Fixing the hurt and anguish on all sides of the debt collection equation is many things, but one thing it is not is complicated. Like one of my heroes, Martin Luther King, I too have a dream. While I can’t state mine as eloquently as Rev. King, my dream has similarities in its goal of ending oppression for a group of 30 million citizens who have little voice and next to no ability to fight back.
1. People will only borrow what they are confident they will be able to repay.
2. Lenders will only lend to those that have the ability to repay.
4. If someone can’t (not won’t) repay as planned both sides would automatically, and willingly, sit down and restructure the repayment according to the borrowers ability to repay.
5. When the borrowers financial situation improves, both sides would again, automati
cally, sit down and voluntary restructure the repayment plan to match the borrowers new ability to repay.
6. Collectors would never call more frequently than once a day and a couple times a week.
7. Collectors would speak to their borrowers in the same manner and degree of help
fulness as a Nordstrom employee would speak to their customers.
8. Collectors would never sue. They’d realize that if the above steps are followed, giving a person who can’t pay another piece of paper telling them what they owe, is senseless.
9. Collectors would be fined and lose their ability to be in the collections business if they deliberately lie, deceive, harass, intimidate, shame or otherwise coerce borrowers into paying.
10. Borrowers would be able and collectors would be required to record all collection calls to be able to monitor and enforce proper collector behavior.
I believe we can achieve this…and, with the CFPB on the job, with it’s heart in the right place, I think we can do it in 2 years!
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