Reports came out earlier this year shedding light on a practice taking place all around the country: district attorneys allowing use of their letterhead for debt collectors attempting to collect on bad checks. In California, collection agents can even compel debtors to pay for a financial responsibility class--with proceeds shared by the the district attorney's office and the collector/creditor. Although in most circumstances the facts will not be reviewed by a DA to determine whether a crime was committed, the collectors nonetheless have been known to threaten debtors will jail time. Consumer advocates see this as a troubling development, though the DA's offices maintain that it is just a more efficient way of letting merchants collect money and of resolving matters without involving prosecutors unnecessarily.
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