I’m twisted. But I come by it honest. Too much time spent in press, politics, and dark, dingy bars.
Reporters, cops, and EMS people hone a macabre sense of humor as their first line of defense. We’re paid to see stuff that you hope you never will.
But my calluses weren’t thick enough to shield me from this headline:
“You’re Dead? That Won’t Stop the Debt Collector”
It was a gnnnuuuhhhh moment in my gut.
You mean we can’t find serenity in the solitude of the grave? What about the poor bastard who ran up credit card debt of $26,000 in medical bills trying to stay alive? Is it right to go after his survivors?
Debt collection from those left behind is a growth industry. Although the law varies state to state, relatives are rarely liable for the dead guy’s bills. Even when the collectors advise them they are not required to pony up, many pay anyway. Ethics. Morality. Memories. Bummer.
Using training in grief therapy, the debt collectors sneak up on you. The good ones can even make you think they care. But still, it’s a tough job. Burn-out rate is high among the new hires despite on-site yoga. (Note: try vodka)
Collection in the old days was more straight up: “Don’t make me send Guido.” But I’m not sure Guido would approve of today’s tactics.