Thursday, June 30, 2005

When His Honor Stops Laughing...

[(Note from the Clerk of the Court: His Honor, after much struggle to regain his normal dignity and serious comportment, has authorized me to notify all within the environs of his jurisdiction that the court will be closed until July 5th. Hopefully, by that date, he will have ceased to find the news item below as amusing as he did this morning. We have coffee stains all over the place and one of the horses is easily spooked by hysterical laughing fits. She is still off her feed this afternoon.)]

The head of the sleeping-watchdog FTC, Deborah Platt Majoras got one of those letters from DSW. Her credit card information has been stolen.

Monday, June 27, 2005

Double Whammy - Our Tax Dollars at Waste

Talk about dumber than a box of rocks!

The IRS has decided to award notoriously leaky Squaliforme data broker ChoicePoint a contract as it's public record provider.

The firm that has routinely demonstrated its gluttony for snooping-and-selling also announced it wasn't going to be making as much money from selling private information about everyone to some of its previous client base. About $20M less.

Instead, and almost simultaneously, the announcement of the IRS contract comes out. And guess how much that contract is worth? $20M.

Nice for ChoicePoint to have friends in high places in Washington. Friends with almost unlimited power and of course, lots and lots of OUR money to play with so they can have instant access to dig around into our formerly private lives.

Even if they are dumber than a box of rocks, they sure knew when to come to the rescue of a wounded Squaliforme.

The Honorable Judge Roy Bean

Monday, June 20, 2005

More Squaliforme Collections Lawyer Buffoonery

Well, despite the FACT Act "safeguards" the geniuses in Washington said were going to help protect personal information, yet another example of just how careless all the Squaliforme relatives are has cropped up in Columbia, Missouri.

The "law firm" of Farber and Brand has been caught bungling the disposal of sensitive personal information - information they probably shouldn't have had in the first place ended up being found by a citizen at a recycling center.

The latest version of the Fair and Accurate Credit Transaction Act can be a problem for firms who don't destroy documents and computer files. There can be fines of $2,500 for each violation.

According to the newspaper account, partner Bart Brand said disposing of sensitive documents in a public recycling bin was against company policy. He said the firm takes all the necessary precautions to protect debtors’ personal information. However, he declined to say how the company disposes of sensitive data.

“We make every effort to comply with obligations, and we will continue to look into matter,” Brand said.

“I don’t know whether somebody that worked here made a mistake or somebody got into our office,” he said. “I don’t know what happened.”

Well, Bart, let's just hope there weren't a thousand people's information dumped into that recycling bin. At $2.5K per violation that might be real money for even a collections Squaliforme.

The Honorable Judge Roy Bean

Monday, June 13, 2005

Slow [In]Justice for Squaliforme Victims

Gotta hand it to the lawyers and PR folk for the mortgage servicing Squaliformes Fairbanks Capital (kka SPS - Select Portfolio Servicing) and Homecomings (the GMAC/RFC sub-prime servicer).

After scamming hundreds of people in West Virginia out of their homes, the two Squaliformes have forgiven some $11M in debt and handed out about $750K in what West Viginia AG Darrell McGraw, Jr. says is "restitution."

And yet again, these two get away without having to admit they did anything wrong!

Homecomings' Stephen Dupont had the unmitigated gall to say the company "...did not initiate wrongful foreclosures nor did it engage in mortgage servicing abuses."

Speaking out of both sides of your mouth is an art form among these companies. Scam, get caught, fight against any meaningful punishment in the settlement, pay back a tiny fraction of the damage done to people, lie about the scam and keep on going!

Where's my cattle prod? And somebody get a rope. Make that several ropes. We'll do this all at once.

The Honorable Judge Roy Bean.

Monday, June 06, 2005

Squaliformes Fighting Among Themselves

What goes around eventually comes around - sort of.

Squaliforme mortgage lender Loan Giant (World Wide Financial Services) has fallen on hard times and is being threatened with foreclosure and eviction by GE Commercial Finance.

Of course, being of the same general species, there are certain "professional courtesies" being observed, including discussions, despite the problem having been going on for years.

Loan Giant even managed to piss off a real giant - GMAC RFC in some dealings in Minnesota last year that resulted in a lawsuit because of some falsified loan application documents.

Even the FHA finally had to drop them from the approval list in 2004.

On top of that, since last year the State of Michigan has been doing some much-needed Squaliforme-hunting in an effort to revoke their license for the kinds of schemes that usually end up leaving the home-buyer/borrower hung out to dry.

But, of course the mortgage industry will point to these incidents as anomalies and keep their dancing-bear show going in Washington to try and block any further intrusions into their ability to take advantage of consumers.

I hereby offer the services of this Honorable Court to conduct the bankruptcy proceedings. (FYI, 'round here we have less "professional courtesy" available for Squaliformes.)

The Honorable Judge Roy Bean.

Friday, June 03, 2005

A Squaliforme by any other name

One of the tricks of the trade used in collections is to scare ordinary folks into thinking there are dire legal consequences facing them when some third-party Squaliforme collector's lawyer starts harassing them over a debt they may not even owe.

The implication these low-lifes present is that because a letter or a phone call comes from an attorney's office, the victim should be afraid of being sued, or worse yet in some of the more ruthless cases, even arrested.

They also prey on the fact that most people don't realize that some of the Squaliformes will buy and then try to collect on debts that have gone far past the statute of limitations. The stupid part of this is, they can legally TRY to do that - as long as they don't threaten legal action.

Using this trickery, Squaliforme law firm Riddle and Associates, on behalf of CAMCO (Capital Acquisitions and Management Company), kept threatening legal action against someone for an MBNA debt that was over ten years old. The victim, Gilbert Gervais, sued - and won in U.S. District Court in Connecticut.

The real message here is that if these bottom-feeder lawyers even imply they are going to take you to court to collect something you legally don't owe any more, they are making a "false, deceptive or misleading representation," in their effort to collect, and having multiple phone calls and letters from the law firm regarding a "legal matter" is enough to imply they were going to sue.

Finally, a small victory for consumers!

Course, 'round here, we'd a had a quick trial and introduced these Squaliformes to the inside of one of our cells for a few weeks for pulling the stunt. Up there, they just spent a fortune on lawyerin' to try and keep their sorry asses from havin' to follow the law.

The Honorable Judge Roy Bean.