N.Y. Times Report on the Consumer Debt Collection

In this 2014 report, N.Y. Times reporter Jake Halpern delves into the often unknown and secretive world of the debt-buying industry. According to Halpern, the industry has seen astronomical growth.

From 2006 to 2009, for example, the nation’s top nine debt buyers purchased almost 90 million consumer accounts with more than $140 billion in ‘face value.’ And they bought at a steep discount. On average, they paid just 4.5 cents on the dollar. These debt buyers collect what they can and then sell the remaining accounts to other buyers, and so on. Those who trade in such debt call it ‘paper.’
— Jake Halpern