People with overdue bills have long complained of harassment from debt collectors, from late-night phone calls to frightening in-person visits.
Now it appears the industry has found far more troubling strategy: filing lawsuits against debtors–often, consumer advocates say, on the theory that they won’t ever show up to court to defend themselves.
The consequences are dire when the debtors don’t appear in court.
A judge can put a lien on someone’s home, garnish wages, even freeze bank accounts–all without a person ever getting a chance to fight their case. And at times, collectors file suit in error.
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