CBS News: Debt firms used social media to “smear” and harass people, feds say. “A group of debt collectors in upstate New York went after their targets by calling friends, family and employers and orchestrating ‘smear campaigns’ against people they claimed owed money, federal regulators said. The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau and the New York Attorney General on Monday said they shut down a ring of debt collection firms who were going after debtors using illegal techniques.”
The WSJ Guide to Student Loans: Navigating the Myths and Misunderstandings About College Debt (Wall Street Journal)
Wall Street Journal: The WSJ Guide to Student Loans: Navigating the Myths and Misunderstandings About College Debt. “Which college majors pay off? Is graduate school a golden goose or a money pit? Are Ivy League degrees usually worth it? The Wall Street Journal answers these questions—and many more—in a first-of-its kind guide to student debt. Readers can download The WSJ Guide to Student Loans: Navigating the Myths and Misunderstandings About College Debt, free by following this link.” I cynically expected that link to go to some kind of required registration before download, but nope – it goes straight to a 148-page PDF file. Good on you, WSJ.
HuffPost: The New Stimulus Payments Aren’t Protected From Debt Collectors. “Debt collectors can take away some of the $1,400 coronavirus relief payments Congress approved last week as part of the American Rescue Plan. The $600 payments that Congress approved in December were protected from garnishment ― but the special rules that Democrats used to pass the latest bill did not allow them to include the protections this time, according to Sen. Ron Wyden (D-Ore.).
ProPublica: Debt Collectors Have Made a Fortune This Year. Now They’re Coming for More.. “Earlier this year, the pandemic swept across the country, killing 100,000 Americans by the spring, shuttering businesses and schools, and forcing people into their homes. It was a great time to be a debt collector. In August, Encore Capital, the largest debt buyer in the country, announced that it had doubled its previous record for earnings in a quarter. It primarily had the CARES Act to thank: The bill delivered hundreds of billions of dollars worth of stimulus checks and bulked-up unemployment benefits to Americans, while easing pressures on them by halting foreclosures, evictions and student loan payments. There was no ban on collections of old credit card bills, Encore’s specialty.”
Reuters: Exclusive: ECB prepares ‘bad bank’ plan for wave of coronavirus toxic debt. “European Central Bank officials are drawing up a scheme to cope with potentially hundreds of billions of euros of unpaid loans in the wake of the coronavirus outbreak, two people familiar with the matter told Reuters.”
ProPublica: Capital One and Other Debt Collectors Are Still Coming for Millions of Americans. “As the COVID-19 pandemic hit, Americans got protection from evictions, foreclosures and student debt. But debt collectors have continued to siphon off their share of paychecks from those who still have jobs.”