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DON'T BE HAMMERED BY YOUR DEBT

DON'T BE HAMMERED BY YOUR DEBT

Wednesday, July 19, 2006

Tools of the Debt Collection Lawyer

An attorney has a wide variety of tools available to collect a debt. This arsenal of tools extends well beyond what is available to an original creditor or even a collection agency employed to collect the debt prior to the attorney becoming involved. Additionally, these tools offer a step-by-step increase in the ability to involuntarily wrest money away from the debtor.

The first tool employed by an attorney in collecting a debt is the Attorney Demand Letter. I will normally make a decision on whether or not to send the debtor an Attorney Demand Letter based on the debtor's prior history and the creditor's prior attempts to collect the debt. A creditor may question why an attorney is going to send a letter asking for payment when the creditor has done this on a number of occasions or may have even sent the debt to a collection agency who has not only sent demand letters, but made telephone calls to the debtor's home and place of employment.

There are three primary reasons for utilizing the Attorney Demand Letter. First, it has been my experience that somewhere between fifteen and twenty percent of debtors who have been adamant in their refusal to pay will, upon receipt of an Attorney Demand Letter, pay the full amount owed. There is something intimidating about receiving a letter saying you owe the money on an attorney's letterhead. The Attorney Demand Letter ratchets up the seriousness of the matter substantially.

The second reason for sending out the Attorney Demand Letter is to comply with certain state statutes and to allow for the possibility of recovery of attorney's fees in certain circumstances. For example, in the state of Mississippi when a debtor owes money and that debt is not based upon a contract or agreement which allows for attorney's fees, if the attorney sends an Attorney Demand Letter and gives the debtor a reasonable period of time to satisfy the debt prior to filing suit, the attorney may then recover attorney's fees in that suit. This is true regardless of the nature of the debt or how it was created. Therefore, I always utilize an Attorney Demand Letter in attempting to collect debts in the state of Mississippi. The state of Tennessee does not have a corresponding statute and attorney's fees are available only by agreement of the parties.

The third reason for sending out the Attorney Demand Letter is to establish the creditability of the creditor. Many times or the creditor or a collection agency employed by the creditor has told the debtor, "If you don't pay this debt, I am going to send it to an attorney for suit." Many times the debtor sees this merely as a bluff. When the letter arrives on attorney letterhead giving the debtor an exact number of days before a lawsuit is going to be filed, the debtor now realizes that the creditor has not been bluffing, nor making idle threats. That has the two-fold effect of creating increased credibility with that particular debtor and creating a reputation for the creditor that it does not make idle threats or bluff.

The next tool in the collection process is the actual filing of a lawsuit. Filing a lawsuit consists of the drafting of a legal document called a complaint, the filing of that complaint with the Court, and the service of that complaint upon the debtor. In the state of Tennessee, such a lawsuit may either be filed in the Court of General Sessions for debts up to $25,000.00 or in Circuit Court for debts above $25,000.00. In either case, I utilize a complaint on sworn account. This simply means that I prepare an affidavit to be signed by the creditor and sworn to stating that the debtor owes a specific amount of money. That sworn affidavit is attached to the complaint when the lawsuit is filed. The debtor is then served with a copy of the complaint and sworn affidavit and given a certain period of time to respond. In General Sessions Court, no formal written answer is required from the debtor and the matter is first heard before the Court within 10 to 15 days of the debtor being served. At that time, the debtor must then either admit to the debt and allow a judgment to be entered, or deny the debt and a trial will be scheduled. Trials in General Sessions usually take place within 30 days of the initial court date. Circuit Court is much more formal and the debtor is given 30 days from the date of service in which to file a formal written answer. If the debtor does not file a formal written answer, a default judgment can be taken. Most debtors, upwards of eighty five percent, are simply unequipped to deal with the complexities and requirements of the Court system. Those attempting to represent themselves simply do not stand a chance. Therefore, judgments are taken without dispute in approximately eighty five percent of the suits I file. Of the remaining fifteen percent, approximately ten percent result in judgments following a futile attempt by a pro se (no attorney) debtor to fight the system, and only five percent result in true contests where the outcome is not certain.

So now you have a judgment that is simply a piece of paper that says that the debtor legally owes you the amount of money you have been attempting to collect. That piece of paper changes everything. The judgment is a key that unlocks an entirely new chest of tools you can use to recover money from the debtor.

The first and most commonly utilized post judgment tool is the garnishment. A garnishment can be issued attempting to recover money from two separate sources. First, a garnishment can be issued against a debtor's bank account. In order to do this, you need to know where the debtor banks and generally their account number. Therefore, it is vitally important that you save, photocopy, and archive any check payments you receive from any customer or potential future debtor. These checks are invaluable in the collection process. When the bank receives a garnishment on an account, it will freeze all of the funds in that account and report to the Court the amount of money so frozen. Unless the debtor comes forward and objects and has good reason, that money will then the paid into the registry of the Court and ultimately disbursed to my law office to satisfy the debt.

The second pool of money a garnishment can be used to reach is a debtor's wages. A garnishment can be served upon a debtor's employer and then a certain amount of the debtor's paycheck each month (the amount is based on a statutory calculation based upon how much the debtor makes, how many children the debtor has, and what are the state statutory exemptions) will be paid into the registry of the Court and disbursed to my office to satisfy the debt.
The next post judgment tool a debt collection attorney can utilize if garnishments are unsuccessful is a Writ of Execution. A Writ of Execution is a request filed with the Court, instructing the Sheriff to go out and seize certain property owned by the debtor and sell that property at public auction to satisfy the debt. A Writ of Execution can be issued against any personal property of the debtor that you aware of, can be issued for cash that the debtor may have on hand or that a business may have in its cash register. But, the most effective way to collect a debt from an individual debtor on a Writ of Execution is to have the Sheriff seize the debtor's automobile. Regardless of the value of the automobile, this is an extremely effective tool. Typically, a debtor's automobile will be financed by a bank that will have a priority lien on that vehicle. That simply means that if the Sheriff does sell the car at a public auction, any money raised by that sale will first have to go to pay off the bank that financed the car before any money comes to my client. While this does not sound like an effective debt collection tool for my client, in reality once the debtor realizes that the Sheriff and not a repossession company has seized his only mode of transportation, the debtor will almost invariably contact you directly offering to satisfy the debt by any means possible in exchange for a release of the Writ of Execution and the return of the debtor's vehicle. Once the debt is paid, the Writ of Execution is released and the vehicle is returned without the sale ever taking place.

The most patient tool in the debt collection lawyer's arsenal is the real property lien. When a judgment is taken against the debtor, that judgment is enrolled among the land records as a lien against the debtor's house. That means absolutely nothing to the debtor until the moment comes that they want to sell their house. They then cannot sell their house and give clear title to someone else until that judgment is paid. If a debtor claims to have absolutely no ability to satisfy a judgment, sometimes you simply have to wait until you get that call from a closing lawyer saying the debtor simply did not tell them about this judgment and that is have to be paid before the closing at 3 o'clock that afternoon and wanting to know from you how much the judgment is, with interest, to date. The real property lien is not fast, but it is effective.
The final tool available to the debt collection lawyer is a judgment debtor examination. The creditor, now a judgment creditor, can ask the Court to issue a court subpoena requiring the debtor, now a judgment debtor, to appear at the debt collection lawyer's office and to give testimony under oath in response to questions the debt collection lawyer asks. Essentially, the debtor is put under oath in front of a court reporter and then you may ask any question about any of the debtor's potential assets. If you don't know anything about the assets of your debtor, this may be where you start, or if one the tools discussed above has failed to satisfy the debt, you may follow up with a judgment debtor examination to get the information necessary to use one of the other tools.

As you can see, from the methods discussed above, the debt collection lawyer has ways and means available to him to collect the debt that an original creditor or even a debt collection agency can’t dream of utilizing. It is these exclusive tools which make a debt that may be virtually uncollectible by a creditor or even a collection agency easy money for a skilled and experienced debt collection lawyer.

38 comments:

ihatebanks said...

wow this is crazy. You guys are serious it make sense for the average person to defend themselvves against people like you with knowledge. You ever heard of the law research group. They have a course called the unsecured debt resolution package and it will invalidate anything you have in your post.

Anonymous said...

What if the sheriff is unwilling to serve the write of execution upon a vehicle. Can you yourself go and reposses their vehicle?

Brandi said...

Any advise on how to collect a Judgment, to be collected in Alabama, inwhich the debtor has all assets listed in his wife's name?

Anonymous said...

You're nothing but a bottom feeder debt collector who went to law school. And in Texas your property lein would never fly. Have fun, fool. Anyone who believes your garbage is a fool too.

Anonymous said...

I wonder what these guys would say if they become the creditor with their own money on the line. But of course how would that ever happen since they are probably the ones in debt over their heads from stupid decisions?

Anonymous said...

Dead Wrong about not standing a chance. Not only did I defend a debt claim against me pro se, I came out of court with a $2500 judgment against the collection agency/ debt buyer. This despite the fact that small-claims judges are in the bank's pockets, and are prejudiced toward the creditor.

Anonymous said...

he is stupid, states have laws against this. also F---K him witha BK7-13 or stop a garnishment with motion for slow pay- or change bank accounts- or, finnaly if you have a VA they cannot touch you house

We Are Debt Warrirors! said...

I appreciate your information. Although I'm on the side of the debtor, this post helps me understand the process better.

J.

Anonymous said...

You may be correct if you are representing the Original Creditor against the Debtor.

However, oftentime Junk Debt Buyers as 3rd Party Creditors (not the original creditor) purchasing old debt accounts for pennies per dollar then using the Legal System to strongarm, intimidate niave consumers for 100% or more of face value of the account. Knowledgable consumer can be defeat Junk Debt Buyers and Collector Attorney's in court Pro Se. Most often these Junk Debt Buyers do not possess sufficient documentation to sustain judgment.

Consumers in litigation against Junk Debt Buyers should always demand Full Debt Validation under FDCPA laws. Also, contested cases are DISMISSED increaslingly when Defendants' demand to see Chain of Title for the account, Complete Payment History starting with Original Creditor, ALL Interest, Fees, and Penalities, placed on said account. Also, most of the Sworn Accounts (Affidivat) from Junk Debt Buyers are based on Hearsay the Signee often does not possess first hand knowledge of the original account, and cannot make statments and representations herein. Such documents in these circumstances have no legal basis. The Plaintiff Attorney cannot testify in the case. Historically, many Defendants' fail to appear in court when litigated by Junk Debt Buyers thus Default Judgment are Awared. The Junk Debt Buyers realize this and gamble the Defendants will not appear. However, when informed Defendants' Pro Se or Consumer Attorney's exercise said legal rights the rate of Dismissal Increases Dramatically.

Furthermore, some unethical Law Firms have been known to reset a contested case failing to provide certificate of service to the Defendant as means to ascertain a default judgment, which violates the Defendant's right to appear in court to defend against the case. The Defendant can file a Motion To Have Default Judgment Set Aside, requesting a hearing before the Judge. The Plaintiff can response to the motion requesting denial for the motion. If the Defendant wins this motion, the case is reset for trial.

Do not underestimate the undermining tactics Junk Debt Buyers and Junk Debt Buyer Law Firms will apply in some cases. They do not want to face contested cases when they do not possess sufficient evidence to sustain hearsay cases.

Read the Fair Credit Collection Practices Act, Read your State's Rules of Civil Procedure, Demand Full Debt Validation; If you need an Attorney; consider a Consumer Lawyer with expertise in this scope of litigation is best to select. You can refer to the The National Association of Consumer Advocates for referral to qualified Attorney in your state.

Anonymous said...

The initial post was the reason people hate lawyers.

The "tools of the debt collection lawyer" bit just shows what a tool this guy is. Why post all this crap except to enhance the bluff that he wants you to think isn't happening. They are bluffing, and his post is evidence of that.

The follow up posts were helpful.

Anonymous said...

People like you are exactly why I am filing a lawsuit against one of the top ten worst collection agencies in the US www.budhibbs.com. 3rd party junk debt buyers like the one I am dealing with, buy a debt for pennies on the dollar, ignore cease and desist letters until they can validate (not verify) the debt, violate many of the laws of the FDCPA and are in general a bunch of bottom fedding a--holes. The agency I am dealing with even had the nerve to make a payment on the account in order to change the SOL. Junk debt, third party debt collectors are a total waste of human flesh

TheMyth said...

To the pro debters:
So let me get this straight. You borrow somebody's money and I'm sure you are comfortable you can pay it back. When you can't pay it back you expect them to sit back and quietly wait for them to get their money from you? 3rd Party debt collectors are keeping the over head costs down for the original creditors. Even though they are paying a small percentage of the orginal debt they are doing all the footwork that the orginal creditor can't afford to do. If creditor's didn't sell this debt to collector's what are the odds they would be able to afford to give you a credit card in the first place. This goes all the way back to the beginning. Theres no free lunch. If you spent the money and you knew the terms what is your excuse for not paying it back or whining when they go out of their way to get it back. Don't say you didn't know the terms. There's a sob story every day on TV or in the newspaper and they teach it high school. What kind of defense can you give for not paying back. Who is the bottom feeder here? The person who borrowed the money and didn't pay it back or the person who is trying to recover it. 3rd party debt collectors are an essential part to the economic system. Without them financial institutions wouldn't be able to afford to lend money to higher risk citizens.

Anonymous said...

In my situation I am the collector. I had a client stiff me for more than 5K. I need my money. I intend to use my right to file a writ of execution in order to collect the debt that is owed to me and my family.

PayUpPeople said...

On the contrary to all you debtors posting on this blog, whining about creditors using legal tools to collect from you, YOU are the bottom feeders. You borrow money and do not pay it back, forcing creditors to use the legal system and chase you down. Despicable. If it wasn't for you, a debt collection industry wouldn't exist. You probably didn't pay your mortgage, expecting government bailouts too. Well the rest of society can't pay for you. Someday you will have to grow up and own up to your debts.

Anonymous said...

F&*K YOU PayupPeople..... it is the bottom feeder banks that overextended credit to people. Let's be real... the money came out of thin air. When the signature on the loan or credit card was placed, the credit card issuer took that the to Federal Reserve and got 9 TIMES that amount of money, all printed out of thin air. So don't give me your bullshit. The system is corrupt and the reason it is failing is because of the corrupt money system.

xwantedbyfbi said...

I have a question. My ex husband (married to him at the time) stole my personal info to obtain credit cards. Numerous etters were sent by my lawyer to the credit card companies in 2005 requesting the original application and charge slips with my signature. They didn't respond. (Because there wasn't any such paperwork)

I am now being sued by a collection agency on behalf of US Bank. The debt was created in 2005 and in July of 2008 they wrote me telling me to payup or they would bring legal action. I responded with a letter to them disputing the debt and requesting a letter of validation. I never received it. 8 months later I receive notice that I am being sued. My lawyer (once again) has requested proof of my signature and they have ONLY provided charge slips with HIS signature and still no application or charge slips with MY signature (cause there is NOT any). (Long story) but when all of this first started, I freaked out and sent them ONE payment before contacting my attorney. They are saying that this constitutes my acceptence of the contract and debt. Does anyone know if this is a bluff? A judge actually set this for trial with the only proof being the ONE payment that they received. I feel like I am getting ready to get screwed again - but, this time for our JUSTICE SYSTEM. My credit has been trashed with NO judgements against me, the ex is running around free and now I am incurring lawyer fees. The only bright spot so far is that I just found out through local police that the FBI is looking for the ex on fraud and identity theft charges from another state! Any input?

Anonymous said...

Wow! This post hit nerves on some people who obviously are on the receiving end of one or more debt collectors' efforts.

It's simple. 1. If you extend credit and don't get paid, you attempt to collect. 2. If you don't receive payment, you file a lawsuit and report the creditor to the three credit agencies. 3. If you receive a judgement, you attempt to collect. 4. If they don't comply with the judgement, you garish wages and place leins. 5. If you still don't receive payment, you write it off of your books and the credit agencies rescore the creditor 6. The next creditor learns from your mistake.

The state of the economy today is caused by the fact that, in the 90's, step 6 was removed from the cycle and an environment was created that allowed financial agencies to profit from IGNORING credit score.

http://financialindependent.blogspot.com/2008/01/simple-way-to-explain-subprime-crisis.html

Anonymous said...

I read the comments here. For those of you who say the debtors are the bottom dwellers may I ask if you have ever had a major incident which changed your financial status? How about house payments going up several hundred dollars to cover escrow,A 10% decrease in pay so the company you work for can survive, a broken leg, a car engine that has to be overhauled....all in the time frame of less than a year.

Then, you apply to the creditor and eventually to the scum-suckiing debt collecting attorney for a payment plan you can afford (in writing) and they refuse to answer. Eventually, you receive the complaint/summons and they have never once replied to your certified letters. How do you attorney supporters explain that?

By the way, that has just happened to me. I am going into court with my certified letters of request and hope for the best. All I asked for was a chance to pay the delinquent/now charged off amount back in monthly payments.

If anyone reading this has any information with respect to Texas laws/procedures I sure would appreciate it.

By the way the scum-sucking comment was for the attorneys who are more into making money than helping people. i have personal experience with some very good honest attorneys as well.

Wintress Odom said...

Hey guys,

If you guys want to get back to the topic: tools of the debt collection lawyer, you may want to check out this one: www.metroon.com.

Metroon’s public documentation database provides online access to complete Harris County court and government documents -- original PDFs of court dockets, UCCs, real property transfers, titles, assumed names, etc. It's the only online source of full original
Harris County court & government documents, and can greatly speed up a debt collector's research process.

Wintress Odom
Metroon, LLC
Original Court and Government Documents Online

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Anonymous said...

I have a neighbor that is a debt collection attorney. He has so many threats against him he had to get a concealed carry permit. I don't feel sorry for him though, because he can be a real jerk and loves to abuse people.

Anonymous said...

Amen PayupPeople and the Myth. It is funny when people stop repaying the banks for loans they made them
and then blame the banks for trying to recover their losses.

Anonymous said...

poor banks ... (I've never seen one)

Anonymous said...

Daniel (WHAT RIMES WITH HORDEN AND STARTS WITH A G)OF OREGON: issued a scam debt against me and said it was a default bc i never responded. I NEVER received the paperwork and HE TOLD THE COURT I DEFAULTED. I went to court TO EXPLAIN THE DEBT WAS INVALID AND the crook lied to the judge that he had me served AND I FAILED TO RESPOND. SO, I lost the case and he garnished me. I paid 1700 of the 2000 debt and the garnishment mysteriously vanished. I figured he had overcharged me bc the credit card originally was for 900 (it was dismissed in a bankruptcy 10 years before but because i did not "respond" and it defaulted i had to pay the debt along with huge fees and interest over 10 years. SO, PAID 1700, GARNISHMENT ENDED. TODAY, IGET A BRAND NEW WRIT FOR THE SAME DEBT SAYING IT WAS NOT PAID IN FULL (HE TOLD MY EMPLOYER TO STOP PAYING AS SATISIFIED) AND THEN HE TACKED ON A THOUSAND IN FEES AND 800 IN INTEREST AND R.E.S.E.T THE DEBT THAT I HAVE PAID ZERO!! BEWARD OF THESE SHARK, LYING ATTORNEYS AND THE JUDGES THAT BELIEVE THEIR LIES. I PERSONALLY BELIEVE THESE SMALL TOWN JUDGES ARE IN BED WITH THESE CROOKS AND GETTING A KICK BACK OF SOME SORT. WE SHOULD GET RID OF THE SYSTEM, CROOKED JUDGES, LYING CROOK ATTORNEYS IN BED WITH THE CROOK JUDGES... WHERE DOES IT END? REAL NICE, AFTER I HAVE PAID IT OFF AND IT WAS DISMISSED YEARS AGO IN BANKRUPTCY.

Telephone Systems Northeast Mississippi said...

when collecting debt, there's no better way than talking to the creditor... calling them through telephone isn't that good enough to collect those debts....

Anonymous said...

I don't know if anyone reads these comments anymore, but here is my two cents.

I used to work collections for the state government, and if memory serves correctly most of the people who couldn't pay their taxes and had gone through bankruptcy, etc. were people who were just down on their luck.
Yes, there were some crooks and other people trying to cheat the system, but for the most part they were just honest people trying to survive.
Someone would get sick unexpectedly and then they couldn't pay their bills, for example.
A lot of them had had things happen to them such as their backs going out, a bad illness, or even blindness.
I just remember a lot of sick people being on my list to collect from.

Anonymous said...

I retired and owed about 70,000. Mostly because in the latter days borrowing from Joe to pay Sam. I knew I could never repay all that money, not a chance. I just quit paying and getting upset. They of course sued me, spent about $500 each suit, got default judgement and got nothing, not a cent!!!. On Social Security and pension, making more than when I worked!!

I now take great delight in filing all sorts of motions in court to take up their time, knowing in the end even if they win, they lose!!!

njcaliboy said...

Question? I'm renting out an apartment that has a lien on it by the Feds- I knew this prior to moving in. What I didn't know, however, is that the owners stopped paying rent. I found that out 6 months into my stay.

Well two days ago I got a visit from the sherrif, who presented me w.a writ of execution, they now hold the title to the property I rent. I was instructed to make all future rent payments directly to them.

I told the owner, and quite frankly iike the idea of paying rent to the new title holders, it offers me more security. The former owners want me to ignore it and continue to pay them. I said he'll no and want to deal directly with the sherrif in fear of being evicted. What are my rights as the renter?? Can the former owners retaliate against me?

Anonymous said...

Can you please contact me? I have a debt that needs to be collected from debtors who are able to pay but who have been dodging my calls, ignoring my letters, and generally making it difficult to collect. I would like to make it EASY for them to pay.

I can be reached at molassesjones11@gmail.com or by phone at 347.850.4112

Thank you.

~molasses

Anonymous said...

I think if we researched we would find some of these bastards get judgments against Judgment proof people and package them as asset backed securities. Look up Federated Capital, FI A, LVNV (Las Vegas Nevada) Corp. Investment Bankers. Where Do they get the money to invest? DUH fom people investing in companies backed by un collectable Judgments>

Anonymous said...

Wow, you people astound me; defending these a-holes who refuse to pay back their debts. You my friend, are the scum of the earth!

In the civilised world, we were taught to pay back our debts. I have excellent credit and have been bombarded with lenders asking me to borrow money from their organisations. And just because it's there, doesn't mean I have to act irresponsibly and take the money, does it.. because if I did, I know I wouldn't have the means to pay it back.

Take responsibility for your actions people, and pay back your debts or you'll be sued and forced to pay it back one way or another.

Or... you can wait and beg Obama to bail you out.

Anonymous said...

Should I send a DV letter to the collection attorney and if so what exactly should it state?
Thank you

sharmin monee said...

Unless the collector is using sewer service you should have notice a collector wants to go to court. In Illinois which has exemptions, the bank account would be declared before the judgement goes into effect.
. Collection lawyer

Charles Borecky said...

See, this letter is about informing the CA that in case their offices report invalid information to one of the major Credit Bureaus then a legal action would be pursued against them as per the State and Federal laws. In the event a negative mark is found in your CRs by the company that they represent, you won't hesitate to pursue such action on the following grounds -

FCR Act violation
FDCP Act violation
Character Defamation

This letter should also state that a period of 30 days will be required by you to investigate any information, during which no collection attempts could be made. I had worked with a collection agency in the past; you may know more about them here - Baker, Bloomberg & Associates Complaints

Anonymous said...

Stop it he is just doing his job by the way he is helping you by telling you what will happen. How would you like it if he put you down for doing your job even a cashier at the food market takes money from people that don't have it. But you don't post shame on cashiers for taking that old guys medicine money for food how can they sleep at night.

gamat gold g said...

whats this, awesome..love it..

Anonymous said...

It's pretty outrageous that some people here are criticising this attorney for, apparently, simply practicing collections law. Creditors extend credit to customers (debtors), many times out of necessity. The customer gets the benefit of obtaining goods and services up-front, without having to have the cash-in-hand. He/she enjoys a new refrigerator, flat screen TV, xbox, inventory for their business, etc.

When said debtor either can't (or won't in some cases) pay, the creditor is out the money. Sure, people get down on their luck; but that doesn't mean the burdens of a debtor's poor financial situation should be passed on to the creditor. "Thank you for this 60' TV, Mr. Vendor. I lost my job and can't keep up with my payments. Therefore, take a hike -- you write of the debt and I keep the TV" doesn't fly in the real world.

The collections attorney, and the collections process generally, is actually needed to sustain our economy. Without some (albiet imperfect) ability for creditors to pursue delinquent accounts, then creditors will be far less likely to ever extend credit to anyone. Why would a financial institution, like Capital One for example, ever extend credit cards to people if they have no "assurance" that their debts get paid? Why would "Widget Manufacturer" ever sell "Widget Retailer" 10,000 widgets on credit should the doors of justice be closed to Widget Manufacturer if and when Widget Retailer fails to pay?

Yes, Mr. Vendor, the Widget Retailer and the landlord who needs to sue a tenant for back unpaid rent can proceed pro se (i.e., without counsel), but that would undoubtedly drive up their administrative costs (the time they spend in court is time they are NOT spending plying their trades) which would, of course, be passed back on to the consumer via increased prices, rent, etc.

Simply put, we need the collections process, including collection attorneys, in order for consumers to obtain the goods and services they need, and for creditors to make good on the credit they extend. Without it, our economy will be reducted to a "beggar-thy-neighbor" farse, with creditors never extending credit to consumers and, consequently, consumers not getting the goods and services that they need to exist and flourish.