Protecting Consumers in Debt Collection Litigation and Arbitration: A Series of Roundtable Discussions" - August, September, and December, 2009 #545921-00008

Submission Number:
Tod Pendergrass
The Certified Civil Process Servers Association of Texas
Initiative Name:
Protecting Consumers in Debt Collection Litigation and Arbitration: A Series of Roundtable Discussions" - August, September, and December, 2009
Dear Roundtable Participants: Thank you for your time. We have investigated the situation in New York which gave rise to the concerns about process service now being discussed by the FTC. We have determined that the bad actors in the New York matter are NOT process servers. They do not belong to the National Association of Professional Process Servers (NAPPS) and they do not belong to the New York Process Servers Association. Though some or all of the bad actors may hold a NY City registration (5 Burroughs), they would only need that in order to act as an arm of the Debt Collection Industry. The first red flag we found was in the NY AG's press release wherein he states that the bad actors were getting "between $3.00 and $10.00 for each service" and that this low rate attracts unethical individuals. Process servers DO NOT work for these low rates. Even with a volume client or large contracts, these rates are completely unrealistic in the industry. Such low rates DO NOT reflect the national average of approximately $60.00. For instance, the Texas Attorney General Child Support Enforcement contract, which generates hundreds of cases each month was recently awarded to the company that bid $105.00 per service. As you can see, this is above the national standard and astronomically far above the rate of just a few dollars. THE PROCESS SERVICE INDUSTRY IS NOT PART OF THE DEBT COLLECTION INDUSTRY. It would be a mistake to place regulatory burdens on "real" process servers for negligence on the part of actors from a completely different industry. Please do not use process servers as scapegoats for punishment that should apply to the debt collection industry. It should be pointed out that the crimes alleged in the NY matter are felonies and there are laws and procedures already in place to deal with such unethical and criminal behavior. By default, this makes the NY matter a concern for "future" violations. If the bad actors in the NY matter were not afraid of going to prison for a felony, no amount of licensing and regulation would prevent such individuals from infiltrating any industry or profession. Despite the parallels, workers in a closely related industry should not be punished for the actions of a different industry. More importantly, such misdirected legislation applied to the wrong industry would not only be an unfair to "real" process servers, it would fail in its goal to prevent future violations. Lastly, I, and many of our state association members are also members of NAPPS which has been invited to attend your talks. We are not clear on what will be the official position of the NAPPS presentation, however, as members, we would like to make clear that we are opposed to the current NY legislation aimed at our colleagues in New York and we are also opposed generally to any regulation for our industry. Sincerely, Tod Pendergrass Founding Director, CCPSAT