By now, you may have heard of John Oliver's grand gesture. Via HBO and his television show Last Week Tonight, Oliver formed a debt-buying company naming it Central Asset Recovery Professionals (CARP), and purchasing $15 million in medical debt through the business.
Oliver's main goal was to shine a light on the disgusting, manipulative and often illegal practices of the debt-buying industry. Ultimately, he also forgave the debt that CARP, named after the bottom-feeding fish, had purchased.
If you're thinking, "Wow! I could certainly use that kind of help," we understand. If you're further thinking, "Expose debt-collectors, I can tell you a thing or two about that!" Yeah, we get that too.
As Oliver revealed in this ground-breaking episode, financial institutions hold an approximate $12 trillion in outstanding consumer debt. Many of them reap tax benefits by selling off much of the older debt for pennies on the dollar and writing off their "losses" on their taxes.
The purchasing company then expends a great deal of effort attempting to collect on the debt they have purchased. Eventually, they too sell off a great deal of the older, uncollected debt to other collectors for mere pocket change, again writing off their debt purchase to Uncle Sam.
This cycle continues until the most bottom of bottom-feeders has its unsavory hands on your debt, your contact information, your social security number and typically little to no valid information about the original debt. These companies then go after you and other debtors for the full face value of the original debt vigorously, even if the debt is no longer valid!
Unsavory debt collection practices
We're probably not telling you anything here that you don't already know or at least suspect if you are dealing with overwhelming debt. These people call you and harass you at work and at home throughout the day, and often at night. Collectors might threaten you, humiliate you and, in general, make your life miserable.
Though there are laws in place meant to protect you from these types of practices, they don't seem to be doing you much good, right? We understand how you feel.
You are struggling to stay afloat. You are juggling bills and creditors and doing everything you can to keep your head above water. You are not a bad person. You are not lazy, and you are not irresponsible. Life has dealt you a series of blows and it's everything you can do to keep going.
You can make your financial life better!
Do you know about the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act and other laws? Probably. Those came about as the result of the efforts of consumer advocates, lawyers and lawmakers who understand what you and millions of others are going through. They are in place to help consumers deal with debt collectors on a more even playing field.
Knowledgeable bankruptcy and debt relief attorneys, like those at Ozment Law, PA, understand these laws inside and out, and apply them daily to help people like you get unfair creditors off our clients' backs, get out of debt and move on to a life of financial freedom.
We advise our clients about the tax consequences of a forgiven debt and help to ensure that their bankruptcy or debt repayment schedule best suits their financial situation and circumstances.
John Oliver freed 9,000 delinquent debtors from their massive unpaid medical bills, and his team ensured that there would be no tax consequences as a result of his largesse.
If you are struggling under the weight of unwieldy debt, a bankruptcy attorney may not be able to perform the kind of magic that Oliver did, but your attorney can make a substantial difference in your life and help you achieve financial freedom through solid, proven debt-relief practices.