Local DAs Allowing Debt Collectors to Use Their Letterhead, Split Fees from Shakedown

It’s one thing for the officialdom to sit back and allow financial services industry chicanery to go un or inadequately punished, quite another to get in bed with them to perpetrate a scam.

The New York Times reports on how over 300 local district attorneys are participating in and profiting from what amounts to a shakedown operation. Let’s say you’ve bounced a check. The debt collectors send letters using the local district attorney’s letterhead, threatening jail time unless you not only pay what is allegedly owed but also an additional fee, typically $150 to $200, to take a “financial accountability” course.

Mind you, the DA has not prosecuted the case, nor even verified that the debt is valid. But the DA’s office winds up getting a cut of the fee from the class that the funds-impaired checkwriter was conned into taking. The debt collectors and the DA call these arrangements “partnerships,” presumably in the Ambrose Bierce sense:

When two thieves have their hands so deeply plunged into each other’s pockets that they cannot separately plunder a third party.

Rest here…