Exploring the Debt Collection Industry

July 2, 2009

Join Us on New Consumer Forums!

Over the past year or so we’ve taken to using a forum format instead of the blog, so we’ve decided to close the blog to further comments. Instead, please come join the forum discussions about arbitration and debt collection:

Arbitration Justice

Debt Collectors Exposed

We look forward to seeing you there!

June 6, 2008

Arbitration Forum

Filed under: Arbitration Justice,Arbitration Justice — budhibbs @ 4:10 pm

It’s happening. The smell of arbitration is beginning to cause nostrils to twitch across the country. Business Week has a huge article on the subject this week, and ABC News just took on the NAF. We’ve been tinkering with the ArbitrationJustice.com website for awhile now and it’s done well in dry dock, but we need to push it out into the water and see what kind of rough seas it can handle.

And, for better or worse, we’ve added a forum. (Thanks for noticing, and no, we don’t know what we’re doing.) Who better to get it off the ground than the talented assortment of consumers, advisers and over-anxious brain power resting on this blog?

So come on over – lend your expertise, help us tweak this monster and see if we can’t put arbitration on the ropes.    Royce     http://www.arbitrationjustice.com

September 28, 2007

Exploring the Debt Collection Industry

Filed under: Arbitration Justice — budhibbs @ 8:41 am

 Exploring the Debt Collection Industry

Major Work Exposes Arbitration!

Filed under: Arbitration Justice,Arbitration Justice — budhibbs @ 8:30 am


How Credit Card Companies Ensnare Consumers

Here’s the definitive work exposing the evils of Arbitration. Kudos to Public Citizen’s Congress Watch.  Hard copies are available for $10. Details, and a  free downloadable version can be found at http://www.citizen.org

Make Sure Your Congressperson Reads This!

June 11, 2007

The Scam of Arbitration

Filed under: Arbitration Justice — budhibbs @ 4:13 pm

The Scam of Arbitration  

Debt collectors, junk debt buyers and bottom feeders are looking to enrich themselves through arbitration claims filed with the National Arbitration Forum, Minneapolis, MN. Some of the organizations filing arbitration claims include Wolpoff & Abramson, Baltimore, MD, Collect America (CACH & CACV) Denver, CO, Mann-Bracken, Atlanta, GA ,NCO Financial Systems, Baltimore, MD and Midland Credit Management.Arbitration is an area most consumers have little or no knowledge of and the system is set up to take advantage of that. The National Arbitration Forum (NAF) is biased in favor of those who file claims because their filing fee of $250/per account is what keeps them in business.To give you an idea of how this functions, let’s use our Washington bureaucracy for an illustration: NAF is the Congressional representative writing laws. Debt buyers are the lobbyists looking for favorable results on their investments.  They write a check to the NAF, the arbitration claim is filed, the NAF pays a local lawyer to rubber stamp awards in favor of the debt buyer and just like Washington, they make a ton of money, while you get screwed. Sound familiar?The attorneys they use are from your local area (with exceptions) who are also paid a fee of $250/hour with the expectation they will handle up to six claims per hour. Do the math, does this sound ethical? The arbitrators rubber stamp their approval, many lie and sign statements that are false and perjured so they can stay on the money side of the NAF.

The arbitration process conducted by the NAF is a corrupt system of big bucks designed to screw the consumer who is mostly kept in the dark about the process and how it evolves. I have seen many awards where attorneys lied in their statements just so they could collect the $250/fee. (Does this sound like a lobbying organization?)

There are ways to take on this corrupt system and turn the tables on the National Arbitration Forum and the lawyers they pay to make awards against you they may not be entitled to. A national group of consumer attorneys is fighting the arbitration system head-on.

If you are threatened with, or served an arbitration claim get in touch with me for assistance and referral to an expert who can assist you. If you fail to respond to an arbitration claim, it could eventually end up with a judgment against you, so the time to take action is when you are threatened or served.

Contact us at: budhibbs@budhibbs.com assistance

February 19, 2007

ABC News: Debt Collectors Gone Wild

Filed under: Debt Collection Industry — impishredhead @ 10:54 am


Debt Collectors Gone Wild
January 18, 2007 12:15 PM

Brian Ross and Joseph Rhee Report:

Despite tough government regulations protecting people against abusive debt collectors, a three-month ABC News investigation found many unscrupulous collectors routinely ignore the law.

Listen to a series of audio recordings from abusive debt collectors, and read their transcripts.

Consumers around the country have taped threatening phone calls from collectors who have called in the middle of the night, used abusive language and have threatened to have people fired from work or thrown in jail. All of these tactics are illegal under federal law.

Listen to another audio recording of one phone call from a debt collector, and read its transcript.

Former debt collector Mike Flannagan, however, told ABC News, “Mean works better than nice,” and many collectors prey on consumers’ ignorance of the law.

According to Flannagan, “If I call you every day, and I bust your chops every day, and I progressively threaten you, and I progressively get meaner…the more likely you’re going to pay me.” Flannagan says he eventually quit the industry in disgust with himself.

To learn more on how to protect yourself against an abusive debt collector, watch the Brian Ross 20/20 report this Friday on ABC News.

Rozanne Andersen of ACA International, the trade group for the collection industry, says the vast majority of debt collectors follow the law and that the image of the bullying, abusive collector is an old stereotype. According to Anderson, “A debt collector is not the enemy of the consumer. His or her job is to help find a solution and help the person figure out a way to pay the debt.”

Click Here for Full Blotter Coverage.

A report on the debt collection industry issued by the Federal Trade Commission, however, found that consumers filed a record number of complaints against collectors in 2005, up 14 percent from the previous year. According to the FTC, the 66,627 debt collection complaints were more than were received against any other industry and yet “represents a relatively small percentage of the total number of consumers who actually encounter problems with debt collectors.”

By far, the most common complaint to the FTC was from people who say they were pursued for payment over charges they did not owe.

In the case of Loida Ripdos of Minneapolis, Minn., even after she filed a police report about a case of identity theft, debt collectors continued to hound her to pay a $1,200 credit card bill for an account someone had opened in her name. While six companies stopped their collection efforts, one firm called Apex Financial made a collection call that Ripdos felt contained an implied threat to her life.

Listen to the Apex phone call to Loida Ripdos, and read its accompanying transcript.

According to Ripdos, “I was crying when the phones ended. I was, you know, scared, because I was alone at the time.”

Apex Financial said the collector was fired for other reasons, and that the actions by one Apex collector caught on tape “should not cast a shadow upon the hard work and ethical conduct” of other Apex debt collectors.

Listen to a recording of a message left on the machine of a consumer in the early hours one morning, and read its transcript.

Recordings, comments and more: http://blogs.abcnews.com/theblotter/2007/01/debt_collectors.html

November 10, 2006

Marauder and Ryon Gambill Exposed

Filed under: Debt Collection Industry — budhibbs @ 2:30 pm

For those of you who are unaware of who Marauder Corp. is, you might find this new site entertaining at the very least, and hopefully educational in keeping consumers from falling victim to America’s Dumbest Collector.   http://marauderexposed.com/

August 30, 2006

Credit Bureau Reporting:

Filed under: Credit Bureau — budhibbs @ 2:39 pm

The federal law that governs placement of information on your credit files is called the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA). It is used mainly to control the flow of information by the credit bureaus. When dealing with the credit bureaus do NOT ever be mistaken that they make their money off selling information about you to others, in the chain of importance, consumers and their problems are almost always at the bottom. Most will not anything beyond cursory obligations until/unless a lawsuit is filed. Anyone who thinks the credit bureaus; Experian, Trans union and Equifax are their friends, will be sadly mistaken. Just like politicians, they go where the money flows and we jus don’t count.

Most consumers have little idea of what actions can be taken when information is placed on their credit bureau reports. Many consumers do not realize that the cardholder’s agreement that governs your credit card agreement can also be enforced by any subsequent collector/holder/purchaser of that agreement. It is not unusual today, to see the very same account being reported multiple times on your credit reports by these various collectors.

A bigger problem encountered by consumers is the frustration of having debt buyers place information that is false and changing dates to keep those portfolio’s alive for longer than the law allows. Some of the problems incurred that affect most consumers are:

        -Multiple placement of the same accounts
        -Changing dates of last activity
        -Refusal to update payments
        -Placement of ‘Bogus Accounts’ by debt buyers
        -Not showing accounts that are disputed

When the original creditor charges an account to profit & loss (P&L), that fact can legally be reported on your credit for seven years. That seven years starts and stops when you make payments with an item called the ‘Date of Last Activity (DOLA).’ One of the arguments about paying a debt collector is that you suffer again by restarting that DOLA, which would cause the negative item to fall off at seven years. Each owner/holder/collector of an account can join the credit bureaus as a ‘subscriber’ which allows them to report information (for a fee) and pull your credit reports. The FCRA states that all information they report MUST be ‘accurate’ which is defined as “precise.”

You, as a consumer, have the right to dispute the validity of anything on your credit reports that is not accurate, which is supposed to effect the removal of inaccurate information. I recommend to anyone who finds information on reports they do not recognize to immediately dispute it with the credit bureaus as not my account.

Many debt buyers are known to change the dates of last activity in an attempt to give new life to old accounts that may be time barred by state and federal statutes. Most often we receive complaints on the following:  

       First American Investment Company,  Asset Acceptance Corporation, Unifund Partners, CCR, NCO Financial Services, Shekinah, Inc., Account Management Services, GMK, Inc., Arrow Financial, Client Services, Inc., Global Acceptance Credit Co., MKM, Inc., RJM Inc., LVNV Funding, Midland Credit Management, Palisades Collections, Redline Recovery, Wolpoff & Abramson associated entities, Zenith Acquisitions and many more.

The good news is there is now a national group of consumer attorneys who are available to assist you in going after them. In 2005, one major debt collector was booted out of Experian because of complaints and lawsuits filed by consumers. It is very important that voice your complaints regarding these slimy debt collectors who use the credit bureaus as a form of blackmail or extortion to collect monies they are not entitled to.

There is an excellent site where the BEST consumer attorneys in America are ready to assist you and they do not even have to reside in your state as FCRA litigation is federal.

Go to:  www.MyFairDebt.com

Tell me what you think.

August 28, 2006


Filed under: Collectors Chime In — budhibbs @ 11:22 am

One of the bigger drawbacks to having a blog that moves so rapidly (thanks Frank!) is Bud is unable to tackle these comments as they come in.  As the Blogmaster, I can parse some of the information, but when they include inaccurate or incomplete information (like the debate on Bud’s name, the “Wire-tapping Charge” or the lawsuit against the phone company) it makes it difficult to keep the conversation on the same level. 

There’s an old saying “A lie can get halfway around the world before the truth can get its shoes tied.”  That’s appropriate here. 

Now, having said all that, Bud has responded to “Collectors Chime In” from the top to the bottom, and the “Debt Collection Industry” portions of the blog, but not yet to the threads generated from the BlogMasters Comments.  So to be fair, glance through some of those older posts and see if the Bold BUD HIBBS RESPONDS answers some of those questions.

August 24, 2006

Inside/Outside View from the Blogmaster

Filed under: Collectors Chime In — budhibbs @ 10:51 am

I have a unique perspective to this industry as I deal with consumers and collectors daily.  Both are angry.

The collectors rise up in dozens of emails daily defending their position and their actions.  After all, Budhibbs.com is attacking their livelihood, and no doubt when a consumer on the phone mentions he saw a collector on the website and their reputation was less than stellar, it has to complicate the collector’s task.

Someone commented in this blog that if everyone held to the law, a Bud Hibbs wouldn’t exist.  That’s probably true.  The decent collectors – those ACA members who don’t abuse their positions, who follow the FDCPA and collect within the confines of the law rarely complain about Bud Hibbs or his website.

But for every law-abiding collection agency, there’s one which sprang up overnight – lured by easy money and the anonymity of the phone.  For them, the FDCPA is wasted paper; the FTC has no authority and the State’s Attorney General is too busy with legitimate crime to worry about phone harassment, misunderstandings and so on.  It’s these get-rich-quick outfits that have given the entire collection industry a black eye.

From this office, we see the laws broken, the suits filed and settled, the abuse, the lies and the efforts engaged to collect on 10-12 year old time-barred, out of statue debts.  Often, these are re-collection attempts on debts that have been paid.  It’s these monstrous agencies the Budhibbs.com site works to expose.

Much of what is written on the site is called hyperbole and exzaggeration; but much of it comes from the same collectors who six months earlier are cussing us out for making their job so difficult.  When they are fired or come to their senses, the first thing they do is contact us with the inside scoop.  The amount of information passing through here daily is staggering.  If what ultimately gets posted is so far out of line, why aren’t the collectors suing to have it taken down?  Their own documents don’t lie. (Well, actually, their own documents do lie, so they probably don’t want them brought up in court.)

In my experience, the collectors who scream the loudest are usually the ones who are most outside the law.  Our consumer emails run as high as 800 per day; it doesn’t take a rocket scientist to match up complaints against violators.

Was it Frank who said “wield the sword, expect the sword to be used against you?”  Bud gets the sword swung his way more than you might imagine.  Ask any Buffalo (suspect) collector – and they’ll tell you Bud collected next to them as recently as 6 months ago.  Or that he ran up huge debt and had his life ruined by debt collectors, vowing to take vengance.  Or how about that DUI – Bud doesn’t drink, but there is a Bud Hibbs in south Texas with a violation.  Wiretapping?  Not quite. Read the documents and see who prevailed in that action. Not his real name?  Asked and answered now for over 30 years.

Bud has no problem with collectors that obey the law.  Debt buyers claim you owe the money.  Yes, but to whom?  Does that mere fact allow the law to be circumvented?

Debt buyers and agencies DO spring up overnight – it’s very lucrative.  And because three or four agencies may be working the same tired paper, the consumer is getting carpetbombed with little advice or help.  The Budhibbs.com site exists to provide a map to the hidden minefields.

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