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Spanish collection agency sends out men in top hats and tails to humiliate debtors into paying up

JASON WEBB
Reuters
August 22, 2008 at 3:36 AM EDT

MADRID — If more confirmation were needed of the funereal state of Spain's economy, it can be found in the shape of The Debt Collector in Top Hat and Tails.

That's a translation into English of "El Cobrador del Frac," the name of a company that specializes in sending out men dressed like extras from a 1930s Fred Astaire movie to humiliate debtors into paying up. Its business is booming.

"At the start of the year we noticed demand was increasing," said Juan Carlos Granda, head of El Cobrador del Frac's international department.

With Spain's economy on the edge of recession as a property bubble crumples, Mr. Granda expects El Cobrador del Frac to enjoy several boom years as it clears up debts left by consumers and companies during years of financial fiesta.

Mr. Granda refers to the top hats and tails, whose appearance has unnerved so many Spanish debtors, as the company "uniform."
 

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THAT'S WHEN SOMEBODY'S HOME

If they're in white tie they better only do the collections after six :icon_smile_big:
There's a greater chance of finding someone at home after six, I should think, except debtors are more likely to be home anytime.

I wonder if the "funereal" remark means that someone in top hat and "frac" or tails looks a lot like "Digby O'dell" the undertaker and just scares the bejeezus out of them? In that case, if they were to wear a striped waistcoat, instead of the white piquee, they could go out during the day, too. Just a thought.
 
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