This story is from about 2 years ago….
A friend of mine, “Joe” (not his name) told me a good story about how he collected a debt owed to him. He says that he has a lot more of these kinds of stories too. I’d certainly like to hear some of them.
He called up a guy that owed him a sizable amount of money for a business debt, something like $10,000. He had owed Joe this money for a year or so. But the guy said definitively, “Sorry, I don’t have the money for you. I can’t pay you right now.” Joe felt that he had been waiting long enough and wanted this debt settled. So Joe told him that if he couldn’t pay, he’d have to talk with his partner about the matter. Joe went out on the street outside of where the guy was working and ran across a very large, scary looking black guy. Joe held up his arms for me, showing me how big this guys shoulders were and how long his arms were. This guy was big and ugly and scary. Joe ripped a $50 bill in half and handed one half of the bill to this big guy. He said simply, “I’d like you to go pick up a check from an acquaintance of mine. If you get me the check, I’ll give you the other half of this bill. If you don’t come back with the check, I’ll still give you $20 for your trouble.
Joe pointed the big guy in the right direction and waited. Low and behold, 20 minutes later, Joe’s “partner” came out with a check! Of course, Joe didn’t actually think that the check would be good. But he figured it would offer sizable proof to a judge that the money really was owed to Joe. But low and behold, the check didn’t bounce! The debt was settled!
The moral of the story is that physical intimidation -can- work. It is just one more tool in the debt collectors belt.
Joe told this story in light of Richard Grasso’s $140 million dollar compensation package… We were thinking that sometimes the legal system’s jail-threat has to be coupled with the even more real threat of physical violence to keep people from doing really really mean/stupid/awful things… It’s just a thought.