Tuesday, November 29, 2005

Sallie Mae's Arrow Financial Gets a Wrist Slap

It's nice to have friends in high places, especially when you're a slime-ball collector who violates the law.

Good 'ol Sallie Mae bought Niles, Illinois-based Arrow Financial Services about a year ago. Arrow is one of the junk-debt Squaliforme Echeneidae. They've been under investigation over the last two years in Minnesota for little tricks like calling employers and talking to co-workers about debtors, taking more money out of checking accounts than was authorized, failing to respond to the investigators, etc.

Apparently, up there in Minnesota, Commissioner Glenn Wilson of the Commerce Department is still wondering why this type of stuff goes on. Well, a quick look at the measly fines they dish out with Wilson claiming "The violations are serious and we cannot and will not tolerate this type of activity in Minnesota," puts a little more light on why.

According to a news article, Wilson's department regulates 879 licensed collection agencies and nearly 31,000 individual collectors. But in the last 33 months, they've only taken action against 33 collection agencies and individual debt collectors - that's only about one a month.

And with those 33 actions, they've taken in about $300,000 in penalties. You do the math. Wilson's math isn't all that good - the fine for Arrow is $125,000 for 15 violations, and it's apparently a record fine.

I suppose what Wilson and the folks at Sallie Mae would love everyone to believe is that this strong (?) enforcement will somehow make the other 878 licensed agencies and 31,000 individual collectors sit up and take notice when they're harassing citizens of Minnesota.

Sure. They're all simply terrified.

For dragging a simple investigation out over two years and then letting Arrow off with a wrist slap, Wilson and his minions in Minnesota get the Sleeping-Watch-Dog award for November.

The Honorable Judge Roy Bean

Friday, November 04, 2005

Just When You Thought it was Safe

With the Dorean Group mortgage-elimination scam head honchos as dishonored guests in the hoosegow facing both state and Federal prison terms, you’d think things would kinda point people in the general direction of reality when it comes to these schemes and their promoters.

Well, if you thought that, you’d be wrong. Like a bad case of the creeping gomboo, Dorean’s scheme is creeping back into the victim luring business. It’s being re-re-re-re-tooled with the help of some of the founder’s old friends – and apparently even family.

I guess there’s just too damn much money to be made to let a scam die under the weight of the threat of going to jail for running it - no matter how many victims you create in the process.

The Dorean wannabees include good-ol’ Bill Julian (not so fresh from his losses in court), along with Bob Knupp. They apparently tied themselves in with Bob Locke, the infamous scammer behind yet another debt elimination program aimed primarily at credit card users.

This band of mental light-weights was roundly denounced by none other than Farrel “Foul Mouth” LeCompte, former high-and-mighty purveyor of his own version of legal and banking reality while defending Johnson and company on just about every forum known to man.

Of course, the incriminating material on Farrel’s ccrescam web site finally became too hot to keep up there; either that or someone finally convinced the knucklehead he was violating the court order. So while apparently trying to cooperate with the authorities he so fearlessly denigrated and dismissed as nothing to worry about in the past, he now is letting all the web site owners go-it-alone. And all that great "educational material" (read: evidence of the scam) is gone – he wishes (damn those web-caching servers!).

And what has to be a real hit in the gut for LeCompte and Santeramo is that the great one, none other than “Dr.” Fred Johnson, has apparently joined with the Julian and Knupp crowd. After all, while Kurt and Scott are just not quite able to bully and pontificate their way over the courts, why not let another gang of fools take advantage of all that legal brain power – and of course, all those new DVD’s?

Now if they were only operating ‘round here. We’re in need of some cheap labor and Bubba’s kinda tired a bein' the only one in the jail. He's sayin' there's parts of him that are starting to itch.