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Justifying Power Trippers Is So Middle Class

January 29, 2010

Justifying, rationalizing, apologizing for, sympathizing with, —take your pick.

This is utter nonsense. To compare the relationship of a debt collector and debtor with welfare recipient and caseworker is offensive as hell. FYI, most debt is accumulated because of predatory practices, as in pushing credit cards on irresponsible college students, taking advantage of poor people who use credit to live day to day until that credit runs out, which is usually quick as hell because credit limits are never that high for poorer people to begin with, plus, the charges and APR rates make that limit come faster than what is offered to others, and strategically appealing to weak minded egos (like you must have the latest fashion). And yes, I do believe things such as zip code come into play. If a person takes a job as a debt collector, then I have no sympathy for them. There are more rude ones than there are understanding and helpful ones, so that trope of the poor mistreated debt collector is bollocks. My uncle was a debt collector for years and he literally got a hard on when he was able to track down people and squeeze a penny out of them. Dickens did not invent that character type out of thin air. In addition, even if the debt was made simply because someone was greedy and materialistic, (I have met a man who before filing bankruptcy charged all kinds of stuff and only stopped because he could not fit any more in his car. Why? Because as a white male in the right part of town he was given credit limits that his pay did not warrant. At the time if I wanted to do something similar, my total worth of splurging would have not topped $2000 at best, with my zip code and sex I was not allocated a decent limit at all. And, I will add, we had the same job with similar pay) the credit card company wins.

Most welfare recipients are in need. A caseworker has a job, most times a decent job with security and health benefits, particularly because it is usually a county job. Perhaps it does not pay as much as it should be paid, but it is a decent job for the qualifications expected. The welfare recipient does not already have a product that they owe money for. They are in need of a product, you know, like food, shelter and clothing. How in the hell can the two be compared is just unimaginable, and insulting. As a former welfare recipient and as someone who pays my debts and curses out debt collectors (even the ones who are not calling for me, but someone who used to have my number) who have the audacity to call me when the electric bill is not paid, even though it is only two days past the first due date, not the late due date (because you know, some people live and/or have lived paycheck to paycheck), I can say this whole scenario, this so called question feels like a passing ponder of a privilege mentality. What is next? Feeling sorry for those poor saps who have to stand there clapping while the opening bell of the stock market is being rung. Give me a break.

  1. joankelly6000 permalink
    January 29, 2010 9:01 pm

    Interesting to see this post after hearing a piece about a debt collector on the radio this morning. The person on the radio took it as a second job to pay off his *own* debt actually, and didn’t sound like any more of a prick than non-debt collectors, but – it seems obvious that for something presented as a “human interest story,” it’s more “interesting” to profile someone who talks of having empathy and of not enjoying it versus profiling someone like your uncle.

    That said, my own experience with debt collection has left me feeling exactly how you describe above. I was given way more credit than it made any sense to give me – I didn’t even have a *paycheck* at the time different banks were giving me tens of thousands of dollars of credit, and I did use the cards for daily living, not a bunch of fun toys unfortunately. Anyway, I ended up cutting up all my cards and contacting all the companies to try to work out payment plans – oh also, predatory interest practices were also a factor from Bank of America – anyway none of them wanted to work anything out with me that I could afford. And I was like, okay I’ll start paying you then when I can give you something you’ll accept.

    When I finally got a job that enabled me to pay rent and buy food again regularly, but not enough yet to start paying what the credit card companies would accept, Chase bank got, I forget what it’s called but some order through the sheriff’s department to empty my bank account of the rent money that had just been deposited. That’s when I filed for bankruptcy, and to my dying day I will urge others who get fucked over by credit card company’s predatory practices to do the same fucking thing. I fucking hate them.

    Because in case anyone’s unaware – they make their money by targeting people who *cannot afford them* – they do not make money at ALL off of rich people who can pay their balances and just use the cards to get frequent flyer miles or establish good credit scores, etc. Of COURSE I was an ass for using those cards, and I will never have anything but a Visa debit card for my checking account ever again. They’re still evil.

  2. January 29, 2010 9:20 pm

    I highly recommend for everyone who owes and cannot pay to elude payment as long as possible. There are statue of limitations, which varies in different states. If you are not brought to court by a certain time, then there is nothing they can do but harass you. And I recommend, if one cannot pay, to not pay anything, because each time a person pays something, even a dollar, it starts the clock over. If you cannot pay, don’t pay! Period. After the statue of limitations is over, the other penalty is for it to be on your credit report. Legally, that can only last for seven years (I think ten if you file for bankruptcy). However, that time can start over if there is activity on the account (as in paying just that one or five dollars), therefore, it is best to cease all activity (if one cannot pay). The clock starts ticking once activity stops. Elude, elude, elude. That is my recommendation. And although my credit has been fine in the last twelve years, I will not deny having my little hiccups. Each little hiccup I was penalized far more severe than my crime, that is why I have no respect, NONE for these monsters. My little transgression (as I said, I was never given a limit over $1500 at the time) cost me the same as someone who ran up a $50,000 bill and I am expected to care about what they think of me. As if! In 1994, I was persuaded to get a cell phone. It was a get one for you and one for your friend deal with supposedly 400 free minutes if you refer someone else (which I did). And back then getting free minutes was a big deal because minutes cost like a gazillion dollars per unit. I was never given those free minutes and after I learned that they showed no sign of keeping their end of bargain, I stopped all payment. I think I only had the phone for a month or two before it was cut off. The bill came up to $494. Because they charged me for the price of both phones, and this and that. Whatever. I simply refused to pay. I eluded them until the two years was over. They dutifully reported it to the credit bureau, and I paid the price until 2001. I was told how I could not buy a house. HA! As if I was ever going to be able to afford a house. Give me a break. What a threat! “You will not be able to buy a house!” Well, mister tell me something I don’t fucking know already, I will not be able to buy a house……ooooooh, I am so scared! Can you believe even though the statue of limitations have passed and it is now off my credit report for nine years now I will still occasionally get collection notices about that phone. They have long since been compensated by their insurance company for my lack of payment, but some little seedy predator paid for the account and are betting that now that I am in good standing I will allow middle class morality to guilt me into paying them. Fat chance fuckers. Oh, and to feel sorry for the poor saps who have these entry-level jobs. Well, those same poor saps can take other jobs, you know, that are not entry level into a life of extortion. I don’t feel sorry for them.

  3. atheistwoman permalink
    January 29, 2010 10:12 pm

    “Oh, and to feel sorry for the poor saps who have these entry-level jobs. Well, those same poor saps can take other jobs, you know, that are not entry level into a life of extortion. I don’t feel sorry for them.”
    I’m surprised, but shouldn’t be, that at this point in history humans have yet to figure out that if doing something (or someone else doing something) makes them seem/feel like a soulless jerk, they probably are a soulless jerk.

    Credit card companies are absolutely horrible though. They screw you, especially when you don’t have any other options, and then get you when you’re down. And of course then debtors are framed in the same way as welfare recipients, etc.

    Education on not getting scammed is important, but sometimes there are just no other options.
    Speaking of which, I was surprised to see that layaway is creeping back into stores, which in my mind is a good thing.

    • January 30, 2010 12:20 am

      I am so totally for lay-away. I do not go in the stores much so I do not know if it is making a comeback, but I hope it does. When I was a girl, it was the only way we got our back to school clothes. When my daughter was a girl fewer stores offered lay-away, and usually the ones that did offered it were the ones no one wanted to buy clothes/stuff from, i.e. Wal-Mart. Who wants their back to school clothes from Wal-Mart, twice as much just to fall apart quicker. I bet lay-away would curtail compulsive spending and help people who have to buy things slowly.

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