Tuesday, August 11, 2015

Repeated Hell: Debtors Keep Demanding Money From Wrong Man

To be clear, a guy named Matthew Hartigan of Clearwater, Florida, does not owe $7,323 in city and school taxes to the city of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

Matthew Hartigan, with his wife in Clearwater, Florida,
keeps being hounded for thousands of dollars in
debt that he doesn't owe.  
Hartigan does not owe $31,783 in attorney fees, costs and fines to a Philadelphia law firm

And he does not owe $98,293 because of a property foreclosure in Philadelphia.

This guy's case - I'm going to call him Clearwater Hartigan - illustrates when one dope hits a wrong key on some computer somewhere.

People keep going after Clearwater Hartigan for debts some other Matthew Hartigan incurred long ago, says the Philadelphia Inquirer. 

The foreclosure couldn't have been Clearwater Hartigan's doing, since he was 12 years old when some other Matthew Hartigan bought the property that went into foreclosure and tax debt.

As the Philadelphia Inquirer notes, twelve year old boys don't buy houses.

So-called "skip tracing" companies hone in on debtors, and some of these companies aren't as careful as they should be about getting the right person.

That leaves people like Clearwater Hartigan fighting for years to not pay debts that aren't theirs. Clearwater Hartigan has been fighting this for 17 years and it's still going on.

It seems once people like Clearwater Hartigan get in these computer files, he doesn't come out, despite the loads of evidence that they got the wrong guy.

This is not even close to the first time I've seen something like this happen to a person.

I don't know why it's such a problem. I think it's laziness. After all, it's a little work to prove that somebody has been misidentified and then to scrub the wrong information from computer systems.

Besides, that costs money. And I'm sure some Or debt collectors and such business just pick anybody with that name and hope they pay debts they don't owe just to make the debt collectors go away.  It's easy money.

As the Philadelphia Inquirer points out, it often takes a lawsuit to untangle these messes. And lots of people don't have the finances to hire a lawyer to sue over such tangled financial bungling.

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