Widow Shrieks Bloody Murder: Debt Collectors Murdered My Husband

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The era of complete and total disregulation of the financial violence industry has created a new class of predator, the debt collector, often a third party speculator who buys blocks of debt at a discount and sends bounty hunters out to collect on it, using tactics that would make Ghenghis Khan vomit blood.

The collectors are soulless , cackling jackals who will say and do anything short of pistol whipping a debtor to get them to disgorge payment.  Got more than one vowel in your name and an accent?  They’ll ask if you papers are in order and if you’ve ever been kicked to death by ICE agents.  Got a wife?   They’ll ask if you’ve ever imagined what she would look like without arms.  Got a debilitating disease?  They’ll taunt, threaten and jeer at you until it fucking kills you.

Such was the case with Stanley McLeod of Tampa, FL. After a heart attack in 1997, he never worked full-time and finally in 2005 the calls from the collector, Green Tree Servicing, were approaching a dozen calls a day, sending McLeod into a quaking fear that shattered his already failing health, his widow told the Associated Press.

Finally, he keeled over dead in December, 2005 and his wife, Dianne, vowed revenge against the twisted hyenas that she believes murdered her husband. She filed suit, armed with telephone answering machine recordings of the jackals taunting her dying husband.

On one recorded message, an angry male caller says: “Stanley McLeod, you need to call Green Tree and get your act together and make a payment on your mortgage. Quit playing games.” Then, presumably referring to the emergency aircraft that flew McLeod to the hospital after his heart attack, the caller said: “Why don’t you have that helicopter pick you up and bring that payment to the office.”

This is the kind of innovation in financial services that makes America great, isn’t it, Stinquers? Really, what America needs is for debt collectors to be free to impose compound interest at any rate on a per hour basis and the subsequent wealth production would allow everyone to retire at age 25 with uncountable wealth and their own hospital to take care of them. Ha. Haha. Hahahahahahahaha.


You think that’s bad? I got two words: payday loans.

Fighting the bad guys for a living. Not too shabby, really.

Capitalism at its best. Why negotiate when you can terrorize?

@chicago bureau: Oh, yes, been watching that industry and their cousins, the rent-to-own cartel, for years. The compound rates after rollover make loansharking look extremely reasonable. This is what it has come to in the states. Organized crime can shame the licensed enterprises in the financial violence industry.

Oh, here is one of them times when I make people hate me. But I just think, well, he did get the money they gave him. I do see lots of asians and hispanics who live by that old thing, save, and in my legal career I have dealt with them mostly in situations where, by living 10 people to a 2 bedroom apartment, all working 2 jobs, they saved actual cash greenbacks under a mattress to the point where they were putting 50% down on a small apartment building, on their way to becoming real estate enterpenuers. I have represented a half dozen people in this situation, they were doing better than I was, and I was their lawyer, they had saved more than I have in my retirement account, working pumping gas. I was flat out awed by their drive and persistence and, well, fucking balls.

The creditor here made lots of phone calls? They were mean? I have been in dire straights in my life. Don’t answer. Turn off your answering machine. File chapter 7.

There are a few occasions when the victimhood culture gets beyond my tolerance.

I simply don’t buy the actual causation element, in any event. He had serious cardiac disease. Sometime, something, was gonna give.

Every morning I see immigrants walking to work along the side of a 6 lane highway with no sidewalks or crosswalks, they have to dart across those six lanes to go to work. In the rain. Asians going to paint fingernails and give people pedicures, hispanics off to wash pots. Somehow I think this guy never had a day as bad as these people live every day.

Okay, hate me.

@chicago bureau: One of my student employees at the university actually attempted suicide because of harassment from one of those bloodsucking operations. Seriously, girl cut her wrists over $300 fucking dollars. Yes, prom, she had other issues, obviously, and struggled with depression, but that was the thing that pushed her over the edge. I retrieved her from the county mental health facility where the Catholic hospital had sent her because she had no insurance, and gave her a check to pay off those gonifs. One longs for the days when usury was a mortal sin.

@Promnight: Oh, I understand what you’re saying. The helicopter stuff was really creepy and cruel. @Mistress Cynica: It used to be against the law until Citi engineered the decision in South Dakota arguing the state regs on interest (SD had no limit) superseded the federal regs.
Had one guy call a close relation after a billing error had assigned an invoice to her insurance number for an MRI she never had. Never saw the invoice and the hospital sent it straight to collection and the collector, noticing the accent and not understanding he was dealing with a PhD in molecular biology from a school you’d recognize, made vague noises about destroying her credit rating, probably figuring she had unsure immigration status. I got the guys name off of the answering machine after another call, got the company name and found out where he lived. Really, I should have gone with my instincts and called 20 friends to visit him and describe what it would feel like for him to be beaten to death his wife’s leg.

Here’s a good moment for my favorite line from the New Yorker’s article on last year’s bailouts:

The terms gave the government a 79.9-percent stake and saddled A.I.G. with an onerous interest rate of 11.5 per cent.

That’s the writer talking, not one of his sources. I would have accepted “above-market interest rate,” but onerous? Fuck you.

@Promnight: The creditor here made lots of phone calls? They were mean?

Well, then there are the ones who call my parents. About me. Or rather, “me,” since my name is so common I used to count my clones in the phone book every year.

My dad calls me one night, concerned that I might be in dire straits because he was called by a collector. Somebody fucked up their research, I tell him — all I have is plastic, and besides, I haven’t used my parents’ address since 1981. Any credit-reporting service can tell folks where I’ve been hanging out since.

Now here’s the thing: He didn’t quite believe me. Those anonymous phone calls carry a lot of weight.

@nojo: I think I have a thick skin when it comes to phone calls. Most lawyers do, because so much of the work day consists of phone calls, nasty, unpleasant phone calls, much of the time. It fundamentally changes the way you think of the phone, the way you react to it. I see it most when I have guests, and my phone rings. They will always stop speaking and look at me, expecting me to run to answer it. Sometimes I see them struggling to control their pavlovian reaction, which is to go answer it themselves. I have gotten strange looks, I have been asked, “aren’t you going to answer it?” Of course not, that would be rude to the people I am talking to in person. From constantly dealing with it, I have had to disconnect the phone from my life, I forget sometimes that its a more significant, powerful thing in the lives of others.

Here’s one little story about my dad. Whenever we would discuss politics, and I would start spouting my commie beliefs, he would always look around, clearly scared that there might be FBI agents around who could hear me. And whenever we heard a police siren, anywhere, any time, he would look at me, and I could see it in his face, “oh no, they are on to you.”

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