It’s something that many of us will get into at some point in our adult lives and most of us will get out easily. For some, however, bankruptcy is the only answer. Knowing how unscrupulous all debt collection companies are, however, this story I read on Reuters just now comes as no surprise. A woman has taken her issue all the way to the US Supreme Court to settle a dispute with a debt collector. She declared bankruptcy and the state she lives in – Alabama – has a 6 year statute of limitations. So after 6 years, they can’t come back and try to collect.
I’m on the side of the woman in question, but not because of the whole bankruptcy issue, but because debt collectors do not – and are not required to – maintain proper files on their clients. I have heard of many many stories of a debt being fully paid off and the person still being pursued over the paid off debt because of the lack of records and the fact that debts are passed around to different debt collection companies constantly. No record of anything occurring means that they can continue to claim the debt’s unpaid status.
Of course since the juvenile Congress refused to appoint a Justice last year when it ought to have, the Court is deadlocked 4/4.