A trip to the underworld of debt collection, where bankers team up with ex-burglars and few rules apply.
As Jake Halpern will discuss with us on November 5th, the Federal Trade Commission receives more complaints about rogue debt collecting than any activity besides identity theft. Halpern dramatically and entertainingly, reveals why. Bad Paper is a riveting exposé and a gritty narrative of how scrappy entrepreneurs profit from our debts. Halpern introduces us to a former banking executive and a former armed robber who became partner and goes in quest of “paper”- the uncollected debts that are sold off by banks for pennies on the dollar. As Halpern will discuss, the world of consumer debt collection is a wild and unregulated shadowland, where operators may misrepresent a debtor’s situation, make illegal threats, and even lay claim to debts that are not theirs to collect in the first place. It is a realm of indelible individuals who possess a swagger and vocabulary that even David Mamet could not invent. Halpern follows his collectors as they intimidate competitors with weapons, manage high-pressure call centers, and scheme new ways to benefit from American’s debt-industrial complex. He also explores the history of collection agencies and reveals the human cost of a system that leaves hardworking Americans with little opportunity to retire their debts in a reasonable way. The result is a bravura work of storytelling that is also important consciousness-raiser.
This “Off the Record” brown bag lunch program is sponsored by the Antitrust and Consumer Law Section of the District of Columbia Bar in co-sponsorship with the Iranian American Bar Association- Washington, D.C. Chapter.
Wednesday, November 5, 2014
Beveridge & Diamond, P.C.
1350 I St., N.W., Suite 700
(McPherson Square Metro Station)
Washington DC 20005