An Interview with Debt Collection Consumer Advocate Bud Hibbs

We recently interviewed Bud Hibbs, a debt collection consumer advocate and consultant of over 25 years who has written several books, is approved to teach CLE (Continuing Legal Education) courses through the State Bar of Texas and has appeared in numerous radio and television programs including The Oprah Winfrey Show to get his take on the state of the debt collection industry in America. Here's an excerpt from that interview:

What made you decide to go into this business?

It's something I'm very passionate about. I come from a family of attorneys and back in the 1990s I wrote a book called Stop It - A Consumer's Guide to Effectively Stopping Collection Agency Harassment. As a result, it got me on a lot of radio shows back then because no one was doing this type of work. We were actually on The Oprah Winfrey Show; the show aired over a Christmas holiday and we were besieged with requests. We got more than 100,000 book orders in just a few days after that.

We knew we were onto something big, so we took what we had, fine-tuned it and we've been growing ever since then. Today we operate budhibbs.com with the other websites, but budhibbs.com and the associated websites are averaging close to three million hits per month. We're getting ready to expand it even greater than that after the first of this year.

Debt collection is a personal thing …

I'll tell you something I learned when I first wrote this book. We were at a book signing with a young fellow who wrote an exercise workout book and the line for his book was outside the door and we didn't have anyone in front of us. The bookstore manager pulled us into the back room and he said, 'You know, what you sell is kind of like people's sex life. We all have one, but we darn sure don't go out in public and want anybody to know or discuss it at the office cooler or around the coffee maker. The problem with what you have and what you're helping people with is a very personal thing.'

Even though the Internet has made it a lot easier to get information, we found out that it's still a very personal thing that people don't know how to deal with. The same thing holds true with credit card debt and dealing with finances. In my opinion, if you didn't have parents who were savvy enough to teach you what to use and what not to use, you learned it by trial and error - and the banks don't help in these matters. You know, every time you go to your mailbox, there's usually a solicitation for checks, low interest rate credit cards and anything else they can use to entice you.

Expect a meltdown in the credit card industry

The problems we're seeing on Wall Street and Main Street right now, the banks, in my opinion, are much more to blame than the consumers who took these cards. We're looking at the next big jog to our economy - and that's probably going to be some type of meltdown in the credit card industry.

If you are being harassed by a debt collector, contact an attorney whose practice focuses on issues relating to the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA) to discuss your situation. Consultations are free, without obligation and are strictly confidential. Click here to contact an experienced debtor's rights lawyer who can help you assess your debt situation.