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Debt Collectors Use Public Shaming To Collect Money

samzenpus posted more than 4 years ago | from the pay-up-sucker dept.

The Almighty Buck 8

Being unable to pay your bills is a terrible feeling, but it could be worse. You could be in debt in Spain. Instead of harassing phone calls or threatening letters, Spanish debt collectors are using public shaming to get their money. Some of the things the debt collectors have tried include: sending a man in a tuxedo and top hat who follows you around everywhere, and men dressed up like superheroes who ask your neighbors to help you out of your bad financial situation. One of the biggest collection agencies, El Cobrador del Frac, which translates to "The Debt Collector in Top Hat and Tails," employs more than 250 shame collectors. Mr. Granda El Cobrador del Frac's manager says, "The government and justice system don't do anything ... and people think they can get away with anything. We are here to do public justice. I see us as sort of Robin Hoods. We are helping honest clients get their rightful money back. I do not feel sorry for these professional debtors. I feel sorry for our clients who have to close their businesses and whose families might go hungry because these bad people don't pay."

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But (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31231254)

This works very well, as long as they do not accidentally target the wrong people. My friend got a new cell phone number and he gets constant calls from collection agencies because the previous holder of the number owed money.

Re:But (2, Informative)

Qubit (100461) | more than 4 years ago | (#31233048)

My friend got a new cell phone number and he gets constant calls from collection agencies because the previous holder of the number owed money.

1. Ask the collection agency for their name, and ask for the name of the person calling.
Now you can ID them.
2. Inform the collection agency that the number no longer belongs to that party, and that you do not wish to use any of their services or have any further business relationship with them. Notify them that future communications from them will be regarded as harassment and they will be taken to (small claims?) court.

Obviously you'll have to take this step for each one of the different agencies, but keep good records. I believe that a sympathetic judge would rule in your favor, and with any luck you have the treble-damages thing, so you'll get good money back from them. Given that they approached you and are taking up your time with this crap, I'd bill them a reasonable consultant fee for semi-skilled labor, say, $50/hour or so, billed in increments of half an hour (and yes, I'd count every phone message they leave on your answering machine).

So if a given agency calls 3-4 times in one month, that's
1st call -> you notify them ($0 fee)
2nd call -> notify again ($25)
3rd call -> notify ($50)
4th call -> notify ($75).

If you have treble damages, that would come out to 3 * $75 = $225.
They'll probably stop calling after that...

Re:But (1)

Capt.DrumkenBum (1173011) | more than 4 years ago | (#31245698)

Seems like too much trouble.

I use them as free therapy. When they call I just unleash all my days frustrations on them. It feels wonderful.
For the record I do not owe them any money.

Re:But (1)

Locke2005 (849178) | more than 4 years ago | (#31246370)

And when they don't pay, you can always refer the account to a debt collection agency!

Could You See It in the U.S.? (1)

flyneye (84093) | more than 4 years ago | (#31237008)

Some super hero goes to the hood to collect money Tyrone owes Rent-a-Center on a bad debt for a flat panel T.V.
Supeman gets mugged and beaten by Tyrones neighbors and to add insult to injury, gets his car stolen.
Later that evening on the porch, with a 40 of Old English 800, Tyrone is first amused at the story, then pissed that he didn't get a chance at some of the loot.

Better ways (1)

frosty_tsm (933163) | more than 4 years ago | (#31237436)

There are better ways to protect against "professional debtors." It's called a credit score. Not perfect, but it helps prevent the bad loan in the first place.

Must not be a high-paying job (1)

mister_playboy (1474163) | more than 4 years ago | (#31237486)

These guys must work for low pay in order to make such a scheme profitable.

Robin Hood? (1)

FormerUpper (908582) | more than 4 years ago | (#31245440)

I don't remember Robin Hood robbing from the poor to give to the rich.

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