Debt Collector Threatens To Shoot And Eat Your Dog

A woman says a funeral home’s debt collector threatened to dig her deceased daughter’s body up and hang it from a tree unless she paid what she owed for the funeral service. That’s when she started recording the calls, capturing such things as, “We’re going to have your dog arrested, we’re going to shoot him, and we’re going to eat him,” and, “Are you going to pay this bill or not or am I going to have to kill you?”

Threats of violence are definite breaches of the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA). Armed with those recordings, the woman could go sue the debt collector in small claims court and collect statutory damages.

Reached for comment, the debt collection agency told KMOV that the recordings were “suspect” and said they sounded like an “unfortunate communication breakdown.” They pledged to investigate the incident and said all their employees are given a copy of the FDCPA and are required to follow it.

Belleville woman irate after vulgar phone calls from debt collectors [KMOV] (Thanks to Bill!)

Comments

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  1. StuffThingsObjects says:

    It’s a dog eat dog world.

  2. SimplyStating says:

    Hopefully this lady takes this to someone higher and takes them for all they are worth. The whole comment about her daughter is just revolting to say the least.

  3. Omali says:

    An unfortunate communication breakdown…for the company about to get their asses sued off.

  4. kylere1 says:

    I have no doubt in my mind that the debt collection agency is really that scummy. I have never met an honest debt collector.

  5. lehrdude says:

    I do some work for a Mausoleum, and around here the saying goes:

    “No cash in the purse, no body in the hearse…”

    • dvdchris says:

      This is OT, but your avatar is a little….odd…

    • sonneillon says:

      You can run a currency up front type business, but the question the owners need to address is: “Is the money I make from reducing my risk less than the money I would make if I had a line of credit with the bereaved?”

      Businesses can be a cash up front type operation.

  6. IT-Princess: I work in IT, you owe me $1 says:

    WOW. I hope she sues them and forces THEM to pay off HER debt.
    No one, debt or not, deserves to be talked to like that.

    • sagodjur says:

      She shouldn’t have spent money she didn’t have. She could have just not had her daughter die and she wouldn’t have been in this mess in the first place. People need to fulfill their obligations or society breaks down! No one else has ever had financial trouble caused by unforeseen and arguably tragic circumstances. Why should she be special?

      /sarcasm

      • hypnotik_jello says:

        I think you confused /sarcasm with /troll

        • shanelee24 says:

          No, I think /sarcasm was fine. His line of reasoning was mocking the thoughts these collectors have.

          • sagodjur says:

            Thank you – that was indeed my intention.

            I was also, as caradrake’s statement alludes to, mocking the thoughts that some commenters would likely have here, i.e. blaming the victim.

            • zifnab0 says:

              Why should the funeral home have to pay for the daughter’s funeral? Why can’t the mother pay for the debt that she voluntarily took on? Yes, it’s a sad situation, but being a victim to tragic consequence doesn’t absolve you of responsibility.

              A simple cremation is pretty inexpensive for people who don’t have much money, and you can make the ceremony as simple or complex as you want without renting out a funeral parlor.

              • sagodjur says:

                No one said the funeral home had to eat the cost. We’re not talking about having the debt completely forgiven. But the funeral home has some protection for this issue. They get to claim the loss of having to write off the unpaid bill. Any business can reasonably expect that not every customer will be able to fulfill their payment obligations. It’s a part of doing business.

                The whole issue arose out of the conduct of the collection agency representatives and the tactics they employed in attempting to receive payment on the debt.

                You don’t know the full scenario, so you can’t reasonably assume the woman chose the most extravagant funeral arrangements (or the least expensive for that matter either) and you can’t assume that she had the money and just chose not to pay the bill and you can’t assume that she took on the bill with the knowledge that she wouldn’t be able to pay it. Nobody knows for certain how secure their financial state will be in the future. There are unforeseen circumstances. Ask the people who were gainfully employed two years ago and current on their mortgages and are now living out of an apartment after having lost their house when the economy went to crap.

                Regardless of even if the woman were intentionally (however illogical and unlikely) declining to pay the debt even though she has the money, the conduct of the debt collectors is still loathsome and cause for litigation if not criminal charges. You can’t get blood from a turnip, even with dog-eating death threats.

                • Jishosan says:

                  I’m a little confused. When running a business, I operate under the assumption that ALL of my customers are going to pay me ALL of the money that I am owed. Now, if you are including the fact that we might account for thievery and shrinkage, then that’s a stretch in terms of “customers”, and if I provide an on-demand service, where the object is only produced AFTER you ask for it, then I have every right in the world to believe that I’ve getting paid by everyone who approaches me.

                  And beyond that, a simple ceremony, showing, and burial usually runs 1800-2300. If you’re running 5000, you’re doing something above and beyond, with money you already know you don’t have. I’m sympathetic to the womans situation with the debt collectors, and I think she should probably win back a tidy sum from the collectors and then go pay the actual funeral home directly instead, but I’m not sympathetic to her debt situation to begin with. I have yet to meet a business that I couldn’t work out a payment arrangement with rather than them sell off the debt pennies on the dollar to a collector.

                  • coren says:

                    No, 5000 is about the norm, depending on state (it’s more expensive in CA than in other states)

                  • Yomiko says:

                    “When running a business, I operate under the assumption that ALL of my customers are going to pay me ALL of the money that I am owed.”

                    You’re not familiar with basic accounting principals, are you? Any time you sell on credit, you set up an allowance for bad debts. How big that allowance is… well, that’s subjective.

      • caradrake says:

        If she had just showed her receipt at the door, this would not have happened.

    • Groanan says:

      “No one, debt or not, deserves to be talked to like that.”

      Calling BS on that ideology. This law aside, we live in America where we have freedom of speech. If someone is talking to you on the phone, and you feel that you deserve more respect, just hang up.

      There is no right to respect or right to being spoken to in a prim and proper manner.
      There is a right, given to all Americans, to be obnoxiously free.

      I categorically reject the contention that there is no one in this world that deserves to be spoken to as this person was.

      The law needs to stand though, because debt collectors should not be allowed to make real threats, and fake threats can sometimes have the same effect as real threats.

      • coren says:

        Yes, anyone can talk to anyone else however they like. No one denied that. THey said no one *deserves* to be spoken to in that fashion.

    • roscoe says:

      Right on!

  7. shufflemoomin says:

    Again, you can look at the issue that debt collector should in no circumstances make threats like that but just because they do so doesn’t mean we should overlook the OPs part in this. Why didn’t she pay the bills? Why did she refuse a payment plan? Why has she been so difficult to work with that the funeral home have had to go to collections in the first place? Pay your bills, sort out any sort of agreement possible and this stuff won’t happen. It sounds to me like the funeral home tried all they could to work with this woman and yet we don’t get to find out why she can’t or won’t pay money she owes.

    • yagisencho says:

      Regardless of the debtor’s actions, the collector was in no way justified in making those threats.

    • quijote says:

      wtfv

    • Red_Flag says:

      Sorry, it’s illegal for the debt collector to behave in such a manner — regardless of whether the debt is owed or whether the debtor is an upstanding citizen. The collection agencies must follow the motherfucking law — or they can ignore it and be fined for violating said law.

    • MrEvil says:

      Here’s the low-down what I am assuming happened after RTFA. This woman’s daughter had been ill for quite sometime with a terminal illness and all her money was eaten up with her daughter’s medical bills. She probably had to quit her job as well in order to care for her daughter in her final days. Its NEVER easy or good for the wallet when you have a child that’s terminally or chronically ill. She’s probably gotta pay off all the doctors and hospitals first.

      • Verucalise (Est.February2008) says:

        My daughter is disabled, not terminally ill- But I can vouch for this statement. We are lucky to get such great help, but we are still out a lot of money for gas to bring her to all her Dr’s, specialized drinks because she doesn’t eat well, and well, other small things that add up that don’t happen with a child born healthy.

    • amgriffin says:

      What is wrong with you?

    • humphrmi says:

      There’s a too much information missing to assume that she’s a deadbeat. Maybe she offered to make payments, and they refused. I don’t see anything in the article that indicates that she refused a payment plan.

    • Gulliver says:

      Does not matter. You bring up issues that have no bearing on the LAW. The debt collector actually committed a CRIME no matter what the circumstances. IT could be called extortion. Pay me or else I kill you. I would go after the collector personally on criminal charges and the firm in civil court. This example does not need the FDCPA protections as a crime was committed.

    • ellemdee says:

      Irrelevant. The issue is not whether or not the OP made a good faith effort to pay the bill or not. I don’t care if someone was the biggest deadbeat in the world, there is never never NEVER an excuse or justification for a collector to threaten to (1) dig up someone’s dead relative’s body and hang it from a tree (WTF?!?), (2) arrest (lol) and eat (again, WTF!) someone’s dog, and (3) to murder the person who owes the debt. Death threats are not an “unfortunate communication breakdown”, they are illegal.

      Saying, the OP had “a part in this” and blaming them – even a little – for what this nut job debt collector said is like justifying a rogue cop killing a suspect in custody because it wouldn’t have happened had the person not done anything wrong to get arrested for in the first place.

      I know everyone seems to like a good game of “blame the OP” around here, but putting *any* of this on her is ridiculous. There are laws about what debt collectors are allowed to say or do while attempting to collect a debt. Even if they weren’t collectors, it would still be soooo wrong to threaten to kill someone, arrest/kill/eat their dog and dig up their dead daughter’s body under any circumstances. I should be used to “blame the OP” around here by now, but I’m a little disturbed that I even had to defend her on this issue.

    • BomanTheBear says:

      Bangarang, here’s the first ‘just pay your bills and everything will be okay’ asshole of the thread.

      I’m solvent. You may be solvent. Not everyone is solvent. And a funeral isn’t exactly something you plan ahead for if you don’t have the money to.

      • DigitalShawn says:

        Because I mean its all fine and dandy not to pay what you owe, right?

        Seriously, had the woman shopped around, she could have found a deal that she could afford instead of purposely sticking it to the business. While I don’t agree with what was said by the collector, this woman has an obligation to pay for services rendered.

        Her daughter wasn’t important enough to rest in peace properly? The mom valued her daughter’s live so little that she couldn’t even pay for her burial? The woman sounds like a dead beat.

        • TechnicallySpeaking says:

          And you sound like an asshole. I guess we all sound like something.

        • The Porkchop Express says:

          what are your plans for the death of your children? I know I’m not saving up for that funeral, I plan to not be around for it.

          You ever have something happen that you didn’t plan for? yeah that seems to be what happened here. you know how much funerals cost? yeah that would be more money than most have laying around just in case their kid dies.

          Should she pay the debt? yeah. Should the debt collector threaten her? no.

        • Humward says:

          If you’re trying to argue that the woman “deserves” this, you’ve got the moral compass of a dead fish.

          If you’re trying to argue anything else then you’re just being asinine. People should pay their bills? Sure. But sometimes they can’t. This ain’t rocket surgery.

          • DigitalShawn says:

            Did I say she deserved this treatment? No. Does she need to pay the funeral home? Yes.

            I would like to introduce you to my point. Point, meet random asshat.

            • Humward says:

              And sometimes people can’t. As I said, your point is asinine — the sort of point made by the sort of person that goes around calling names when they’re called out for being idiotic. Just a meaningless, asinine comment by an asinine little person — sad, really.

        • chargernj says:

          How is your post relevant to the actual point of the story?

          No one is saying that she shouldn’t pay her bills. The point of the story is the behavior of the debt collector.

          • DigitalShawn says:

            Actually the whole issue was that she couldn’t pay her bills. L2read.

            • nakago71 says:

              Maybe the original article? The point of the Consumerist article appears to be that threats of grave-robbing and murder are both bad form and illegal. L2read yourself.

        • isileth says:

          Do you really think you would be able to “shop around” when your daughter dies?
          Good for you if you are, because your cold blood is awesome.

      • the Persistent Sound of Sensationalism says:

        …especially when it comes to your children. Who plans for the estate of their children? You could blame the daughter (though I missed how old she actually was) for not planning her own funeral and estate.

        • Humward says:

          I don’t want to assume, but it did look in the pictures like she may have had mental and/or physical disabilities. And the mother said her daughter had been sick “her whole life” — which suggests that the daughter likely had some sort of long-standing issue. So I think this is probably a case where the daughter wasn’t capable of such planning.

      • oldwiz65 says:

        You can plan funerals ahead when you are planning to get rid of someone, but the authorities take a dim view of it, especially if you contact a funeral home 1 week before someone dies under suspicious circumstances.

        (/sarcasm)

    • TasteyCat says:

      I agree with the general concept. But this argument loses steam with the suggestion that it’s her fault she is getting these types of calls. This is a debt collector violating the law, plain and simple. They have the right to collect the debt she owes, but they do not have the right to threaten to kill her, her family, and/or her pets.

    • Pax says:

      Why did she refuse a payment plan?

      Do you know what that “plan” entailed? No? Then STFU.

      I was in collections, once. And despite my being on welfare at the time – sudden loss of job – and sleeping in a [i]homeless shelter[/i] (no income = no rent = “GTFO”) … I offered to pay $50/month, out of my then $340/month income, “for as long as it takes to pay the debt back, including interest.”

      $50 wasn’t enough. It had to be $100.

      Per month wasn’t enough. It had to be weekly.

      Nevermind that an average of $433.34/month was about $95 more than I got, before paying for such inconsequential little things as soap, laundry detergent, razors and shaving cream, etc.

      Finally it got to the point where he threatened to take me to court, and “we’ll research and find every asset you have”. So I finally snapped, and isntead of being nice, and civil, swore at the asshole, and told him to go ahead – because if I’d HAD any assets, I certainly wouldn’t be putting up with an asshole like HIM any longer than it took to get a mailing address to send the check to.

      And told him to PLEASE take me to court, I didn’t have any assets, and they’d only waste the lawyers’ fees. And until then, he wouldn’t see another DIME out of me, no matter what he said.

      That was almost twenty years ago. He hasn’t called back yet. >:)

      (I’ll never be in that situation again. It was my own damned fault – I was young, and got stupid with my first credit card. Lesson learned, and that was also my LAST credit card.)

      • HogwartsProfessor says:

        See, that’s the problem not only with debt collectors but with companies nowadays. They want THIS amount and they WILL NOT work with you no matter what. I got sent to collections on something I was paying. Bastards.

        • Bohemian says:

          That happens all the time now. If they decide your not paying enough fast enough. It will only get worse as the economy stinks and people are short of money.

      • shanelee24 says:

        And by your own admission, your own fault. Someone else paid for something you purchased. And you owed a debt that you couldnt pay. Your foolishness led to other consumers taking the heat. You do not help this lady’s cause with your comments.

        • consumerfan says:

          Pax was responsible for his debt and NOT for the attitude or practices of the debt collector. Pax was apparently being reasonable in his attempts to repay. The debt collector was doing his job and following the requirements given him.

          Ultimately, Pax couldn’t pay what he owed in full and the debt collector couldn’t accept the payment offer.

          Swearing wasn’t appropriate but otherwise, a good stance to take.

      • caj111 says:

        If you were homeless, how did they call you? Just curious. I know you didn’t have a cell phone 20 years ago, almost no one did.

    • LadySiren is murdering her kids with HFCS and processed cheese says:

      It might be that she’s planning on paying the bill, however, she needs funds from the estate to do so. When my mom passed, the mortuary we worked with was kind enough to wait for payment until we got a few snarls unraveled. If her daughter’s estate is tied up due to legal issues and the mortuary can’t or won’t wait, I can see why it might go to collections.

    • chargernj says:

      You probably tell rape victims they were “asking for it” because they were dressed suggestively too.

      • nonsane says:

        Yes, taking OP’s side is endorsing rape.

        I love the internet.

        • chargernj says:

          No dumbass… Telling someone that if the had paid their bills then they wouldn’t have to deal with scummy debt collectors is similar to telling rape victims that they wouldn’t have been raped had they just dressed more modestly.

          My point being idiot is that bad behavior by one party (not paying your bills or dressing in a suggestive manner) should NEVER excuse even worse behavior by another party (like bill collectors making terrorist threats, getting raped).

          But like a typical idiot, my analogy went over your head and you just fixated on the word “rape”.

    • newfenoix says:

      Another shill…..

    • Trick says:

      Doesn’t matter if the debtor had a stash of cash in her home and was using it to buy illegal midget porn instead of paying her bills. Debt collection agencies have to follow the law no matter what the debtor is doing. There are legal options for debt collectors yet they chose to violate the law instead of following it.

      The CA could have filed a lawsuit and if they had legitimate proof of debt ownership, most likely would have won the lawsuit and depending on state laws, the CA could have set up a wage garnishment.

      This CA didn’t do that. It doesn’t matter if the debtor said she would pay next week, every week for two years. It doesn’t matter if the debtor called the CA worker a prick every 5 seconds while on the phone. The CA has to follow the law regardless.

      Are you getting the point yet? The CA *HAS TO FOLLOW THE LAW* regardless. They are the “professionals” here, it is the CA that has to know the law and *FOLLOW* it.

      • yevarechecha says:

        I don’t understand why this is only a violation of debt collection law. I thought it was illegal to make death threats, period.

  8. Quake 'n' Shake says:

    Armed with those recordings, the woman could go sue the debt collector in small claims court and collect statutory damages.

    Unless of course this had been in Maryland, where the local District Attorney would be presenting evidence against her to a grand jury.

    • Red_Flag says:

      Except that it was in Missouri, so Maryland has nothing to do with it.

      • Murph1908 says:

        Point You

      • AI says:

        I think the point is that not everybody can defend against these debt collectors. If you’re not allowed to record what they say, how the hell are you going to prove they uttered death threats against you?

        • sonneillon says:

          Because every debt collector I have ever heard from says they are recording the call. Sounds like all parties have been informed of the recording to me. I have yet to see a court case where that has been used against them when the other person records the call too.

      • Quake 'n' Shake says:

        Unless of course this had been in Maryland
        I’m aware it wasn’t Maryland. Myr first phrase established that.
        I meant that in some states, she could be in a heap of trouble for making the recordings.

        • stormbird says:

          I think Maryland has the same no-recording-unless-both-sides-agree law. IIRC, the reporter that went to several ACORN offices to get help with his illegal immigrant child sex brothel was almost indicted by the AG over the recording.

      • The Lone Gunman says:

        Unless things have changed geographically, Belleville is in Illinois, east of St Louis.

  9. Alvis says:

    I wonder if she thought she had $5000 going into this, or simply had no intention to pay from the get-go.

    • GameHen says:

      Which bring up the question…what do you do if the neither the estate, nor the family has any money for burial expenses? How is that supposed to be handled?

      • NatalieErin says:

        I believe in some states you can turn the body over to the state or county and it will be buried in their version of “potter’s field.”

    • mrscoach says:

      It isn’t like she took a vacation, she buried her daughter. Have you paid for a funeral? They are expensive. $5000 for a casket, service and use of a parlor isn’t outrageous, more like on the cheap side.

      She didn’t have a choice, she HAD to bury her daughter, or did you want her to dig a hole in the back yard?

      • Alvis says:

        No service, then cremation, seems like a reasonable option.

        In any case, if you can’t afford something you take a loan out to cover it. Businesses aren’t banks.

        • Mom says:

          Doesn’t matter. This isn’t about the woman’s ability to pay. It’s about a debt collector breaking the law in a really egregious way.

        • myCatCracksMeUp says:

          Your picture accurately represents your mentality.

          • runswithscissors says:

            He’s a chronic OP blamer. Every damn story. Him and “McGuyver”. It gets old, but soon you learn to tune them out.

        • TheWillow says:

          then she would owe the bank, who would sell it to a debt collector…

        • The Porkchop Express says:

          so cremations are free? sweet I had no idea.

        • jamar0303 says:

          Unless your idea of cremation is “take it out to the backyard and set fire to it” it’s not going to be free or even cheap enough to be “reasonable” (given the context of $5k being excessive).

      • dvdchris says:

        It cost $6000 to bury my mom and that was two years ago in a small Texas town. That was the absolute least we could spend, not even using the funeral home facilities for a funeral or viewing.

        • Yamantaka says:

          Not only are cremations _not_ free, some religious sects frown upon them (to the point where they are forbidden for members of said groups).

          Funeral homes typically have their customers in a vice, and they know it. They’ll take advantage of your grief and try to upsell, upsell, upsell when you aren’t in the most rational state of mind. Some funeral directors and their staff are swell, upstanding people, but others… others are simply creeps. When you have a body that needs to get buried, though, it’s not as if you have the luxury of doing a lot of shopping around (particularly if you’re in an area with a dearth of competition in the ol’ funeral market).

          Bottom line, learn from the OP’s mistake and get your ducks in a row beforehand. (We all gotta die. We don’t all gotta be unprepared.)

          For the OP, I’d say take the collection agency bastards to court for breaching the FDCPA in such an egregious manner. Apply the judgment to the debt owed to the funeral company, set up a payment plan for any remainder, stick to it, and move on.

    • jkinatl2 says:

      If her daughter had social security disability, there might have been five hundred dollars for a funeral. Not knowing the nature of the illness, often the last few months/weeks are the most expensive. If her daughter had medicare, hospice or pallative care is largely covered. However, a lifelong illness is financially devastating.

      I know from experience that many (maybe not most, certainly not all) funeral homes upsell their services with costly upcharges on caskets, viewings, flowers, embalming, and other things which are either optional, or can be purchased elsewhere for far less. Unfortunately, this information often comes at a time when the consumer is in absolutely no frame of mind to go comparing prices.

      We will never know the mind of this mother, what her intentions were or are. But we can agree that the way she was treated by the collection agency was reprehensible. And that is what this article is about.

    • EllenRose says:

      For Pete’s sake! When somebody dies, you bury them. You can’t just stick them in your freezer until you’re solvent! It would be nice to go into a funeral with all your ducks in a row, but – you do what you must, and try to take care of the rest when you’re back in a semi-normal world.

    • sirwired says:

      Who gives a $hit! Even if she had borrowed $5k and blew it on a vacation, she STILL wouldn’t have deserved this kind of blatantly illegal treatment.

    • Trick says:

      It wouldn’t matter if this lady used money that could have miraculously saved her daughter and blew it on a vacation with her toyboy lover. It doesn’t matter if that lady walked out of the funeral home laughing about how she just scammed them big time. Collection agencies have to follow the law, which this CA did not do.

      Collection agencies sue people all the time, win and collect their judgment with numerous *LEGAL* options on how to collect the judgment.

      What this CA did was clearly violate the law numerous times. They did so in such a very stupid way because it is quite easy to take CA’s to court and win over such actions. This CA thinks it is a cost of doing business. For every lawsuit they have to pay out, there are 25 people who are intimidated into pay a debt this CA may not even have a legal right to collect on so why change tactics? This CA was caught and now they may have to pay for breaking the law…

  10. AustinTXProgrammer says:

    How nice of the collection agency to offer to pay her debts for her! She needed to sue, not go to the media.

  11. u1itn0w2day says:

    The debt collector is basically threatening to commit a crime-desecration of grave/corpse. That’s basically a terroristic threat.

    Sounds like this debt was sold to the lowest bidder(or lowest life form).

    • cmdr.sass says:

      You can’t terrorize a corpse. It only works the other way around.

      • Rommel says:

        Just like you can’t terrorize two incredibly tall, inanimate buildings >.>

        But that didn’t stop them, did it?

        Besides, he meant that it was basically a terrorist act as the person involved would be terrorizing:

        A) those who just might be a witness, or

        B) the relative of the body; you dig up a dead body and hang it?!

        • shanelee24 says:

          The buildings werent terrorized, so no cookie for you. It was the american public who was terrorized in that instance.

  12. Loias supports harsher punishments against corporations says:

    Why can’t a business just be honest in obvious cases like this? “We made a poor decision in hiring this individual, and/or improperly trained her. We are terminating her immediately, and will ensure all other employees understand this is not acceptable.”

    I would buy them cookies.

    • human_shield says:

      Because that isn’t the truth. More like, “We train all our collectors according to the law and impose unrealistic quotas to force them to break every law and make every threat imaginable to keep their jobs, but they aren’t supposed to get caught, and so we are sorry for that.”

  13. dragonfire81 says:

    I never knew Mike Tyson was a debt collector now…

  14. zantafio says:

    Sounds like to me she hit the jackpot!

  15. zantafio says:

    Humm…. and how do they know she has a dog???

    • SecretShopper: pours out a lil' liquor for the homies Wasp & Otter says:

      it was on her credit report that the bank sent over

    • Rommel says:

      *plays twilight zone theme song*

      *looks out window*

      *sees debt collector staring inside*

      That’s how.

  16. SecretShopper: pours out a lil' liquor for the homies Wasp & Otter says:

    “unfortunate communication breakdown.” They pledged to investigate the incident and said all their employees are given a copy of the FDCPA and are required to follow it.

    but are they taking it seriously?
    probably not

  17. quijote says:

    It sounds like the debt collector was just some stupid kid who thought that what he was doing was a funny. I always imagine that life has a way of eventually teaching people not to be so cold. I’m guessing one day he’ll recall having said that bit about the tree and wish he hadn’t said it.

  18. Sword_Chucks says:

    This “unfortunate communication breakdown” can result in a huge payment from debt collector to victim, the debt collectors will be in debt to the debtor.

    irony

  19. Roger Wilco says:

    “Are you going to pay this bill or not or am I going to have to kill you?”

    and who would pay for that funeral?

  20. TasteyCat says:

    Can a dog be arrested?

  21. Urgleglurk says:

    Sue the SOB. “Unfortunate lack of communication,” my a$$.

  22. UCLAri: Allergy Sufferer says:

    818? That’s the San Fernando Valley! Go hometown!

    …sigh.

  23. Angus99 says:

    And I’m wearing Milkbone underwear.

  24. davidsco says:

    WHY do people still take this crap from Debt Collectors and whine about it. People, they aren’t gonna do crap. Tell them what they can do with their BS debt, and then call them back and harass and annoy and threaten them. Turning the tables is the ONLY way you get this scum to stop

  25. Crackpot says:

    It’s one thing to give your collection agents (who require little to no training or experience) a copy of the law and hope they read it. It’s another thing entirely to explain it to them. I think the company’s response is clear: “Who cares? We’ll, uh, get right on that.”

  26. RogalDorn says:

    ‘Hey, luke what did you do with that guys dog?’
    ‘I killed it and ate it!’
    ‘YEAH!! REBELS!!!’

  27. hotcocoa says:

    Poor woman. I hope she gets her day in court. No one deserves to be talked to like that. If a cop is arresting someone for speeding, that doesn’t give her the right to verbally abuse and threaten the person’s life.
    Some of the comments on here are clueless and beyond trolltastic.

  28. heismanpat says:

    The employee who made the recordings sounds drunk off his ass and speaks at the level of a middle school dropout. That’s definitely a high class operation you have there, Rumson & Bolling. I like the last call, where he says he’s in charge and is going “to do whatever I feel like it”. You can almost smell the beer on his breath.

  29. redskull says:

    Wouldn’t actually killing the woman be counterproductive to the whole debt collection concept?

  30. misslisa says:

    I think we can all agree that the debt collector should be hung from a tree, then eaten. By a dog :)

    However, can I take this opportunity to say: The funeral industry, like the wedding industry, has convinced us that everyone HAS to purchase the services that THEY insist on. Nobody has to have a funeral. Here in Phoenix, two of my friends’ mothers died (the same week in fact), and they simply worked w/the coroner’s service to have the body hauled away. Cost like $200. End of story.

    When my dad was dying, I ran this idea by him, and if he’d been well he would have smacked me! He had saved for it and was insistent on all the bells and whistles of a full blown funeral. Still, you can negotiate and save. Buy your own casket from a casket wholesaler – ask for a scratch & dent model like we did. Thousands saved. You don’t have to buy a vault or a grave liner – just get the cheapest plot w/no frills. You don’t need a tombstone either. Nice to have, but not required if you’re broke.

    Long story short, when you’re blinded by grief, don’t get strongarmed, or shamed by your family, into buying something you can’t afford.

  31. dolemite says:

    Communcation breakdown:

    “John, you may say we are going to whip your dog, not that we are going to shoot and eat it…get it right!”

  32. shanelee24 says:

    Seriously? Ads before the video?

  33. duxup says:

    “Threats of violence are definite breaches of the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA)”

    Um, aren’t there other laws that cover threats of violence…?

  34. jbandsma says:

    My son defaulted once on a debt and it went into collections. (Yes, I wanted to put my foot up his ass for that one.) The collection agency started calling ME about his debt. I was not a co-signer nor in any way responsible for it but they were speed calling…as soon as I’d hang up they’d call back. The response to my suggestion that they try calling my son instead of me and to stop tying up my line (I had a sick relative at the time that I was waiting for word on) was that they’d do whatever they felt like and keep my line busy for weeks if they felt like it.

    When I told them I’d had enough and would block their calls, I was told “Go ahead and try it, you can’t do it”. I guess they never heard of call blocking because that’s just what I did. I would have loved to see the guy’s face when he tried the next call and couldn’t get through.

    That was bad enough, but this is over the top even for a disgusting industry.

  35. smartmuffin says:

    What we have here is failure to communicate?

  36. Fubish says: I don't know anything about it, but it seems to me... says:

    I make my own violent threats out of sticks and duct tape.

  37. ThomFabian says:

    Sad sad story about an abusive jerk who works for a company which seems to look the other way. I, in no way, am taking up for him at all.

    However, did anyone not else hear “or am I going to have to kill you”? Don’t get me wrong, I don’t doubt the dude on the other end would’ve said anything he could to get the money, but if I played that for someone without the words on the screen I’d think it could interpreted as any number of other things like “sue you” or something else.

    That said, harassment anywhere near approaching this level is too far, and the dog comments go to the point of being patently absurd as well as crossing the line.

  38. DovS says:

    While she should definitely file suit against the debt collection company, she should also file a criminal report against the individual who threatened to kill her and her dog. Threatening to kill someone, harassment, and extortion are all crimes.

  39. dourdan says:

    if the guy who heard racial slurs from his debt collector can sue then she certianly can.

  40. FrankReality says:

    Oh the threat of killing you over a debt – that one should go to a state/district attorney for a felony warrant. That is criminal.

  41. In The Poorhouse says:

    This is heinous.

    Rozanne Anderson, who is the lead attorney for ACA International has long been defending the reprehensible behavior of these rogue debt collectors as “a few bad apples”. The problem is,
    this behavior is widespread and growing as the economy continues to falter and more and more people default on their debts. And, for those who say “Pay your bills and the calls will stop”, this has NOTHING to do with the issue at hand, which is a blatant violation of the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act. This woman stands to collect thousands of dollars in statuatory and punitive damages if she takes Bolling to court for his collector’s transgressions…and I hope her attorneys and the Federal Trade Commission mops the floor up with him.

  42. Gorbachev says:

    That’s not a breach of FDCPA, that’s downright criminal. The debt collector should go to jail.

    • In The Poorhouse says:

      They won’t go to jail. The worst that can possibly happen to them is they could have their license to collect debts suspended until they enter into a settlement with the State of California under the Rosenthal Act and the Federal Trade Commission’s Fair Debt Collection Practices Act agreeing to obey whatever consent orders are handed down as a result of this investigation.

  43. roscoe says:

    The law was written just for aholes like this guy who are probably cowards in person. Times are hard. If she doesn’t have it she doesn’t have it. What do some of you idiots want her to do. Bury her daughter in the back yard? You would defend boiler room hatchetmen who victimize someone down on their luck? Cold, heartless, subhuman bottom feeders from the CEO down.

  44. oldwiz65 says:

    How could you arrest a dog in the first place?

    “unfortunate communication breakdown” – that is one of the dumbest excuses I’ve ever heard.

    Threats to actually kill you should be reported to the police – that is a criminal offense. However getting the police to actually do anything about it is another matter, but at least you should report it. If it continues get an attorney.

  45. PENFOLD says:

    Debt Collectors (especially the the shady ones) count on the Average Consumer not knowing their rights. There are rules that outline what can and cannot be said, what times they cannot call, who they can and cannot call.
    If Debt Collectors can (and do) record the calls, you also have the right to record their calls (you have to inform them you’re recording)
    I did this once to a particularly aggressive Debt Collector…..it’s amazing how quickly they become courteous and follow the rules

  46. zappo says:

    Sounds like we need to let Hannible Lecter loose on these guys.

  47. Jabberkaty says:

    I’m curious if the individual on the phone could face criminal charges as well. In my state, there’s criminal threatening or terrorizing. I feel like when he threatens to kill her or her pets, and she felt legitimate fear (i.e. he knows where she lives, who she is, etc.) she might have a case there, especially where she has evidence. But I’m not an expert and I don’t know where she lives.

  48. cecilsaxon says:

    LOL- Who buries a person on credit. Better yet who accepts the burial of a human being on credit?

    I aint paying- so there.

  49. SacraBos says:

    I note the lack of “Taking it Seriously” tag…

  50. Jasmine says:

    About six years ago I had a collection agency hounding me for a debt that I already had a plan set up through the company. Even though I told them there was no way they could have the paperwork for the debt, they would still call a dozen times a day and threaten me. I would be woken up at five am by them calling, and up until after midnight. Some would tell me I deserved to die because I was a deadbeat (even though I was paying it!), some used words I can’t repeat, and one guy even flat out told me that I should go without food and electricity because this debt was more important, and I should be homeless. The one I remember most, he told me he would come to my house, light me on FIRE, and burn down my home. He said he could do whatever he wanted because ‘deadbeats should all die.” I wish upon everything that I’d have known I could have sued his @$$ off for threats of murder and harassment. This guy was a real piece of work! Few years after I’d paid it off, someone else began harassing me at work, so I did all the riga-maroo and demanded they give proof. It went through three more collection agencies before I finally had to get a lawyer involved. Never heard from any of it again. Jerks. All of them.