Debt Collection is a Social Justice Issue

When banks screw up, they get bail-outs and promotions. When you do, you get subjected to an elaborate rip-off system and called bad names by strangers. Stand up for your rights.

Anybody who has ever been to a court that handles debt cases has been impressed by what a travesty of justice the scene presents. People are herded in in large groups, and then there’s a cattle call. It goes like this:

Judge: “John Smith? … John Smith?”

Lawyer for debt collector: “Ask for default.”

Judge: “Granted. Joe Blow? Joe Blow?”

Lawyer for debt collector: “Ask for default.”

Judge: “Granted. Susie Q? Susie Q?”


And this goes on for possibly an hour. A few people will stand up and respond to the judge, and these are directed to “discuss matters” with the debt collection lawyer. These almost always end up as “give-up” settlements or judgments.

When the one in a hundred persons does appear and actually fight, the court is so startled, and yet so used to the giving up, that chances are good the person will have to work five times as hard to get a fair shake as you would in any other kind of case.

A glimpse at the people will tell you why: these are the working poor – or just the poor – being cycled through the system.