’ looking for the cash. Few of us keep records of payoffs or deals made with debtors for more than a year or so, and they use this against you as you can no longer prove you paid it or had a deal.

During this time, many lenders of secured and non secured debt are going bankrupt, selling your accounts to someone else, or being bought out by another company. In all that mess, your payoff will go missing, your written deal to pay less or be forgiven will disappear, and even your payment history will go missing.

All those messed up boxes and files get thrown into the debt pool. When they come a calling, do you have proof of all that happened to stop them from coming after you?

May sound easy
It may sound easy to have it all cleared up. A few phone calls, a fax or two of info. Or maybe you went bankrupt and can just send them the data? You could not be more wrong.

The best protection is to get everything in writing and keep copies of everything. Get a storage bin or a safety deposit box, or even store at a relatives. Keep at least two sets of EVERYTHING that you pay off or default on and any communications or payments.

In come the 'alleged' criminal debt collectors
Your first contact with them may be many years from now, but it will come. It will be a phone call or a letter. Once they contact you they will come after you fully armed with procedures to financially ruin you if need be to get the money. Even money you no longer owe.

To illustrate, look up on a search engine the term “Daniel Cadle” (in quotes) or “Jan Schlichtmann” with it. The Cadle company and its thousands of front companies are all over America going after people like you and me. You will find information that is quite scary. Texas has an arrest warrant out for Cadle if he steps into the state. These people are bad. Just mention them to a bankruptcy lawyer and you will see fear cross their face.

This is just one of many companies that you cannot stop. Even if you fight them in court and win they will just bring another front company up and come after you again. Win a judgment against them? Sure, but the company you have the judgment in has no assets. Their lawyers will bury you fast and furious and it will cost you a fortune to stop them.

They will file a judgment against you. I suggest going to that courtroom with a lawyer. If there already is a judgment or if they win one in your case, you are now in real trouble. They will come after your wages, cars, bank accounts, any and all assets. You can bet your life on it. Bankruptcy? Unless you are going chapter 7 and have nothing in assets, you are gonna find it near impossible to stop them.

Remember that movie with John Travolta, ‘A Civil Action’? His character Schlichtmann went bankrupt in the end. Years later, he received a payout from some later work he did on that same issue the movie was about. Cadle came after him. A ten year battle ensued. Word has it he got help from some Harvard lawyers. For ten years these lawyers battled this company. Eventually they went behind Cadle and bought the debt from the debt pool. Then Cadle still came after them.

Do you think you have a chance against them? This company is one of many, maybe all connected, that will do some bad things to get your debt. The old victims of Cadle website had horrible stories from people who were harassed and intimidated, all against the law, to get debt. In many cases debt that was not owed.

I do not owe anyone anything
You wish. You never know if something is not recorded properly or the final payment is registered correctly. An old debt you paid off from a collection agency may still be active. In ten years you will get a call or letter asking for the whole amount of the original loan.

Pay attention
Not paying attention to your mail can cause you to have some debt collectors with a court order at your door, with a tow truck, to take your cars for an old credit card debt from 15 years ago, that you paid off!

Protection
You can only protect yourself by keeping complete records and backups. Bankruptcy records too. Keep them all for as long as you live.

Why now?
Why bring this up now? This stuff has been going on for a while and the state attorney’s do little to stop it. Each is a nightmare, but it is a personal nightmare. Well, right now about 10 million people have issues with home mortgages. Millions laid off. It is getting bad for huge amounts of people right now.

This means, the future for these 'alleged' criminal debt collectors (Cadle is just one) is very bright. You can expect some job openings as they have about 20 million people’s records to go through for the next few decades. And just like Arnold’s character the ‘Terminator’ they will not stop until they get you. Ever. And with so many people in trouble, it looks to be a good decade or two for them.

Some thoughts
Always open mail. You will only receive one piece of paper that needs to be signed, that is usually the summons to go to court for the judgment against you. After that, they only have to send you a copy of any legal attempts they are doing (like going after wages or bank accounts or other assets).

A common thread seems to be a huge increase in letters from them that are junk, just ‘pay us’ stuff. Then slipped in that blizzard will be a letter saying you have 10 days to come before the judge or they can garnish your bank accounts. If you do not see that one letter, then you will first find out when your bank does a courtesy call to tell you 12,000 has been garnished. Good luck with that.

Always open the mail. If you see a collection company, look them up online right away. Or if you get a phone call from one, look them up online. The search results will usually be very helpful in finding out whether the collector is a regular and legit company. If you see a lot of bad stuff about the company, and lots of victims, you should probably think about a lawyer right away.

If you cannot go bankrupt to stop them (assuming they are really coming after you), then you should realize your assets may be taken from you. No bank account is safe. It would be wise to use a spouse’s accounts and make sure your name is not on them. This includes other assets too. They will not go away. If you have money, you can decide to fight them or pay them (even if you do not really owe anything). However, you will never see any money from them at court and agreeing to pay them usually gets you in more trouble as they will start going crazy with interest.

The judgment is the key, prevent that from happening and all they can do is illegal things to come after you. This is the best thing you can do. Most assets will be safe then, but you will still deal with intimidation and nightmare collections for a long time.

Write your state attorney general as soon as you hear from these people and they break any laws, or if they are going after debt you do not owe. Immediately. This will not really help, but if enough do it, it can cause the State Attorney to get off his or her fat ass and actually do something to help consumers from these scumbags. My guess is the SA will do nothing though.

Pray you never get a call or letter from Cadle. That is an omen of doom for you. You can win every battle, but you will lose the war unless you can afford 10s of thousands of dollars for litigation.


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