For those of you Nebraskans who might have missed this article, published in the Lincoln Journal-Star, as well as ProPublica, The Atlantic, and The Daily Beast, you should read it. The author explores how rampant debt collection lawsuits have become in the state of Nebraska – particularly, the overwhelming amount of lawsuits filed by Credit Management Services.
In case you don’t feel like reading a whole other article (you’re busy, I get it), here are some take aways:
- In 2013 Credit Management Services filed 30,000 lawsuits, which is more than all of the other Nebraska collection agencies combined. That amounts to filing approximately 120 lawsuits per business day.
- “From 2008 to 2014, CMS seized at least $88 million from Nebraskans’ wages and bank accounts, according to court data analyzed by ProPublica.”
- “In 2013, Cook County, Illinois, which contains Chicago and has a population of over 5 million, had about the same number of collection suits as Nebraska with its population of fewer than 2 million. That year, it cost $172 in Cook County to file suit for the sort of small amounts that predominate in Nebraska, where the fee was $45.”
- Many of the debtors are low income (making $30,000 or less annually), and many of the debts being collected on are less than $700.
This article shows not only how collector-friendly Nebraska laws are (which begs the question, why isn’t someone in the state legislature taking this cause up already?), but also reinforces my belief that everyone should be educated on their consumer rights. And hopefully get educated before you get that call demanding payment for a past-due medical bill or over due credit card account.
Here’s the link to the article again, in case you missed it at the top: