04 Jul Confessions of a Debt Collector: How I Violated the FDCPA, and Why
This is an excellent video posted to YouTube by prominent FDCPA attorney Peter Barry and taken from his appearance on the Mike and Juliet Show, a morning television show produced by Fox. The video is interesting and instructive for several reasons. It starts out with interviews of consumers who have been victims of unethical debt collection. They suffered numerous indignities at the hands of over-zealous debt collectors; the second woman interviewed even believes that her chances for a promotion at her company may have been substantially impaired by calls from debt collectors to her co-workers. The program continues with an interview of Attorney Pete Barry who indicates that the industry has been out of control since 1977, which is the reason that Congress passed the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act in 1978.
The highlight of the segment is a “confession” by a former debt collector. He admits that he underwent training which emphasized compliance with the requirements of the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act prior to beginning his tenure as a collector. However, he says his training was “thrown out the window” once he began making a living at collecting, mainly due to the fact that as a collector, his income was based upon performance, i.e., the more money he successfully collected, the bigger his paycheck was. The temptation to violate the FDCPA to earn more money was evidently too great to turn down, and he suggests that this is a fact that is endemic to the collection industry; breaking the law apparently very protifable for debt collectors.
Appearing at the bottom of this post is Part Two of the segment. Part Two is noteworthy for the interview of Rozanne Andersen, Executive Vice President and General Counsel for the Association of Credit and Collection Professionals, aka ACA International. She believes that the industry will begin to self-regulate successfully, a claim which Attorney Barry believes is dubious.
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