Collection Agencies Hiring Homeless to Collect Debts Informative - Do You Know Who Has Access To Your Info?

Review by D. on 2006-08-28
Homeless Shelter Residents get Jobs at Collection Agency
August 28, 2006

by Mike Bevel, CollectionIndustry.com

A Washington state-based collection agency owner is pairing up with a faith-based homeless shelter to provide jobs for homeless people in the area.

Wayne Garlington is the owner of Accounts Receivable Inc., and sits on the board of Open House Ministries – both based in Vancouver, WA. He is currently employing five women to work as collection agents.

Garlington said he has been pleased with their performance. "They're not being handed something," he told the the Columbian News. "They really want to work."

The jobs not only give the women benefits, they also allow for them to increase their income through bonuses. The company collects on overdue accounts for the city of Vancouver and Clark Public Utilities, among others.

Garlington decided to try out the idea after hearing about a similar plan being carried out by a collection agency on the East Coast.
Comments:20 Replies - Latest reply on 2006-08-30
Posted by D. on 2006-08-28:
I'm all for giving people a chance to improve their lives...but I just hope these people are being screened with background checks...I'd hate to think anyone off the streets can have access to people's private info...If they are homeless, they have no money and some (I say SOME) would take advantage of having access to info that they can fraud on and make money by maybe selling the info...Like I said, I hope they do background checks...It irrates me to think the collection industry hands accounts over to inmates and now maybe people just off the streets.
Posted by D. on 2006-08-28:
Posted by glc on 2006-08-28:
DB: I've seen this before, either in Maryland or Pa., and it was also organized by a Christian Ministry. I think it's awesome to give a helping hand to someone who is down on their luck, but I definitely agree with you, and hope that there is some kind of screening process utilizedd.
I don't mean to be facetious, but what if the homeless people became that way by incurring alot of debt? Does this make them more qualified for the job???
Posted by D. on 2006-08-28:
I thought the same thing..then I realized how many collectors are in debt themselves. I've had co-workers come up on my computer! I couldn't call of course, because we can not call people we know...so the account was sent to another NCO for collections.
Posted by S on 2006-08-28:
I too think it is a good gesture by the collection agency. Though I don't think there is much difference in their background from a non-homeless person. In fact I might guess these folks are more reliable since they have more to lose if they mess up. In any case, it is nice to see folks getting a second chance in life.
Posted by D. on 2006-08-29:
What do they have to lose? They already have nothing...I agree 100% they should be given a fair chance...my point is, they need to run background checks on them...they ran a background check on me, and a drug test and verified all of my employment history before they hired me....But, that's NCO, I don't know what this place does.
Posted by miketech on 2006-08-29:
Well most places view someone who owes them as sub human. So having the vital personal information at risk is a minimal price to pay for a cheap collector.
You are a rare one Debtor Basher and I respect you. The rest of them for the most part, not so much.
Posted by Mad Eye Moody on 2006-08-29:
I...I just can't stop laughing long enough to comment...I...(gasp) I'm...going...to...pass...out!
Posted by Mad Eye Moody on 2006-08-29:
Would it be ego maniacal to say that many homeless people are homeless because they USED to work for a CA that didn't regulate their behavior and they subsequently got cleaned out by a-hole lawyers who named them personally in their FDCPA suits along with the CA for whom they worked?
Posted by Mad Eye Moody on 2006-08-29:
AHHH DAMMIT! Was laughing so hard I just rear-ended an Ambulance!
Posted by miketech on 2006-08-29:
Posted by CrazyRedHead on 2006-08-29:
I think that it is great that they are giving homeless a chance to make real money rather than panhandling or begging on the street. Alot of homeless are there due to a lot of debt and not by choice and alot of them are very proud and don't want to accept charity. This way, in there eyes, they are making an honest buck. Although there will be a few dishonest people that ruin it for those who are honest and just want to get out of there. I guess you could call me naive, but I think that this is a good thing. But as DB said, I hope they are doing background checks. I would hate to see a drug abuser handling sensitive, personal information, just so he can make some money for more drugs, which will open up someone for more illegal things.
Posted by D. on 2006-08-29:
I knew what I would be facing when I posted this...I thought long and hard before I did post it...when I did, I put got my armor and sheild and I'm ready to take on anything anyone has to throw at me...but I really don't think there is anything guys can say that will catch me off guard....Thank you for the respect, Miketech...Redhead, that was also the point I was trying to make...Maddy, what can I say, no surprise there but it's nice to see you laughing but I warned you that would happen if you keep looking at yourself in the rearview mirror while driving.
Posted by Anonymous on 2006-08-29:
DB, my little cup cake that was a nice post. You are becoming a concerned citizen I am proud of you. Carry on, regarless
Posted by Mad Eye Moody on 2006-08-29:
You tried to tell me...I know.
Posted by D. on 2006-08-29:
When are you guys EVER going to listen to me...especailly when you know in the end, I'm always right?
Posted by N. on 2006-08-29:
Miketech I strongly disagree with you. Risking vital personal information is not a minimal price to pay. I have yet to have my identity stolen but I have heard some horrific stories. It can ruin lives. I would say it is not necessary to risk in the first place. Any job that involves personal confidential information should be filled by someone who has been thoroughly screened for criminal history. Homeless or not.
Posted by Mad Eye Moody on 2006-08-29:
I think Mike was being facecious, Noneill.
Posted by Anonymous on 2006-08-30:
Noneill: Good point, very good. The problem is if you give them anything they can get everything about you from the government(I think for $25.00)that claims to protect your privacy.
Posted by D. on 2006-08-30:
If people doesn't give them a dime on the street, why on Earth would they give them access to their bank accounts or credit card info...????

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