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Bad Paper: Chasing Debt from Wall Street to the Underworld MP3 CD – Unabridged, 14 October 2014
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About the Author
Qarie has narrated over 30 series for the Discovery, Learning Channels & The BBC, as well as providing the inflight programming for Virgin Atlantic Airlines & BBC radio plays. He has voiced over 80 video games for the Playstation & Xbox, and was a guest voice on Comedy Central's Drawn Together. He was made an Associate Artist of The Purple Rose Theatre in 2007.
- Publisher : Dreamscape Media; Unabridged edition (14 October 2014)
- Language : English
- ISBN-10 : 1629238813
- ISBN-13 : 978-1629238814
- Reading age : 18 years and up
- Dimensions : 15.34 x 2.87 x 12.8 cm
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This is not an economics thesis or a sociology project, it’s a fast-paced survey of the field through the eyes of
• the kind of people who invest in the debt collection business (represented here by the rather patrician Aaron Siegel and his backers),
• the characters who do the collecting (they come in a wide spectrum and are represented here by reformed felon Brandon Wilson and his family who work the phones for him, the barely-subsisting Jimmy who cannot afford to ask if the paper he’s buying is good, the totally unscrupulous Bill who will happily chase after debt that’s already been resolved, and many more!)
• the bottom-of-the-barrel lawyers , such as Sherwin P. Robin of Savannah, GA, who successfully collect amounts in the low thousands from the destitute on behalf of corporates, mainly because the law by default sides with the creditor, thereby actually indenturing them to their creditors, sometimes for decades, and
• the fodder of the system, represented here by former marine Theresa and domestic abuse victim Joanna, both of whom fell on hard times and were easy candidates to be conned, first by predatory lenders and then by unscrupulous collection agencies
The author introduces you to all these characters, their back story, how they ended up in debt / in the business of collecting the debt and by the time you’ve finished reading the book you have a very good idea of how it’s all stitched together.
Will spare you the suspense, the answer is “very poorly,” on Microsoft Excel spreadsheets of names and amounts that banks, credit card issuers, car loan companies, phone companies etc. sell with zero strings attached to the highest bidder, who will hassle the delinquent borrowers for all they’re worth and, more often than not, will trade the spreadsheets on, sometimes even at a profit!
The author does not trade in outrage, he leaves that to the reader. He actually empathizes with the members of this peculiar fauna of traders, hustlers and hasslers, but equally he recognizes and insists that we have a duty as a society to do better.
I read Bad Paper in one sitting!
Halpern appears to have wrangled a level of access and trust from the insiders that seems unthinkable as the federal government threatens to expand the institutional creep of the CFPB. His unblinking portrayal of some of the individuals that have been on the other side of the table is unvarnished yet still surprising in some regards. In some instances, Halpern almost makes these human stories come alive with an unwelcome sympathy.
Sometimes redundant, often a tad disorganized, Bad Paper may not be destined to become a lasting portrait of the Great Recession. At the risk of revealing my own bias, Halpern missed the opportunity to really plumb the plight of those who are hounded by the industry. It is however, a revealing and surprisingly interesting read. For those of us in the trenches, it is a fascinating journey into enemy territory.
Credit card companies, credit reporting agencies, Banks, Payday Loaners,Finance Companies, Landlords, etc. are the source and Bill Collectors are the hired guns going after good people. Bad Debt & Loans that have been "written off" as tax deductible expenses are bought for pennies on the dollar.!! Millions of people suffer needlessly (worry-depression-anxiety-broken marriages-broken families-and more) because of these white collar thugs..Millions of dollars are collected from folks who could easily tell these "bill collecters" to go to Hades! Imagine your poor old widowed Mother receivng a call in the middle of the night or all day long hounding her over an invlid debt..this is criminal. .
If you owe the debt, pay it? Sounds righteous. BUT WAIT..there is a lot more to it than that....a spiders web of sticky traps await you if you do that after the colector comes a callin.
All the alleged debtor has to do is write a note demanding no phone calls and they must stop! , Then ask for actual DETAILED TRANSACTION REPORT for copies of contracts, payments, debits, etc..most of the time The Collector does not even have them...bingo no Valid Debt! Most collection claimants CANNOT EVEN VALIDATE the debt!!! Innocent people are too embarrased, afraid, or ignorant to appear in court where they would win their case by asking for simple validation of a debt.Or how about The Statute of Limitations..6-7 years in most states...but the thugs go after 10-20 year old debts that are not legally valid? Worse yet,..How about the bullies with the Credit Reporting Agencies ..ever try to fix an error with them?..ain't gonna happen in a reasonable and prudent manner!? No justice there. In plain English they are all in total cahoots with the Finance parties along with, Attorneys, Congress, FED Reserve, State governments , and corrupt politicians who are paid to ignore, obfuscate, delay or pervert consumer rights.
The thugs are bad enough, but much worse,they are enabled by corrupt Fed and State Government , politicians, Credit reporting agencies,courts..the whole system. It is time for a change.
I don't trust any of them. Yes, in case you were wondering, I was angry before reading the book!
was a lot of "debt buying" and shady collection practices, but the full story is not something they teach in law school, or in continuing legal education classes. And it is amazing how often lawsuits are brought without any real proof of the amount owed
or who owns the debt.
The author does not suggest any changes to make the system more fair to debtors, but he does get you to thinking. For instance, shouldn't our courts be open in the evenings and on weekends, with a defendant entitled to the option of appearing at a time that doesn't involve having to take time off from work? And shouldn't plaintiffs have to actually prove their case even if it is a default hearing?