When most people think of shady, predatory "debt collectors," they probably imagine a dingy, smoke-filled boiler room with workers haranguing hapless victims on the phone. In fact, there are law firms that are every bit as perfidious.
Extorting money from desperate normal people by using Official-Looking Paperwork is a great hustle, because most people who are in debt have become so terrified of Official-Looking Letters that they will automatically acquiesce to their Official-Sounding Demands. Furthermore—as law firms know—the average person does not understand the U.S. legal system, and wants nothing more than to steer clear of it entirely, and certainly does not have the knowledge, time, or resources to properly contest a court case, so the courts are a great mechanism for terrifying people in order to extort some money from them, whether they really owe you that money or not. Which is apparently a full-fledged business model among some of America's shittier law firms.
The Wall Street Journal reports that the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau is finally cracking down on at least one law firm that is completely dedicated to filing "cookie-cutter lawsuits" against hundreds of thousands of indebted people, seeking to wring money out of each one through legal intimidation.
The CPFB's case, filed in federal court in Georgia, accused Hanna & Associates of churning out more than 350,000 credit card collection complaints against consumers, some of whom may owe nothing or owed less than was claimed. Lawyers for the firm typically spend less than a minute reviewing each suit, the CPFB alleged.
A law firm with this business model is every bit as much a bloodsucker of the poor as a payday loan operation or a state lottery is.
When the revolution comes they are certainly going to be ON THE LIST.