We have several PrariePops Authors gone into meatspace right now, so bare with sekan while we try to get through this. I know I’m not that entertaining. Rest assured that Iggy, fnord and others will be back! ~sekanblogger


 These are hard times for debt collectors. After all, who can pay their bills these days? Not Wall Street, Detroit, millions of homeowners, the rising number of jobless folks – not even several states and cities.
But, wait – here are some lively prospects for debt collectors: the dead. Yes, there’s a boom in dunning the deceased!
We’re not talking about collecting from big time debtors who still owe several hundred thousand dollars on their yacht. No, these are workaday people who died while still owing maybe a couple of hundred bucks on their bank credit card, health insurance, or utility payment. It’s not possible, of course, to squeeze money out of a corpse, so the target becomes the bereaved next of kin. “Hello, I’m very sorry for your loss, but there’s this $211.36 balance on your mother’s Visa, and we wondered who will be covering this?”
By the way, there is no legal requirement whatsoever that the debt of those who’ve passed on must be paid by relatives out of their own pockets. Thus, what the industry calls “deceased collections” requires a delicate dance to cajole money out of the family without actually demanding it. The industry actually rationalizes its work as a service to those who have departed. As one insider  asserts: “We want the dead to rest easy, knowing their obligations are taken care of.” How benevolent.
The actual work is done by a corps of specially trained agents working from cubicles in companies that specialize in this rather macabre fishing for cash. The job is so distasteful that about half of those hired quit within three months. Those who stick it out get such on-the-job stress relievers as yoga sessions, foosball games, free snacks and neck massages.
They tell us that we can’t escape death and taxes, but it appears that one more thing we can’t escape are debt collectors.


Filed under Economics, Populists, Weird news

8 responses to “DEATH, TAXES AND DEBT COLLECTORS – by Jim Hightower

  1. Don’t know if it made news nationally, we might have heard it because I live in a Bank of America company town, but did you hear the recording that was out of a BofA employee making one of these calls? Appalling.

  2. jammer5

    “Well, we did leave his wallet in his back pocket when we buried him. You might want to dig him up and see if there’s anything in it.”

  3. toddgilbeyreviews

    You see I would just have a axe by my front door so if they do turn up I’ll just ‘send them on my way’ after telling them not so be such incensative ‘derrier’s’!!

  4. tosmarttobegop

    Either I am too much like dad or he was too much like me. Either way he left without a single bill due.
    My self I have always loved those one sided conversations with a bill collector.
    I am honor and explain exactly why I can not pay the amount due and when I might be able to.
    Which generally is replied to with the standard line of “If you will just pay XXX dollars it will get you current!”.

    We continue this dance for another five rounds before I finally get mad enough to speak in a manner that leave no doubt as to where I am standing and who was stand in the place of their mother’s husband.
    I am equally gracious with telemarketers BTW. I took the time to inform my creditors of the situation I am in at the onset. So far they seem to be taking it into account, LOL so far my father-in-law has not been assailed since my mother-in-laws death. But he is so tight that he makes me look like a drunken college student when it comes to money. So there is not chance of mom having left any debt.

    BTW, now dad did get a ticket about a year after he died. My son-in-law had used a car that belong to dad and got in an accident.

  5. wicked

    I heard about this a couple of months ago. Can’t remember where. Radio? For sure.

    Supposedly, the callers are taught grief therapy before ever put on the phones. GRIEF THERAPY?! Oh, my word.

    And most people fall for it! “No, we sure don’t want dad to leave behind a legacy of a credit card bill. That would be abhorent! Besmirch his good name? Of course we’ll pay! How much do you want?”

    Hey, I’m crying in my beer (because I don’t drink it) for these CC companies. Truly. Just hiked my interest a few percent…right before Congress went to pass a new bill to keep them from doing it.

    When I divorced, we’d racked up thousands of $$$$$$ on credit cards. Yeah, really stupid. Sometimes you gotta learn the hard way. I was making payments each month on his, mine, and ours. No problem, but not getting ahead. Then the ex lost his job and I couldn’t scrounge up the money to pay each one even $5 a month. I was honest. Imagine the interest that mounted up. By the time they were calling every day FOR ALMOST A YEAR, I was in the midst of a divorce proceedings (not caused by credit card crap), and we were in the process of selling land to pay off debts and told them so. (That’s the way it is in Divorceland.) Out of at least a dozen companies, only one gave me grief. Let me give you the name of that company: Providian. And I’d never applied for a card from them, only got it because the previous CC company had sold out to them. They even screwed that up! Long story, but the land had an IRS lien on it, so it took some time, that’s why the year. In the meantime, I was served with court papers from the aformentioned buggers. Frantic, I called the attorney’s office in California that was listed on the court papers and explained the situation, calmly and clearly, with the promise to pay as soon as the sale check was in my hot little hand. They told me not to worry, but to get in touch with them as soon as I had the money.

    I paid off every single penny to each and every creditor, including the money order and Western Union fees to send it. Every bit of it.

    But if someone called me to ask me to pay off my mother’s credit card or any other debt? I’d laugh before hanging up. Hard. That’s the risk they take. Too bad, so sad.

    TMI? Sorry, I’m on a rant tonight. 🙂