Secrets of the debt-collection biz uncovered by a reporter

secrets of the debt collection biz book - past due stamp
secrets of the debt collection biz book - past due stamp

In 2008, after a 20-plus year career as a business journalist, Fred Williams made what might have seemed like an unlikely career move: He took a leave of absence and applied for a job as a debt collector. Williams wasn't having a midlife crisis; rather, he wanted to see if the collection industry's claims of being law-abiding, professional and decent were true.

Williams got a one-of-a-kind, inside look at the collections industry in America today, which he turned into a book, Fight Back Against Unfair Debt Collection Practices: Know Your Rights and Protect Yourself from Threats, Lies, and Intimidation. He worked for what he describes as a mainstream, well-known firm (although he keeps it anonymous in his book) in the Buffalo, N.Y. area. And while some of what Williams describes -- the drab building, hackneyed motivational speeches and rows of ancient computers -- will be familiar to anyone who's ever held a Dilbert-esque office job, much of what Williams uncovered is surprising and disheartening.