I wrote an article a while back titled 5 Reasons NOT to Pay Your Credit Cards. Understandably, many e-mails came in asking, "But what happens if I don't pay?"
Just as the Mafia has their collections department, so do the banks. A Mafia enforcer might employ a pipe to the knee, threats to your family, or other nefarious means of collecting debts for the boss. Much the same, collections agencies use guilt, the credit rating system, threats of legal action, and many tools of harassment and deceit from their bag of tricks.
If you are one of the many who have fallen into the hands of the enforcement division of the banking cartel, there is good news: they are not the true Mafia. There is not much they can do to you or your family that their boss the credit card companies haven't already done. The best suggestion is to ignore them until you plan a proper strategy to defend yourself.
Here are 5 reasons to ignore collection agencies:
- Realize that you are not defined by your credit rating: Americans have become accustomed to revealing their credit rating practically by way of introduction. Realize that this is a number, and not your identity: the higher the number the more virtuous, honorable, hard-working, and moral you are supposed to be. Rather, it is has produced a type of caste system where a bad credit score can render one untouchable by potential employers. This system encourages class distinction based on economic viability and should not be encouraged by submitting to it.
- Their bankster bosses manufactured the economic collapse: Never forget who created this problem to begin with. And they haven't suffered a bit -- thanks to we the taxpayers. Big banks already have seen the return of pre-credit-crisis profits. But they are still not happy; now they want more, even from those who have paid on time. While small and mid-size banks struggle, or are eliminated, the large banks that benefitted most from the taxpayer bailouts continue to consolidate wealth with record profits, as the rest of the nation suffers.
- Understand that unsecured debts carry no obligation: This gets into the realm of rather complex contractual law, so one should do their own research and receive legal advice where necessary. In the most basic sense, collection efforts are regulated under the Fair Debt Collections Practices Act. Under this Act, the collection agency must obtain the consent of the debtor to accept the obligation to pay this third party that has provided no services or products. Essentially, the moment your debts are turned over to collections, your true obligation to pay the original debts has been released. This is probably why this zombie debt is sold to collection agencies for as low as three cents on the dollar. But you are expected to pay back the full amount, of course.
- These agencies often use fear and harassment: We all desire a way to feed our families, but the collection agency business truly is a racket, and anyone making their living this way is supportive of a criminal endeavor on many levels. Their tactics only reinforce the criminal element, as they have been documented to utilize unethical, unprofessional, and even illegal means to force cooperation. By law, they are not supposed to contact family members, friends, or employers, but this practice has become almost routine. Many reports have been issued about the verbal abuse that often ensues, including profanity. They have been known to lie, citing their "right" to seize your property for non-payment. The last resort is the threat of legal action. These people have no power other than their words. You shouldn't even be on the phone long enough to hear their threats and abuse.
- You might not be free even if you pay them: There are countless forums describing countless collection agency horror stories. One forum I found addresses one of the more notorious agencies, NCB. I was able to obtain the company's Pennsylvania office phone number, which led to a more specific thread documenting first-hand experiences. This company is known to be one of the worst, and even has allegedly been tied to identity theft. Additionally, a fair amount of people have reported that they still were hounded for payment even after paying their debt. Because of the increased competition in debt collections -- and so many new agencies coming and going -- there are many abuses of the FDCP. Please read the thread and judge for yourself.
Learn your lesson well: First, accept responsibility for believing that money grows on trees. Yes, the system used every weapon in its arsenal to sidestep common sense and logic, but realize this creature for what it is: debt slavery. Make a commitment never to send yourself willingly to the clutches of the racket known as unsecured credit. Forget the 67" plasma 3-D TV if you don't have the cash for it (and plenty to spare); and forget any purchase that does more for them than it does for you. Resolve yourself to understand this system and to teach your children what they invariably will not learn in school. The textbook is The Creature From Jekyll Island; the movie, The Money Masters.
Above all, realize that there is not much that they can do to you and your family if you ignore them. There have been reports of successful court judgments using an end-around civil contempt of court charge (leading to a limited return of debtors' prisons), but the economy has fallen too far, too fast. They can't lock up the 1 in 3 Americans who have serious financial problems. They only can prey upon your pride, your honor, your ignorance, and your fear.
Please share your own stories in the comments section to help others learn as much as possible about this system, and what we can do to protect ourselves from these henchmen and the bosses they serve.
5 Reasons NOT to Pay Your Credit Cards
10 Ways You're Being Fleeced by Banks
Our Future in Chains: The For-Profit Debtors' Prison System