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The Undead Debt Collector

If you've ever had to deal with debt collectors, you know that they're relentless. How relentless? Let's just say that they don't let a little pesky thing like death deter them from getting back every penny they're owed!

Here's a fascinating story of how a woman who died in 1995 has been "signing" affidavits for the debt-collection industry:

Martha Kunkle has come back to life.

She died in 1995. Yet her signature later appeared on thousands of affidavits submitted by one of the nation's largest debt collectors, Portfolio Recovery Associates Inc., in lawsuits filed against borrowers.

Some regulators complain that the use of Ms. Kunkle's name reflects an epidemic of mass-produced, sloppy and inaccurate documentation in the debt-collection industry. Lawsuits have surged as more borrowers fall behind on payments and collection firms turn to courts to get what they are owed.

After being sued for fraud, Portfolio Recovery Associates decided in early 2008 that any documents bearing Ms. Kunkle's name had "defects" and shouldn't be used when trying to collect debts, a company spokeswoman said.

Jessica Silver-Greenberg of The Wall Street Journal has more: Link


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