341 Meeting: Suing Your Own Employees; Public Schools; Urgent Political Spam

Hassling Poor People, Who Happen to be Your Own Employees. When the economy hit rock bottom in 2009 or so, all kinds of doctors, lawyers, private schools hired me to collect their debts. Many had never dealt with bad debt before, or the awful circumstances that lead to defaults. They just saw the bad debt and thought it could be an income stream for them. It was an eye-opening lesson for many.

Since then, I occasionally have had to tell some of my clients that some debt isn’t worth collecting, whether it’s a low return on investment or, frankly, just bad PR.

This story out of Memphis reminds me of that.   NPR reports that Methodist Le Bonheur Hospital is making national news for its practice of suing its own employees when they can’t pay their medical bills, and then using some pretty aggressive collection tactics when they can’t pay the judgments rendered in the lawsuits.

…what is striking at Methodist, the largest hospital system in the Memphis region, is how many of the patients being sued are the hospital’s own employees. Hardly a week goes by in which Methodist workers aren’t on the court docket fighting debt lawsuits filed by their employer.

That’s a really bad look, especially in a climate where employers are criticized for not paying a living wage and also terrible health insurance benefits.

Nashville’s Public School Rankings Show Path to Success.  The Nashville Business Journal ran a list of the top Public Elementary Schools. The list seems to suggest that the way to do well in school is to live in a wealthy part of town or be born into a wealthy family.

I cited some of the Nashville Business Journal’s stats on my @creditorlaw twitter feed here:

school tweet

But, wait a second, isn’t Nashville awesome and prospering?  Sort of, but if you can spare some money or extra school supplies, I encourage you to donate them to the local school system, which is under-funded and looking to the community to provide basic services.

school supply drive

It’s crazy to live in a city that is so popular, has so much new development, has skyrocketing property values, and all this economic growth, but we can’t do our number one job–educate the kids. Instead, we’re leaning on community generosity to provide some basic necessities.

When Nashville became It City.  Just in case it isn’t clear: I do not love what Nashville is becoming.

I first realized something weird was happening in July 2016, when I went to Chicago for a Cubs game. I was surprised by two things. One, they had a new Nashville themed bar, complete with its own “I Believe in Nashville” mural. Second, I was blown away with how interested so many people were about asking me about Nashville.

In fact, one of the coolest places I went was Parsons Chicken & Fish, an open-air, packed, gorgeous space in the Logan Square district. When I mentioned “Nashville” to the bartenders, they all crowded around me, with questions about what’s new, what’s coming in Nashville. They had just had a “pop-up” event in Nashville at the Entrepreneur Center, and they couldn’t wait to come back.

Well, the Nashville Post reports that they’re coming back for good, to open later this year in Nashville’s WeHo neighborhood.

It used to be that, in big cities, I’d be asked about Elvis or Jack Daniels. Nevertheless, nobody cared about Nashville, unless they wanted to talk country music. Not anymore.

Maybe all the really young people moving here will stay and put their kids in public schools.

Political E-Mail Spam.  Nashville has a number of big elections coming up on August 1. I’m guessing one of the bar associations (or all of them) are selling member e-mail lists, and that’s why all these random political candidates are e-mailing me.

Here’s something I don’t like: The new trend in using “attention getting” subject lines that reference urgent deadlines.

As somebody who deals with urgent client deadlines every day, I have to admit, these definitely get my attention.

Author: David

I am a creditors rights attorney with Bone McAllester Norton PLLC in Nashville, Tennessee.

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