An Open Letter to the Trump Administration
Donald J. Trump
President of the United States
The White House
1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, N.W.
Washington, DC 20500
Dear President Trump:
We write to you today to relate a very, VERY sad story that takes place across America with increasing frequency and deleterious effects.
You often used the word “sad!” with great feeling and import over the course of the campaign season, as you still do today. What you are about to read is truly SAD, as it affects more of our fellow Americans by the day with great consequences.
Surely you are aware of the predatory tactics of collection agencies. Various state legislatures have ventured way across the line of ethics and reasonableness by empowering the worst of these agencies to literally shut down a debtor’s life, and especially their business.
In fact, states like Florida have enacted such draconian laws that they permit these agencies to completely lock down a debtor’s only checking and/or savings account, without any warning whatsoever. They can legally do this even to a “Head of Household” who has a wife and children relying on them moment to moment for their most basic subsistence.
What follows is the real-time experience of a family in Tallahassee, Florida.
First, the head of household husband was practically bankrupted when the press published patently false reports about him. Then his health consultancy business went into rapid decline. Subsequently he was forced to stop paying his credit cards.
The wife has not been able to work since 1995 because of various medical ailments and disabilities. She requires a special diet and purified water, as well as her medicine to live.
In comes Zwicker & Associates out of Jacksonville, Florida (See Addendum below) who executes an unannounced hold on the husband’s bank account which contains his only funds available to pay the most basic bills. Immediately checks bounce, the utility bill goes unpaid, the mortgage payment can’t be met. With no access to any of their very limited funds, they can no longer buy food, water, or medicine. They can’t even buy gas for their car to go to the doctor or the store.
Then the Zwicker collection agency put an additional hold on his account for a total of $15,567.94 to satisfy a recorded civil judgment of $2304.47?!
Do you get the picture?
A predatory collection agency like Zwicker and Associates has essentially been given the license to ruin an entire family in a New York minute. And, they routinely engage in these immoral and predatory practices even when the head of household has full legal right to his or her income to pay the most basic living expenses.
This family in Tallahassee is now waiting for a formal hearing, which they have no idea when that will be, so that the “Head of Household” exemption can be granted by a judge. In the meantime, the wife with Lupus is one moment away from an emergency room visit due to lack of medicine and her necessary foods and water.
With one cruel and inhumane action, Zwicker and Associates has totally ruined this family–a family that was already in desperate shape and living hand-to-mouth. Instead of using his time to make much-needed income, the husband is putting out financial fires, keeping his utilities connected and avoiding foreclosure. He is doing all of this in the midst of preventing his wife from becoming an inpatient at the local hospital.
Hopefully you now see the extreme lack of ethics and borderline criminality with which these firms operate. It should be immediately evident to you and your staff that the civil rights of this family have been profoundly violated by Zwicker & Associates.
It ought to be clear that their most basic human rights have been trampled—THEY CANNOT EVEN BUY FOOD, WATER AND NECESSARY MEDICINE. They are unjustly deprived of using their own hard-earned wages, which the state allows the debtor to possess and use even after a judgment has been taken.
Lastly, these predatory actions are conspicuously unconstitutional, as the Founding Fathers of this great nation would never have provided for such unjust and pernicious debt collection practices. With their constitutional rights also being transgressed, that makes three strikes and, therefore, these industry standard operating procedures should be significantly curtailed post haste.
Please bear in mind that families like the aforementioned do not have a single dollar to employ an attorney. Hence, in the midst of so much turmoil, they are forced to find their way through a legal maze and judicial system that has been entrenched for decades to serve the creditors—at any cost to the debtor, even their very lives.
Dear Mr. President, that’s the short story; the long story is much, MUCH sadder than anything you have heard, even on your long and tortuous campaign trail. For the tale of woe experienced by this single Florida family at the hands of Zwicker & Associates is nothing compared to the countless lives that the debt collection industry has totally destroyed and entire families who have been irreparably ruined.
In closing, may we say that there is one sure way to Make America Great Again: immediately suspend all state laws which permit the atrocious practice of locking down bank accounts of heads of household. How else to keep the family breadwinner in the position of keeping his/her family fed and housed so that they can get on with their productive life in the community…in order to assist with the noble endeavor to Make America Great Again.
Concerned Citizens for Crackdowns on Predatory Collection Agencies
P.S. We have taken the liberty of sending this open letter to those concerned officials within your administration. By week end, it will also be sent to every member of the Florida Legislature. An advocacy group is now being formed around this critical issue which will work assiduously to terminate every law that violates the constitutional rights, civil rights and human rights of citizens throughout the state due to bad debt collection law. Every flawed statute needs to be repealed asap, especially in light of the ongoing and ravaging 8-year recession.
Referenced Collection Agency:
Zwicker & Associates, PC
10550 Deerwood Park Blvd #300
Jacksonville, FL 32256
Attorneys of Record: Ms. Christina Charlet and Ms. Ashley Paveglio
Cc: Mike Pence, Vice President of the United States
Kellyanne Conway, Counselor to the President of the United States
Stephen K. Bannon, Counselor to the President of the United States
Ivanka M. Trump, Advisor to the President of the United States
Jeff Sessions, Attorney General-select
Jessica Rich, U.S. Bureau of Consumer Protection | Federal Trade Commission
Richard Cordray, Director, Consumer Financial Protection Bureau
Distribution list for the Trump Transition Team
Rick Scott, Governor of Florida
Pam Bondi, Florida Attorney General
Florida State Legislature
Mary Kelli Palka, Editor, The Florida Times Union
William Hatfield, Executive Editor, Tallahassee Democrat
Avido Khahaifa, Publisher and Editor-in-Chief, Orlando Sentinel
Aminda Marqués Gonzalez, Executive Editor, Miami Herald
Paul Tash, Editor, Tampa Bay Times
Lisa Nellessen-Lara, Executive Editor, Pensacola News Journal
BBB Northeast Florida and The Southeast Atlantic
Mark Wilson, President and CEO, Florida Chamber of Commerce
William J. Schifino, Jr., President, The Florida Bar
David Nelms, CEO, Discover Financial Services
Paul W. Zwicker, Esquire, President, Zwicker & Associates, P.C.
Ronald Levenson, CFO, Zwicker & Associates, P.C.
John Twite, Executive VP Operations/COO, Zwicker & Associates, P.C.
Robert W. Thuotte, Sr. VP, General Counsel, Zwicker & Associates, P.C.
Micheal Koziol, VP, Collection Operations, Zwicker & Associates, P.C.
Ms. Christina Charlet, Attorney of Record, Zwicker & Associates, PC
Ms. Ashley Paveglio, Attorney of Record, Zwicker & Associates, PC