August 09, 2011
What is a debt buyer?
So what is a debt buyer?
Debt buyer – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.
In the context of debt collection and debt collection lawsuits, a debt buyer is a company, individual even a law firm who buys charged-off debts, usually for pennies on the dollar, and attempts to collect the full face value of the debt. For example, large debt buyers such as Encore Capital (known to Defendant consumers as “Midland Funding”) or Portfolio Recovery Associates buy large portfolios of charged-off debts, usually thousands of accounts at a time from major banks and credit card issuers such as Chase Bank and Citibank. They systemically score these accounts on probability of collection, whether or not the debtor has assets, and filing thousands of lawsuits against consumers to collect on those debts. It’s an extremely profitable business for them.
As you read this definition, think of a yacht crossing turbulent ocean waters when it comes upon a lone man adrift in the waves. The man, exhausted from the ordeal since his ship wrecked and he was lost at sea, reaches up his arm toward the safety of the oncoming ship. Slowly, a sturdy hand reaches down from the bow of the yacht toward the man’s arm outstretched for help, and the hand from the yacht quickly unstraps the watch attached to the drowning man’s arm. The yacht then sails away leaving the man to drown.
This industry is ruthless. Now, similar comments could be made of the credit card companies that initially issued the credit at exorbitant interest rates, but this is something different. These debt buyers take very little risk in their activities, seek to maximize profits through intimidation, abuse of the legal system, and a steadfast refusal to acknowledge that any debt they buy might not in fact be valid or substantiated by documentation.
Should you or a loved one ever have the misfortune to cross paths with these debt buyers, do not believe a word that they utter. Maintain documents they send to you and insist that they prove every single allegation they make regarding a debt that they claim you owe. The more you make this demand, the more you can expect them to try to bully you, intimidate you, or demean you. There are resources available to help you defend yourself. Seek knowledgeable counsel and do your homework. These companies can be held accountable, but you must be vigilant.