One job that has benefited from tough economic times is debt collection. It has been so good that Steven Katz of Debtorboard.com has been a very busy man. Katz is not in the debt collection business anymore – at least not in the role he was for many years when he was the guy on the other end of that phone call you really did not want pick up. His gig nowadays is is educating people on the legal standards concerning consumer protection and he is very good at his job.
What caused Katz’s change of heart was when he feel victim to the industry he worked for. A debt buyer bought some debt he held supposedly and tore his credit score a new one. Worst of all the bill was totally bogus. Katz knew his rights and sued the company winning $1,000 in damages. That was enough to make him switch sides and fight a different kind of debt collection battle.
Katz wants people to know they have options, and to prove he isn’t in it to make a quick buck he doesn’t charge for his advice. Katz wants people to know debt collectors cannot force them to roll over and take whatever they demand. He wants people to know they have the right to their day in court if they have been wronged. He wants everyone to know that a debt collection agency cannot just put the screws to you wrongfully and they say “Oops, we made a mistake. Sorry about that.” and walk away clean.
Enter Debtorboards. As Katz describes it. “Debtorboards is geared to help people use the laws as they are on the books as both a shield and sword.” That sounds pretty cool, and around 2 million people thought so too as was evidenced by traffic to the site in 2009. Everyone seems to love Debtorboards except for debt collectors who are really cheesed off and claim and claim such sites are designed to exploit loopholes in the law in an irresponsible manner. As Rozanne M. Anderson who is the chief executive of ACA International, a debt collection trade association – whined, lawsuits against debt collectors are costing them hundreds of millions of dollars!
She was completely beside herself implying that people who actually fought back were irresponsible and that she had no patience for sites like Debtorboards. Katz on the other hand contends his site is not there to teach people how to avoid paying their rightful debts, it is there to inform people of their legal rights and options when debt collectors go to far and cross the lines of legality. Obviously the two sides are bot going to agree.
New York Times