The Color of Debt: How Collection Suits Squeeze Black Neighborhoods

https://www.propublica.org/article/debt-collection-lawsuits-squeeze-black-neighborhoods

In Dora Byrd’s case, MSD went after her bank account. She’d been living primarily off of a monthly $600 Social Security check. It’s illegal for federal benefits to be garnished, but at the time, she had both a checking and a savings account, and only the money electronically deposited into her checking account was automatically protected. As a result, MSD was able to seize $645 from her savings account, more than a third of the money in her accounts, according to bank records…

Even if Turner had appeared, it’s unclear that it would have done her any good. With an attorney, however, she might have gotten the case dismissed. That’s because the statute of limitations on Turner’s loan under Missouri law was four years, a period that had long expired by 2013…

My comments:

painkills2 5 hours ago
How long does it take ProPublica to approve a moderated comment? Oh, just forget it, I’ll post it on my blog.

painkills2 13 hours ago Pending
So, debt buyers don’t know the race of their customers? Can’t ascertain race by any of the information in the file? Like where they live? Or from a credit report? These places don’t use data brokers? Well, when you work for debt buyers, I guess lying just comes naturally. And shame never enters into it.

It should be illegal to file a lawsuit after the statute of limitations has passed. None of the lawyers who I’ve worked for would do that — it’s unethical and should be considered malpractice. Where is the State Bar? I guess State Bars don’t want to lose any of their membership fees. And I guess there are plenty of lawyers who don’t know what shame is either.

The lawyers that work for these creditors know that the debtors don’t have the legal know-how to defend themselves. Easy pickings. Of course, everyone knows that the legal system only benefits the rich, while screwing the poor. When my long term disability insurance company (Unum) terminated my benefits after 7 years, I needed an ERISA lawyer, but it’s not like I’ll ever have access to one.

Perhaps corporations (and universities, etc.) should divest from these types of creditors, just like they’re divesting from the oil and gas industry. Or maybe that would be impossible, seeing how most of these creditors are funded by Big Banks.

5 thoughts on “The Color of Debt: How Collection Suits Squeeze Black Neighborhoods

  1. Unum tried to refuse me benefits and I was living on selling shit on eBay. Had to go bankrupt, lost everything. Humiliated. They had me under surveillance…a grey van followed me around to make sure I wasn’t secretly working. I was interrogated by a group of five women. I think they knew about my terror of men or more probably thought the men might soften up. The ERISA part they pulled out of their ass at the last minute. I was fortunate to have paid for my disability privately, with money out of my own pocket, so they were forced to give that up. They finally paid, but I was ruined and have never recovered.

    Liked by 1 person

        • Unum is protected by the state government in Maine, where it’s headquartered. It’s also protected by the weakness of ERISA, and because attorneys will only take a disability case if the person is collecting a lot in disability benefits (which are few and far between). In fact, if I understand ERISA correctly — which I don’t — there’s no such thing as a class action against Unum under ERISA.

          Unum is also protected by the settlement agreement with the States Attorneys General sometime ago, I forget what year. It says that Unum will do this and that, and Unum says, well, we’re doing this and that, so no one will investigate any further.

          Liked by 1 person

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