Forgive us our debts

No one wants to receive a letter from a debt collector. If I had to receive such a gentle reminder, I’d like it come from Bullseye Collection Agency.

It’s a Monticello, Minnesota firm that sends out not only collection letters, but all its correspondence on company letterhead emblazoned with the logo “WWJD,” which, of course, stands for “What Would Jesus Do?”

It’s not a cynical ploy to goad debtors, explained Harry Minhet, an attorney who recently represented Bullseye in a lawsuit.

“The reason they put it there,” he explained “is because they want the world to know that they have adopted for themselves a code of conduct that goes above and beyond and federal law requirements to be civil and polite to debtors.”

He added, “The treat debtors the way they would want to be treated and the way Jesus would treat them: with civility, respect and integrity, which is a breath of fresh air in this industry, where people have unfortunately come to expect the opposite.”

Thw owners of a rival collections company, the Bureau of Collection Recovery, were so put off by Bullseye’s use of the WWJD logo that they went so far as to file suit against the much smaller company.

The most outrageous aspect of the suit is that BCR claimed that Bullseye was somehow guilty of “abusive, deceptive and unfair collection practices.”  It suggested that Bullseye’s use of WWJD had the effect of portraying a debtor “as a sinner who is going to hell,” shaming them into paying their outstanding bill.

But BCR was hardly concerned that Bullseye’s use of the WWJD logo would be misconstrued by debtors. And BCR is hardly empathizes with debtors subjected to “abusive and unfair collection practices.”

It just wanted to saddle its smaller competitor Bullseye – which boasts a staff of kindly moms and grandmas – with costly litigation. Indeed, when attorney Minhet filed a counterclaim on Bullseye’s behalf, BCR promptly dropped its nuisance suit.

BCR’s deplorable tactics are all too common in the business world. Its owners should be reminded of the words Jesus who asked, “What does it profit a man to gain the whole world and forfeit his soul?”

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This entry was published on July 30, 2009 at 7:36 PM and is filed under Courts. Bookmark the permalink. Follow any comments here with the RSS feed for this post.

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