Please Pay Or Else

Posted: September 15, 2013 in America, Life, Society
Tags: , , ,

I was recalling the days when I started my debt recovery career. Yes, I was a bill collector. I was a clever, respectful and law-abiding bill collector.

Yes, there is a federal law that is supposed to regulate collection agencies. It’s the FAIR DEBT COLLECTION PRACTICES ACT which is governed by the Federal Trade Commission.

I never violated rules, but I did push the envelope quite a bit. I never screamed, belittled, insulted or sued anyone. How did I do my job? I researched the account thoroughly before making the first call. I was a deal maker for those that needed a deal.

And then there were those that needed to be told what time it was. I actually collected from attorneys who didn’t honor their liens. It was easy. I told them I would report them to the state bar for failure to comply with a contract.

I was given accounts that other hard-nose collectors failed to collect. Sort of a good cop/bad cop situation. It worked for the most part. When I saw that an account was uncollectable, I closed it. I closed a lot of accounts.

Every collector and my bosses called me the ‘soft touch’. This is why they paid me. I got all the Spanish accounts and the Hispanic debtors almost always paid me without drama.

My greatest accomplishment came from a little old lady that was paying $25 per month on a $3000 debt. She had been paying for years. Sometimes she was late and I called for a friendly chat. I always extended some courtesy to those on a fixed income.

Anyway, my sweet little old lady died and her son called me. He wanted to settle up the balance! I told him that her death made the debt null and void. The son said that his mother wanted me to be paid off with the left over life insurance money and he really appreciated how I treated her!

I had collectors in my office that made 10 times more money than I did. They yelled, did drugs, drank and smoked (cigarettes). Their lives were always in a hurry and marriage was never an option.

At the time, my life was a slightly watered-down version of theirs. That said, I could sleep at night knowing that I was decent to everyone that crossed my path. I collected for 15 years and always kept my soul. I’m so glad I’m out of that horse race!


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