It’s a common practice for businesses to sell off uncollected bills and judgements to collections agencies, but those collectors usually only pay a fraction of the face value of the debt, knowing they are taking on the risk that it may never be paid or only partially paid. But slap a sorta-celebrity’s name on that debt and you’ll apparently attract a different type of debt collector.
The Wall Street Journal’s Law Blog reports on the odd case of a $1,605.73 judgement [PDF] against Kim Kardashian from 2002 for an alleged dental bill from when the current Mrs. Kanye West was the essentially unknown daughter of OJ Simpson attorney Robert Kardashian and stepdaughter of olympic athlete Bruce Jenner.
The dentist, who was apparently never able to collect on the judgement, recently put the debt up for sale on an auction site specializing in such things. Not only was this the first time that a debt had sold for a profit on the site, it brought in the hefty sum of $5,000 — three times the original value of the debt, and $1,500 more than the total, interest-included present value of the debt.
According to the auction listing, the debt can still be collected until Oct. 2022, and Law Blog points out that this deadline could be extended for 10-year periods in order to allow the debt to keep accruing interest. So eventually the buyer may have a judgement that turns a profit (if it’s ever collected; Kim K’s lawyers deny that she ever visited this dentist).
While the debt will continue to earn interest, what remains to be seen is whether or not the public’s interest in the Kardashians will wax or wane in the next eight years… though we have a hunch which direction that arrow is pointing.