Newswire: John Oliver gets into the debt-buying business, makes TV history

Last night, Last Week Tonight With John Oliver devoted about two-thirds of the show to debt buyers, who are in the unenviable position of making regular old debt collectors look good. Oliver’s team delved into the objectionable practices of the employees tasked with threatening—er, urging—debtors to pay what they owe, including harassing their employers and suggesting turning their pets into meals. Last Week Tonight even sneaked hidden cameras into a debt buyers convention that had contempt for consumers on its agenda.

Of course, this information won’t come as much of a surprise to anyone who’s caught a “zombie debt” report on a local news broadcast, or who’s part of the roughly 20% of Americans who have had their (often) out-of-statute debt purchased for just fractions of a cent on the dollar. What is purportedly groundbreaking is the fact that the show set up its …

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