I keep comments open forever on Workbench because the old blog entries here occasionally attract some interesting comments in the deluge of spam. A debt collector searching Google on Tuesday for the phrase debt collector sued for doing their job found my story on the $8.1 million judgment against a collector and posted an epic rant. The rant, which I've reprinted in full below, shows that debtor anger and the threat of being sued are getting to these bottom feeders. If you're bothered by calls from debt ... read more

J.P. Morgan Chase Credit Card customers have been unable to check credit card activity online or pay credit card bills for at least 12 hours Tuesday. Currently, customers trying to log into their accounts on Chase.Com get the message, "This website is temporarily unavailable. We're working quickly to restore access, and we encourage you to log on later. Thanks for your patience." The site offers customers access to credit card information, checking and online bill paying services. The credit card provider has 16.5 ... read more

The web site Credit Reporting & Debt Collection News claims that Chrystal A. Snow's $8.1 million debt collector judgment is a function of Texas law that would not be possible under the federal Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA): The FDCPA does NOT allow for PUNITIVE damages unless it is a CLASS ACTION. The lack of punitive damages is a MAJOR flaw in the FDCPA. Debt collectors and debt buyers have NOTHING to worry about in MOST states, with California and Texas being notable exceptions. The "up to" $1,000 ... read more

Lambert Strether, the founder of the liberal blog Corrente Wire, has suggested that my story on the woman who sued the debt collector might be a hoax: The story (cross-posted here) is sourced to a phone interview with the woman's lawyer, Ross Teter. The best I can find in a quick search is this court docket item. I would want to make very, very certain that this story isn't really a way of propagating links to the "credit repair" services and forums, whose links appear further down in the article. The name of the ... read more

At courthouses across the United States, it has become increasingly common during the economic downturn for lawsuits to be filed against consumers to collect old debts. Lawyers who specialize in the practice are filing thousands of suits on behalf of large firms that have acquired debts from other companies. Although most people don't fight the suits and lose them by default, a Dallas woman bucked the trend last October. Chrystal A. Snow challenged the validity of a $9,000 debt in a Dallas County Court-at-Law and ... read more

I recently changed phone numbers when I got a Google Android phone. The last owner of my number was a guy with several bill collectors on his ass. I just got an intimidating robocall from one of his debt collectors, which left the following message: This message is for [name removed]. You've been named as a person of interest in an important matter. You need to contact this office immediately or decisions will be made without your knowledge. Press 1 or call 888-772-4172, extension 1. I hate it when decisions are ... read more

Advanta, a credit card provider for small businesses, announced today that it is shutting down all one million of its customer accounts on May 30. As a longtime customer I was told today via email that I must stop using the cards in four days. The bank has reassured me, however, that I may keep paying the bill after that date. "You may continue to pay down your account balance over time, as allowed under your Advanta Business Card Agreement," the email states. Since Advanta has been jacking up interest rates like ... read more