I have had this book for quite some time now. Mr. DiMaggio has taken the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act and has simplified it to a point that the "least sophisticated consumer" can understand the law. Many Americans lack financial education. They don't teach FDCPA in high school or college; thus, when people reach the age of majority, they fall prey to a system that entices them to get into debt and then beats them down when they fail to pay those debts. As a result, these hard-working Americans are relentlessly pursued until they capitulate or wise up and fight back. This book is the means to an end and should be highly regarded. Of course, the debt collection industry doesn't like this book because it is full of lawbreakers. All one has to do is thoroughly review court cases on Google Scholar to see all of the allegations. You may also wish to read Clomon v. Jackson, 988 F.2d 1314 which is still standing case law and has been cited in numerous other FDCPA-related cases. This appellate case stems from a Publishers Clearing House debt that was less than $10.00! Debt collectors (including law firms attempting foreclosures) should worry about the contents of this book, thanks to cases like Jerman v. Carlisle, 514 U.S. 291. This book gives you the basic strategies to fight back. Kudos to a book well written! Dave Krieger, Clouded Titles
While "kill 'em all" may be an extreme reaction, this book offers a number of highly satisfying solutions to the problem of persecution by the goose-stepping thugs of the world of debt collection. This book, along with Dover and Donovan's Back Off! empowers the reader with a vast quantity of information so that a victim may make informed decisions in dealing with their debt situation. While the finer points of the Law apply to the American Justice System, the principles may be applied in virtually any democracy. One of the most useful things about this book is that it explains the structure of the organizations and the PSYCHOLOGY of debt collection. Knowing your enemy is 90% of the battle. I would like to expand on the psychological aspects of the debt collection process. In my own experience, in which I was being hounded by a Canadian-based collection agency (some years ago), I noticed that they often use female collectors. This, plus the TONE OF VOICE used by these women is the key to the darker side of collection practices. All people usually subconsciously associate women with nurturing and the Mother figure. By the female debt collectors using a Standard Harsh Callous Unfeeling Cruel Debt Collector Tone Of Voice, they are deliberately trying to trigger a fear and panic response in their victims. This parallels the experiments in which female monkeys have had their facial nerves severed so that they cannot show emotion via facial expression, which causes extreme distress and panic in their babies. Debt collection, as it is usually practiced, is one of the most disgusting and utterly cruel practices in Western society. Many people have literally been driven to suicide by these monsters. Others have simply given up and declared bankruptcy, although as we see, this does not necessarily end the harassment. More than a few bailiffs have been shot dead by desperate debtors, and it is surely only a matter of time before somebody adopts a Tim McVeigh solution to the problem of harassment. This wonderful book clearly shows that it needn't come to this. Before you strap on ninety pounds of C-4 and six inch nails, please read this superb study. Not only will it be more satisfying to use the System to defeat these callous bullies, you'll even live to see the fruits of your actions! Please do not consider my above comments to be flippant. I know what went through my own mind during my darkest hours of persecution. While I was able to clear my own debts by getting a consolidation mortgage, there are many people who do not have this option, and for them, desperate measures will surely beckon. In the post-911 world, even debt collectors should be reflecting on their mortality. I urge you to arm yourselves with knowledge, not propylene oxide. Buy this book, and Back Off!, and beat the bullies at their own game. Nuke the system, not the building!
I have to laugh when reading these reviews: This book gets 5 stars from consumers, yet it appears several debt collectors wrote reviews (they probably didn't even read the book) and give it a star or two. Gee, I wonder what is happening? Not one review by any debt collector actually goes to the substance of the book: That debt collectors have laws they have to follow. When those laws are broken--and this happens frequently--you, the cosumer, can sue the debt collector. There is no reason to be afraid, no reason to screen your phone calls. We, as consumers, have tons of rights against debt collectors, many of them we don't even know. This books tells us what those rights are-nothing more, nothing less.The author does not say all debt collectors are bad. What he says, in plain, easy to read language, is that debt collectors cannot abuse and harass consumers, and he gives us exact cases that explain what the law is. There are only a handful of books out there on this subject. Debt collection is largely a "dark" industry and has never been exposed. And the debt collectors just can't stand the fact that someone finally exposed them and their cheap bag of tricks. Consumers have rights they don't even know about, and the debt collection industry simply doesn't want us to know what those rights are. Debt collectors use desk names, caller id, talk to our neighbors, threaten to sue us. Much of this is illegal. Why are debt collectors so afraid of this book? My prediction: some "consumer" will give it an iffy review. The reviews right now are 5 star consumer based, 1 star by the debt collectors. Gee, I wonder how much farther the collectors will go. The word is out about you, debt collectors. I know it makes you burn. You're not all bad, so you say--but why are you so afraid of a book that simply tells the consumers what their rights are? What are you trying to hide? As members of our wonderful open society, do you not want your fellow citizens to be fully informed on laws? Or do you break those laws so often, exposure could really, really hurt you? You "cross the line" all the time, and many consumers don't even know when you do. When you cross the line, for example, use vile language, you can get sued. That's right--a consumer can go to the National Consumer Law Center in Boston, find a lawyer that makes a living suing debt collectors, and sue--but isn't this what you do? Don't you make a living suing people--people who have gone through a divorce, gotten ill, lost a job? Please. It's about time you face your responsibility.
Let me start this review by saving you some money. Click on the author's name to get his newer version. It's contains the same advice at a cheaper price. The advice he gives is very effective. No need to feel nervous when speaking with those "tough talkers" hiding behind the phone line as they say things which you know they would never say to your face. The fact of the matter is that there is a law on the books which stops them from phoning you but you have to say the magic words... "I want you to stop calling me, cease all phone communications with me" It's that simple. Don't have conversations with these people, as they work with scripts. They have answers to every possible excuse you can come up with. So just tell them to stop calling even before they start to open their stinky mouths then hang-up in their face.
I think this book was extremly helpful. Mr. DiMaggio has inside knowledge of what goes on in collection agencies. Some of the things he talks about are things I already suspected, such as the "power over" tactic in which a debt collector calls himself Mr. or Ms. and then calls you by your first name (Chapter 4;page 21). He says this is done to make you think that you are talking to a superior. He also gave some advice that I wish that I had used. When these debt collectors call tell them that you are taping the conversation for "quality control" purposes (Chapter 3;page 13). I would suggest that those who have a speaker phone turn it on and let the debt collector know that it is turned on. I suspect that some of them will try to tell you that they can't talk to you on a speaker phone in order to protect your privacy. I would suggest reminding them that you are in your own home and privacy is not a problem. You may even tell them that the handset is broken in case they try to get you to turn the speaker off. If I had known this information two years ago I probably would not have filed for bankruptcy so soon. But I will tell everyone I know about this book and then maybe we can all give these jerks a taste of their own medicine. I believe all consumers should read this book because you never know when hard times will come and having this information beforehand will make things a little easier.
I would first like to state that I read both of Rich DiMaggio's books: Credit Repair and the other, Collection Agency Harassment. I have also seen him speak. He is an outstanding speaker and a really intelligent man. When I get done listening to him, I finally feel like I have power over "the system". Truthfully--he would probably speak for your group, too, because he has a true passion about these subjects. He gives advice based on 15 years in the courtroom against the credit industry.
These are 2 distinct books, and should not be lumped into one category. There is overlap because debt collectors use our credit reports against us, but the similarities stop there. Mr. DiMaggio will teach you how to draft exacting letters of disputes, and where to send them. He explains the intricacies of the bankruptcy law, charge-offs, divorce, false identities, FICO scoring an more. I don't have a clue what Chrissy is saying about misleading titles. This book is the best I have seen.
(By the way, if you go to the web site, the author actually responds to emails!)