I argue with the collection industry for a living. I blog about them and use pictures of clowns or monsters to represent them. And I know that, as an industry, it causes lots of fear, stress, and confusion among my clients and millions of consumers across the USA.
However – on an individual level – one of the reasons I tend to have successful outcomes when negotiating or litigating (DISCLAIMER: Past performance is no guarantee of future results; I can and will never guarantee an outcome in your legal matter), is that I generally LIKE and RESPECT most of the attorneys who I oppose. They’re not bad people, they’re just doing their job. Their job happens to include putting stress and pressure on consumers, but in my experience, when I treat collection industry reps with respect, my clients benefit from better outcomes, and my day has a lot less stress in it.
Why – I can hear you asking – why, would I bother writing about how nice the collectors are?
Simple – because when you demonize your opponent, when you want nothing more than scorched earth – then you’ve already lost. I’ve replaced other “scorched earth” attorneys in cases where the collectors had become so incensed by the hardcore tactics used, that there was no negotiating room left.
And second because of this: your exposure, if you’re a jerk in litigation, can be staggering. Here’s a story about an FDCPA consumer plaintiff who turned a potential $5,000 settlement in his airtight case – into a $33,000 LOSS, where he had to pay the collector’s attorney fees.
You just can’t fix stupid.