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THERE’S HELP TO FIX THE DEBT COLLECTION MESS

Who knew debt collections could be such a messy enterprise? The law firm of Frederick J. Hanna & Associates was hit with a $3.1 million charge for illegally filing debt collection lawsuits against consumers and using “deceptive court filings and faulty evidence.”

In another case, JP Morgan Chase was forced to pay over $200million to settle regulators’ claims that the bank wrongfully collected credit card payments from hundreds of thousands of consumers, subjecting them to collections activity for accounts that weren’t theirs and in amounts that weren’t correct or not collectable.

Unfortunately, these aren’t isolated cases. There are many more examples of these bad debt-collection practices. Here are a few of the problems:

  • Lost/missing paperwork
  • Wrongful collections
  • Double collections
  • Harassment
  • Mandatory arbitration


To compound the situation, there’s very little recourse for current or former debtors who have paid off loans but don’t have a way to prove it.

The good news is that technology can help with these issues. With a self-service portal, debtors can adjust their payments proactively, which helps the original creditor get repaid without feeling like they need to seek out a collections agency.

Another possible improvement is the usage of a centralized database where both consumers and collectors can quickly check the records. With better record keeping and documentation, we could see a massive reduction in fraud, double-dealing, and other collection abuses that plague the system right now.

See Financial Forensic Services improving the landscape for debtors. Global Debt Registry keeps and audit trail to help both consumers and collectors know what’s occurred with a particular debt – and it also allows consumers to receive “extinguishment reports” after they’ve paid their debt.

Currently, both misinformed and unscrupulous collectors are making it harder on honest customers. In instances where debt has already been charged off, sold, or released, consumers are still being intimidated into paying something they don’t really owe. That’s why a national registry and extinguishment report would be so valuable, as consumers would have a reliable way to prove that they paid off their debt in court – and long before the case every goes to court.

Being able to prove that they paid off their debt would be a huge win for consumers!

Another issue the industry faces is how much the state debt collection laws vary. The purpose of documentation for an account is to make sure you collect the right amount from the right person – and that you have authority to to collect that debt. A national registry would help immensely, because right now, it’s hard for a consumer to verify whether a debt collector is telling the truth. It’s also hard for most consumers to remember which company they payed off debt to, or how much the debt was – so when a creditor comes knocking, they’re pretty helpless to defend themselves.

Granted, these technological solutions aren’t cure-alls for the many problems facing the debt collection industry, but they’re definitely a step in the right direction for well-intentioned debt collectors and honest consumers. There are so many chances for errors to occur that it makes sense to have a robust system for equitable record keeping and communication. Hopefully we see the proposed changes come to fruition in the near future.

Copyright all rights reserved. Financial Forensic Services, LLC 2020 Brief quotation with attribution permitted. 

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Financial Forensic Services, LLC is proud to staff Certified Fraud Examiners

Testimonial

“They went overboard in providing excellent service. I was very pleased with what they provided for me as their end product. Financial Forensic Services really understands how a case needs to be put together in order to be presented to a jury. Their PowerPoint presentation tied everything together. It was thorough, it was concise, and it got the job done.”

Jim Thomas
, Prosecuting Attorney

2014-11-11T18:21:32+00:00

Jim Thomas
, Prosecuting Attorney

“They went overboard in providing excellent service. I was very pleased with what they provided for me as their end product. Financial Forensic Services really understands how a case needs to be put together in order to be presented to a jury. Their PowerPoint presentation tied everything together. It was thorough, it was concise, and it got the job done.”

“When I was general counsel for First Interstate Bank, I used Joe Dickerson for locating assets, investigating behavior and asset discovery. He did excellent work and always got the information I needed without compromising the bank in any way. He’s more thorough and kept in better touch with me than other investigators. I’d give him a grade of 96 or 97 out of 100.”

Frank Brainerd, Retired
Banker/Attorney

2014-11-11T18:20:20+00:00

Frank Brainerd, Retired
Banker/Attorney

“When I was general counsel for First Interstate Bank, I used Joe Dickerson for locating assets, investigating behavior and asset discovery. He did excellent work and always got the information I needed without compromising the bank in any way. He’s more thorough and kept in better touch with me than other investigators. I’d give him a grade of 96 or 97 out of 100.”

” I was prepared to dismiss a federal case involving millions of dollars against a local individual who claimed to have no substantial assets. After your staff hit the records and delved into the transactions behind the transactions, you discovered the individual to actually be worth a few million dollars. We continued the case to conclusion. We were also very happy with the financial background examinations you conducted of the former directors of two failed national banks. The heart of any civil case is whether there is a pot at the end of the lawsuit. You were our lucky leprechaun in finding such pots.”

R. Michael Sentel
, Former Section Chief Legal Division, FDIC

2014-11-11T18:13:08+00:00

R. Michael Sentel
, Former Section Chief Legal Division, FDIC

” I was prepared to dismiss a federal case involving millions of dollars against a local individual who claimed to have no substantial assets. After your staff hit the records and delved into the transactions behind the transactions, you discovered the individual to actually be worth a few million dollars. We continued the case to conclusion. We were also very happy with the financial background examinations you conducted of the former directors of two failed national banks. The heart of any civil case is whether there is a pot at the end of the lawsuit. You were our lucky leprechaun in finding such pots.”

“Financial Forensic Services did an excellent job in the way they executed my case. They were very straightforward. They stated what they could do for us and they did it. And, from a personal standpoint, they are excellent. Both my wife and I felt very comfortable working with them.”

Michael Whalen, 
Businessman

2014-11-11T18:21:13+00:00

Michael Whalen, 
Businessman

“Financial Forensic Services did an excellent job in the way they executed my case. They were very straightforward. They stated what they could do for us and they did it. And, from a personal standpoint, they are excellent. Both my wife and I felt very comfortable working with them.”

“Joe Dickerson is the industry standard. You can measure the rest by what he does, and I say that without equivocation. Joe has incredible insight into the dark world of fraud. He understands the devious ways in which people perpetrate white-collar crime.”

Jan Schlichtman
, Attorney at Law

2014-11-11T18:20:55+00:00

Jan Schlichtman
, Attorney at Law

“Joe Dickerson is the industry standard. You can measure the rest by what he does, and I say that without equivocation. Joe has incredible insight into the dark world of fraud. He understands the devious ways in which people perpetrate white-collar crime.”

“Joe is the most competent investigator I’ve ever found. He has rare ability to find hidden assets. Others claim it, Joe has it. He understands the Rules of Evidence, he knows how to talk to people to develop a fact pattern, and he has a sixth sense for fraud. Joe has unquestioned integrity and delivers value for his services.”

Andrew Quiat
, Attorney

2014-11-11T18:12:51+00:00

Andrew Quiat
, Attorney

“Joe is the most competent investigator I’ve ever found. He has rare ability to find hidden assets. Others claim it, Joe has it. He understands the Rules of Evidence, he knows how to talk to people to develop a fact pattern, and he has a sixth sense for fraud. Joe has unquestioned integrity and delivers value for his services.”

“As an environmental law firm, we use Joe Dickerson to locate prior business owners and do corporate genealogies. He is persistent, that’s the key to a good investigator, and he has a knack for understanding how people move money and do business. That tells him what rocks to look under. Joe is vastly superior to other investigators in two ways: he lets you know what’s going on and he’s honest with you, because he tells you if there’s really anything there worth pursuing. He is unusually thorough and creative finding people. Joe has earned his fee every time.” “If the information is to be found, then I believe that they will find it. Their service enabled me to do a much better job for my client.”

Tim Gabelhouse
, Attorney at Law

2014-11-11T18:20:41+00:00

Tim Gabelhouse
, Attorney at Law

“As an environmental law firm, we use Joe Dickerson to locate prior business owners and do corporate genealogies. He is persistent, that’s the key to a good investigator, and he has a knack for understanding how people move money and do business. That tells him what rocks to look under. Joe is vastly superior to other investigators in two ways: he lets you know what’s going on and he’s honest with you, because he tells you if there’s really anything there worth pursuing. He is unusually thorough and creative finding people. Joe has earned his fee every time.” “If the information is to be found, then I believe that they will find it. Their service enabled me to do a much better job for my client.”

“Joe spends the time to understand the problem from the client’s perspective and from the legal perspective. He is intelligent, tenacious, willing to work as hard as it takes, thorough, well-informed, and just awfully good at what he does.”

Thomas E. Root, 
Attorney

2014-11-11T18:20:05+00:00

Thomas E. Root, 
Attorney

“Joe spends the time to understand the problem from the client’s perspective and from the legal perspective. He is intelligent, tenacious, willing to work as hard as it takes, thorough, well-informed, and just awfully good at what he does.”