Saturday, May 28, 2016


June is Consumer Rights Awareness Month
A major violator of American’s Consumers Rights is the Junk Debt Collections
By: Mark and Carol Fairall
May 28, 2016
The JUNK DEBT COLLECTION INDUSTRY of firms buying debts for pennies and aggressively collecting from consumers started in the late 90’s. The problem is that not only the debtors are being attacked but many consumers are being attacked that never owed or had already paid the debt. Arizona is considered “Industry Driven (favored)” by passing laws that soften the burden to produce less documents and lengthening the Statues of Limits to six years. Arizona has laid out the “welcome mat” to the Debt Collector Industry.
Some facts about this despicable industry are:
1. Four Million Americans had their wages garnished because of a consumer debt in 2013.
2. Americans earning $15,000 to $40,000 a year were mostly likely to be garnished.
3. Black communities are hit harder by debt collectors.
4. One out of three Americans are being hassled by debt collectors
5. The debt collector industry is dominated by large stock trading companies.
6. Most of the lawsuits in the U.S. are filed by debt collectors.
7. Over 97% of the consumers being sued by debt collectors do not have an attorney.
8. Debt collection company file more lawsuits where state laws are industry driven with low court fees, no limits on interest rates with excessive extra charges, and have a long Statute of Limits for debt collections.
9. An improved economy does not resolve the consumer debt problems. It continues with high interest rates and “Rubber Stamping” granted debt collector lawsuits in the courts.
10. Junk Debt Collector have very active Lobbyists that influence state lawmakers.

In 2011, the Arizona lawmakers extended the Junk Debt Statute of Limitations from three years to six years. In 2012, the Arizona lawmakers passed HB 2664 which allows the uncontested court action to be established for a Junk Debt Collector with one single copy of a bill. This allows the easy collection on bills already paid. Arizona has one of the highest number employees of Bill Collectors with 9,310 working in the industry. Arizona richly profits from licensing debt collection companies where other states do not charge a license fee. It costs $1,500 a year to license the more than 400 Arizona Debt Collection Companies. Arizona has limited authority to regulate and prosecute bad debt collectors only through the Arizona Attorney General. Arizona is the “Wild-Wild West” for not protecting consumers’ rights.
The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) was established in 2010 after the last major financial disaster. Its purpose is to identify, regulate, and educate consumers about unfair financial practices. This is the agency that protects the public from unfair debt collectors with the CFPB’s prosecution. The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) reported 74,000 complaints were filed for improper debt collection in 2015. The Number One Arizona Consumer Complaint filed with the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) for 2015, which is DEBT COLLECTION. The FTC had 10,211 complaints about debt collection abuse and violations filed by Arizonans in 2015 and most of the complaints were filed by the elderly The Debt Collectors industry earns an estimated $13 billion profit a year industry in sales and employs 140,000 people in 6,000 companies. The Federal Debt Collection Protection Act (FDCPA) spells out what is allowed and not allowed by debt collectors The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) focuses on scams, unfair business practices, and deceptive advertising.

A study by Urban Institute shows 35% of adults have experience debt collectors. The CFPB shows the following data:
1. Third-party or junk debt collectors often lose information when transferring the debt from one party to the next.
2. Collecting paid debts with 42% of the debts they are collecting have already been paid.
3. Multiple aggressive calls during the day outside the 8 am to 9 pm window to call the debtor.
4. Credit card companies received the most complaints.
5. Having many lawsuit threats and reporting many fake lawsuits against the debtors.
6. Misleading you by saying debt validation is impossible until court.
Keep a copy of all the correspondence and time when contacted by debt collectors. When you receive debt
collectors letter for the first time you have 30-days the DEMAND A DEBT VALIDATION. Mail your letter CERTIFIED MAIL WITH A RETURN RECEIPT to the debt collector within 30 days. Over 80% of the time the debt collector does not respond. You can file a FDCPA debt collection violation with the CFPB. They are fined $1,000 if the debt collector continues to harass you. You receive the $1,000 fine paid by the debt collector and often the debt can be dismissed in a lawsuit.
Often consumers are contacted by many junk debt collectors on the same account. That is because the past due credit card account can be sold to many junk debt collectors for less and less money. Too many times important information is lost in the debt collection “hot potato” method of collecting. This often results in several collectors calling on the same debt that was paid off or is not yours. Many courts forgive the debt owed when the junk debt collector is unable to provide the chain of title of the debt. When you demand a validation of the debt also demand all documents for the authority to collect and the Chain of Title (ownership of the debt).
Junk Debt Collectors break the FDCPA laws by:
1. Attempting to collect that is not owed.
2. Using harassing and verbal abuse of threats on the phone.
3. Trying to collect the same debt twice.
4. Attempting to collect an expired debt by “re-aging” it by changing when the debt occurred to a later debt.
Over 70% of credit card debt is bought by Junk Debt Collectors for 6% of the credit card debt or less. The average amount the Junk Collector will settle for is 55% of the debt. On a $10,000 debt their cost is $600 and their profit margin is $4,900 (over 800% profit margin). This is a very profitable industry that is rapidly growing by defrauding the poor.

Arizona’s worst junk debt collector is ENCORE CAPITAL GROUP (ECG). ECG is located in California is the largest Junk Debt Collector that is publicly traded on the stock exchange. The CFPB just won a lawsuit against ECG. ECG has to refund $42 million to consumers, pay $10 million in fines, and stop collecting on $125 million in junk debts. The second worst junk debt collector is PORTFOLIO RECOVERY ASSOCIATES (PRA). PRA, located in Virginia, is the second largest Junk Debt Collector traded on the stock exchange. The CFPB just won a lawsuit against PRA. PRA has to refund $19 million to consumers, pay $8 million in fines, and stop collecting on $3 million in junk debts.
Junk Debt collection is big business due to the huge profit margins and increased consumer debt non-repayment. The attorney firms can simply be collectors for credit card companies but they also buy the junk debt. An Arizona leading attorney for FDCPA violation lawsuits, John Skiba, just wrote on 05/03/2016 about PRESSLER & PRESSLER law firm. The CFPB just won a lawsuit against this junk debt buyer for $2.5 million. This law firm filed lawsuits just to deceive or intimidate consumers without proper verification of the debt.
It was found that many debt collecting law firms violate the FDCPA laws with the following illegal actions:
1. Made false allegations about the consumer’s debt,
2. Filed lawsuits based upon unreliable or false information, and
3. Harassed consumers with unsubstantiated court filings.
One of the major problems in the Junk Debt Collector Industry is the failure of their lawyers to properly review the evidence before filing a lawsuit. It was noted that many debt collection attorneys spent less than a minute, often less than 30-seconds, reviewing a case before initiating a lawsuit. Their volume is so great and the attorneys are so greedy that they rush to illegal lawsuits. The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau requires the debt collector’s lawyer to contact the consumer to verify the debt and the consumer has 30-days to respond. Failure to allow the consumer 30-days to dispute the debt can lead to an unfair and costly lawsuit for the consumer to fight and it could cost the lawyer a $1000 fine plus repayment for the consumer’s costs and damages incurred. (On a personal note this just happened to us and we nearly lost our home in an illegal foreclosure.)
In 2013, over 21,000 new junk debt collector Arizona lawsuits were filed by five large companies which represented 15% of the year’s total lawsuits. An Arizona judge admitted he processed 60 cases in four hours which was one every four minutes. The Arizona courts are full of errors and abuse by junk debit collectors and the consumer often fails to appear because they feel despair and hopelessness. These “Box Load” of lawsuits are overwhelming both the courts and consumers. However, Arizona lawmakers are making the state richer with fees for very profitable Junk Debt Collectors License that have no real oversight and control of the industry. The 80-page 2016 report “RUBBER STAMP JUSTICE: U.S. COURTS, DEBT BUYING CORPORATIONS AND THE POOR” was researched and written by an international human rights organization, HUMAN RIGHTS WATCH, and can be found online at: 

The states that are favoring junk debt collectors are: Arizona, Arkansas, and Tennessee. The states that are passing stronger laws to protect the consumers from this devastating and greedy industry are: California, Maryland, Missouri, New York, and North Carolina. The Federal Government is looking at passing laws that have consistent rules of evidence required from junk debt collectors and better support for the debtor’s rights.

Don’t ignore junk debt collectors and don’t let them bully you. Fight back and keep your money and Consumer’s Rights!



Saturday, May 14, 2016


May is National Stroke Awareness Month
Written by: Mark and Carol Fairall (Stroke Survivors) – May 2016
National Stroke Awareness Month began in May 1989 after President George H. W. Bush signed the Presidential Proclamation 5975. National Stroke Awareness Month. The stroke awareness proclamation aims to increase the public awareness about the warning signs of stroke, symptoms of a stroke, stroke prevention, and the impact of stroke on survivors, families and caregivers.
Important Stroke Facts for Americans

1. Stroke is the third leading cause of death in the United States. More than 140,000 people die each year from stroke in the United States.
2. Stroke is the leading cause of serious, long-term disability in the United States.

3. Each year, approximately 795,000 people suffer a stroke. About 600,000 of these are first attacks, and 185,000 are recurrent attacks.

4. Over four million Americans are living with the effects of a stroke.

5. Strokes can and do occur at ANY age. Nearly one fifth of strokes occur in people under the age of 55.

6. On average, someone in the United States has a stroke every 40 seconds.

7. High blood pressure is the most important risk factor for stroke.

8. Over 100 babies born with sickle cell disease have a stroke.

9. Eleven Stroke Belt States have a 10% higher death rate than the U.S. average, they are: Alabama, Arizona, Georgia, Indiana, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, and Virginia.

10. Act F.A.S.T. – Observe Face, Arms, Speech, and Time - You have a three-hour window before a stroke causes permanent brain damage.

Strokes are also a world problem. Over 15 million people have strokes all over the world and 5 million die every year because of a stroke. Every two seconds someone in the world has a stroke. One person dies every six seconds in the world from a stroke. Strokes kill more people each year in the world than AIDS, TB, and Malaria put together.

There are three types of strokes, they are: Ischemic Stroke, Hemorrhagic Stroke, and Transient Ischemic Stroke (TIA). An Ischemic Stroke represents 80% of all strokes and is caused by a blood clot that blocks the blood flow to the brain. A Hemorrhagic Stroke occurs when a blood vessel ruptures within the brain. A TIA is a transient ischemic attack or a “mini-stroke.” A TIA is temporary but it should not be ignored. It is a blood clot that passes through the brain. One in twelve mini-stroke sufferers have a major stroke within one week.

Strokes can lead to full brain cell destruction and death. Some stroke symptoms are:

1. Blindness,

2. Speech Difficulty,

3. Dizziness and Vertigo,

4. Weakness of face, arms, and legs and,

5. Confusion.

One-fifth of the strokes happens to people under 55. One of seven strokes in young adults are misdiagnosed (Journal of Stroke and Cerebrovascular Diseases study). Many young adults end up with life-long disabilities. It may take years to even partially recover from a stroke. Also, a young person who has suffered a stroke has a higher mortality rate. According to the Misdiagnosis Study, you have only three hours to stop permanent brain damage from a stroke. Most of the hospital misdiagnoses occurs in hospitals that are not primary stroke centers.

Stress can cause strokes. The American College of Cardiology’s new research shows that increase activity in the brain’s stress centers leads to inflammation causing heart attacks and strokes. Stress also stimulates bone marrow to release cells which may cause body inflammation. Prolonged stress may also lead to anxiety and depression. The doctors stated to overcome stress the following steps should be taken:

1. Be quite 30 minutes a day.

2. Engage in physical activity 30 minutes a day.

3. Spend time with nature on the beach or in the mountains.

4. Have activities that nourish your body, mind, and soul.

5. Put yourself first and serve others.

6. Seek balance by slowing down, meditating, and praying

7. Eat a healthy diet.

8. Use credible natural remedies to improve your body and mind.

The misuse of antidepressants can cause anxiety, constipation, suicide thoughts, weight gain, and sexual dysfunction.

Dr. Zach is the Honor Health John C. Lincoln Medical Center’s Vascular Neurologist. His ARIZONA REPUBLIC newspaper article on 05/06/2016 stated that nine out of ten Americans don’t think strokes are a major health problem. Dr. Zach states: “Timing is everything.” The stroke victim loses two million brain cells every minute delayed in getting treatment for a stroke. Eighty percent of strokes are preventable before it occurs.

Strokes can happen to dogs and cats for the same reasons as people but also for: exposure to poisons, internal parasites, and Rocky Mountain spotted fever (caused by ticks). It is important to take your pet to a veterinary specialist that can perform a MRI and CT scan. Once a pet has a stroke they need continuous monitoring during recovery which could take several months. Pet’s brains are different from humans and the part that controls voluntary movement is located in a different area. Strokes usually don’t cause permanent paralysis like it can do in humans. The earlier the diagnosis and treatment the best chance the pets have for a full recovery.

Eating healthy can help prevent strokes. CNN reported on 4/26/2016 that 15,000 people in 39 countries participated in this study. The results were that one third of the people did not have heart attacks and strokes because they ate a healthy Mediterranean diet. This included salmon, fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and had a glass of wine. To live longer avoid fried foods, processed foods, and sugary foods.

According to the National Stroke Association:

10% of stroke survivors recover almost completely,

25% recover with minor impairments,

40% recover with moderate to severe impairments,

10% require nursing home care, and

15% die shortly after their stroke.

About 14% of stroke survivors have a second stroke within a year after their first stroke.
Successful rehabilitation depends on:

1. Amount of brain damage,

2. Quality and speed of Rehabilitation team, and

3. The degree of cooperation and caring by family members.

Please share this important Stroke Information in order to prevent strokes and help stroke survivors.

Monday, May 2, 2016

Arizona's Suicide Rate is Higher Than the Sudan


Copyright: The Real Faces of Elder Abuse
Mark and Carol Fairall
April 30, 2016

The 22nd annual Suicide Report by the Center for Disease Control (CDC) was just released on 04/22/2016. It showed a 24% increase since 1999. The average suicide rate jumped from 10.5 people per 100,000 (29,129 suicide deaths) in 1999 to 13.0 people per 100,000 (42,773 suicide deaths) for 2014. Suicides are at a 30-year all-time high. The highest rate for suicides in the US was during the 1932 Great Depression at 22.1 per 100,000 or 70% higher than 2014.
The causes are reported to be deep anguish of a weak economy, increased divorces, and the lack of education. The highest jump in suicides was for middle-aged women which jumped 63% over the study period. Americans are facing poverty, hopelessness, and poor health problems. The fastest method growing for suicide is suffocation. It is reported that 25% of all suicides are now done by suffocation. Gun suicides are increasing along with overdoses. The highest suicide rate at 38.8 per 100,000 is for men 75-years old and older.
The solution is more suicide education and better suicide prevention projects. The federal funding has been flat at $25 million in preventing suicides.
Over 800,000 people in the world die every year by suicide. That is one death every 40 seconds. With 7.2 billion people in the world the world suicide rate was 11.11 per 100,000. There are more deaths by suicides than from natural disasters, homicides, and wars all together.

Source: "US Suicide Rate Surges to a 30-year High" - THE NEW YORK TIMES - 04/22/2016

Arizona has over 1,200 people commit suicide every year. That is a shocking number of 100 people a month kill themselves in Arizona. Almost four times as many Arizonans commit suicide than being a homicide victim. Suicides are the eighth leading cause of the deaths of Arizonans. 

The age group that had the most increase of suicides are young girls between the ages of 10 thought 14. The CDC Suicide Report documented that age/sex group over tripled from 5.0 to 17.0 per 100,000 in 15 years.

The worst states for suicides in 2014 are:
1. Wyoming – 29.66 out of 100,000
2. Montana – 23.17 out of 100,000
3. Alaska – 23.0 out of 100,000
4. New Mexico – 21.21 out of 100,000
5. Colorado – 20.27 out of 100,000
Arizona’s suicide rate is 17.65 out of 100,000. An Arizonan commits suicide every seven hours.

The US "SUICIDE CORRIDOR" runs down the mountain west from: Montana, Idaho, Wyoming, Nevada, Utah, Colorado, New Mexico, and Arizona (rate is 17.65 per 100,000 people). The reason suggested for this suicide corridor is that the mountain west has people that have a propensity for suicide, which are: Native Americans, non-Hispanic whites, and older retired people.
More men commit suicide at rate of 20.6 per 100,000 than women at the rate of 5.8 per 100,000. The report showed the suicide methods were that men shoot themselves while women poison themselves, with suffocation for both sexes on the rise.
The highest age group that commits suicides are men who are 75-years old and older.
Although the US suicides rates are lower than France and Belgium; the US, Britain, Netherlands, Sweden, and Germany are showing increasing trends. Suicides are partially influenced by poor economics. However, demography plays an importance influence in increased suicides.
1.  GUYANA - 44.2 out of 100,000 - Deep poverty and alcohol abuse
2.  NORTH KOREA - 38.5 out of 100,000 - Restrictive environment of human rights violations
3.  SOUTH KOREA - 28.9 out of 100,000 - Social pressure and family problems
4.  SRI LANKA - 28.8 out of 100,000 - unknown cause
5.  LITHUANIA - 28.2 out of 100,000 - Financial problems
6.  SURINAME - 27.9 out of 100,000 - Poverty and unemployment
7.  MOZAMBIQUE - 27.4 out of 100,000 - HID/AIDS and disease
8.  TANZANIA - 24.9 out of 100,000 - Poverty, violence, and lack of health care
9.  NEPAL - 24.9 out of 100,000 - history of suicide
10. KAZAKHSTAN - 23.8 out of 100,000 - history of suicide
The United States has a suicide rate of 13.0 out of 100,000. Arizona has one of the worst suicide rates at 17.65 out of 100,000. Arizona's suicide rate is worse than the 22nd worse country in the world for suicides at 17.2 out of 100K, which is SUDAN. The causes for SUDAN's high suicide rate is similar to the problems in Arizona, which are: poverty, crime, corruption, and a brutal legal system

SOURCE: World Health Organization
Arizona has for-profit prisons run by companies. Arizona builds more prisons than schools. In order to get the companies interested in the prison industry, Arizona pays a minimum 90% occupancy rate payment regardless of the number of prisoners. The US average is 910 adults per 100,000 are in jail. Arizona has the seventh largest adult incarceration rate at 1090 per 100,000 with 55,200 people in jail. The top 10 worst incarceration states for 2013 are:
1.   Louisiana:  1,420 per 100,000 – 50,100 adults in jail  * - 2 private prisons
2.   Oklahoma:  1,300 per 100,000 – 37,900 adults in jail  * - 4 private prisons
3.   Mississippi:  1,270 per 100,000 – 28,800 adults in jail * - 1 private prison
4.   Alabama:  1,230 per 100,000 – 46,000 adults in jail * - 1 private prison
5.   Georgia:  1,220 per 100,000 – 91,600 adults in jail * - 4 private prisons
6.   Texas:  1,130 per 100,000 – 221,800 adults in jail
7.  Arizona:  1,090 per 100,000 – 55,200 adults in jail *  - Arizona has the most - 7 private prisons
8.   Arkansas:  1,010 per 100,000 – 22,800 adults in jail
9.   Florida:  990 per 100,000 – 154,500 adults in jail * - 6 private prisons
10. New Mexico:  980 per 1,000 – 15,500 adults in jail * - 3 private prisons
* = Private Prisons

Over 160 prisoners have mysteriously died in Arizona prisons since 1993. Reported to be mostly suicides! The CRONKITE NEWS just reported on 03/29/2016 the news story: "Hundreds of Arizona inmates have used razors, drugs in self-harm or suicide attempts." It was reported that nearly 500 inmates of the Arizona prison system tried to hurt themselves and/or commit suicide in 2015.
Prisoners commit suicide over three times higher than the US average at 46.0 per 100,000.

Source: Cronkite News - 03/29/2016

The 04/21/2016 Special Report from NPR: "The Arctic Suicides: It is Not the Dark That Kills You" documents that Greenland is the worst county for suicides at 82.8 per 100,000 people. That over six time higher than the US suicide rate of 13.0 per 100,000 people. The reason reported is THE CONTAGION EFFECT.
The Contagion Effect is copycat suicides or suicide clusters. Suicides can start a suicide chain reaction. The study reported that 60% of the young people who kill themselves do it within four months of a friend's suicide. Two suicides a week is huge for a country that only has 300,000 people. Entire towns have disappeared due to mass suicides.
The reason given for the high Greenland suicide rate is: isolationism, alcoholism, joblessness, poverty, and neglect. A world effort is underway to slow down the Greenland suicide problems with the first suicide hotline, education, and better mental health counseling.
WARNING: One has to be very careful in discussing suicides because it could cause more suicides with the Contagion Effect (copycat suicides) chain reaction.
Source National Public Radio:
The recent 04/22/2016 San Diego news video states veteran's suicide rates are much higher. Only 21 states are counted and not the big population states like California.
The real figure is estimated to be a shocking 50 veteran suicides a day!

The recommendations to stop a suicide are:
1. Be sensitive to a depressed person.
2. Ask direct questions about their problems.
3. Do not leave the suicidal person alone. 
4. Call for help immediately (911).
5. Check medications for possible overdose.

The CDC Suicide Report stated that the keys to decreasing suicides are to make it more difficult with: better gun control laws and a better protective medication dispensing system. Many foreign countries dispense medication in blister packs (pictured). You have to punch out one pill at a time rather than having the easy immediate access to a full bottle of medication at once.

The HOTLINE for Suicide Prevention Lifeline is: 1-800-273-8255. This is a major public health issue that we need to be aware of and help prevent a suicide tragedy.