More than 300 district attorneys’ offices allow debt collectors to use their letterhead to send letters to people across the country who have written bad checks. These letters threaten them with jail if they do not pay up. In return, the companies try to collect not only the unpaid check, but also high fees from debtors for a budgeting and financial responsibility class, some of which goes back to the district attorneys’ offices.
1. How are the district attorneys’ office justifying these relationships with debt collectors?
2. What are the challenges to this practice?
3. Do you agree with the ethics and legitimacy of these programs? Why or why not?
Silver-Greenberg, J. (2012). In Prosecutors, Debt Collectors Find a Partner. The New York Times, Sep. 15 (Retrievable online at http://www.nytimes.com/2012/09/16/business/in-prosecutors-debt-collectors-find-a-partner.html?_r=1&hp)