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THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 30, 1978
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Editor’s Note: Because of the sub
ject matter of this article, those
interviewed requested that they and
their employers remain uniden
tified. Therefore, the people in this
itory have been given false names.
By GREG PROPPS
Special to the Battalion
EVEN BEFORE OUR car has
stopped in the driveway, we can see
the curtains of the old, leaning
house being snapped shut. As we
walk to the porch, most of the inside
lights are being doused.
The people inside already know
who we are and what we want. And
they would like us to think no one is
We are out “chasing” for a finance
company - trying to collect on loans
that, for one reason or another, have
THE FIRST AND second knock
on the door are met with silence. A
third, more determined knock
brings results. The door is cracked
open, and Nancy, the assistant man
ager of a local finance company, asks
to see her loan customer.
“She’s not home,” says the voice
behind the blackened doorway.
“Do you know where she is?” asks
“She’s not here - won’t be back ‘til
after midnight,” says the voice.
THE VOICE KNOWS we won’t
come back that late. Nancy leaves
her card and asks that the customer
call her the next day. Before we get
back to the car, the lights inside the
house have all come back on.
At the next stop, we make it in
side the house, but the man says his
doctor still won’t let him work, and
his government checks are late this
month. Maybe next week.
At the next house, three rabid
(looking dogs keep us from getting
out of the car.
And so it goes for the next four
Collection calls like this are not
new to Nancy. Most of her custom
ers simply don’t have the money to
repay their defaulted loans. She says
in almost every instance, the prob
lem can be traced back to local un
NANCY WORKS FOR a “B” fi
nance company, whose maximum
loan is $100. Finance companies are
classified as “A” or “B,” depending
on their upper limit on loans.
Before Nancy grants a loan, a cus
tomer must show enough income to
repay, have an acceptable credit
rating, and show a permanent local
address. If these check out, she
grants the loan, and hopes it will be
What often happens, though, is
that her loan customer will get laid
off, or hurt on the job, and fall be
hind in his payments. Sometimes,
said Nancy, they will just quit, and
figure if they aren’t working, the
loan won’t have to be repaid. Three
and four month delinquencies are
If Nancy can get her overdue cus
tomer to make at least one payment,
she will refinance the loan, extend
ing the time, but raising the inter
est. If it goes unpaid for a fixed
amount of time, it is written off the
books as a loss.
ADD THE PRINCIPAL to the
amount spent in time, mileage and
office expenses while trying to col
lect, and each unpaid loan repre
sents a considerable loss for Nancy’s
company. Last month, she wrote off
$900 in principals alone.
When Nancy writes off a loan, she
reports her loss to the local credit
bureau. That, in effect, prevents her
customer from obtaining a loan
anywhere else in town. If the delin
quent customer moves to another
town, the bad credit rating follows.
To keep all this from happening,
Nancy’s customer, who probably
has another job by this time, bor
rows from another finance company
to repay the first, borrows again to
repay the second, borrows again to
repay all the monthly bills, and soon
I get some
fabricated food tests
United Press International
WASHINGTON — “Steaks” made of soybeans instead of beef
could be a common feature of the future American diet. But before
that happens, congressional researchers say, the nutrititional implica
tions should be studied.
The Office of Technology Assessment, an arm of Congress that
studies the impact of technology on people’s lives, has taken a broad
look at how modem food marketing technologies will affect future
Food specialists at OTA said they believe the most significant
technological change described in their 88-page study is the impact of
engineered or fabricated foods on the human diet.
Fabricated foods are being used as substitutes for common foods or
Substitutes include non-dairy coffee whiteners, soybeans, fabri
cated breakfast sausages, ham and steaks made from vegetable pro
tein and imitation cheese, whipped toppings and egg substitutes
made from vegetable oils.
Sales of fabricated foods totaled more than $6 billion in 1972 and
are expected to reach $11 billion in 1980.
“People don’t realize the tremendous impact that that is going to
have on our society,” said J.B. Cordaro, who headed the food
technology research effort.
Some fabricated foods may not provide adequate levels of vitamins
and minerals, he said.
Cordaro said substitute foods could be used for infant formulas and
for pregnant women without knowing the effects.
Substitutes for orange juice contain plentiful amounts of vitamin C,
but may not include necessary trace minerals found in natural orange
juice, he speculated.
Cordaro made a strong plea for guidelines and standards on what
ingredients should be in engineered and fabricated foods.
“We need to know what standards would be and what the conse
quences would be if we switched,” he said.
The Food and Drug Administration and the Agriculture Depart
ment have done insufficient work on fabricated foods.
The agencies also have too little cooperation and often conflicting
regulations on food ingredients and labeling, researchers said.
The OTA study said federal officials must consider how the foods
should be labeled so that the ingredients are properly identified and
yet the labels do not become barriers to consumer acceptance.
The OTA study said many people worry that consumers of fabri
cated foods are not adequately protected because of lack of regulation
and insufficient nutrients in the foods. Howqver, it said, others “be
lieve that these regulations overly restrict the development and ac
ceptance of what may be a viable solution to the problem of maintain
ing an adequate, dependable and nutritious food supply.”
Advantages of substitute foods have been cited as lower costs,
extended food supplies in times of shortages, reduced energy use,
better control of nutrition and more efficient use of resources.
OPEN TO BUY YOUR BOOKS
IN FULL OPERATION THIS SPRING
NORTHGATE AND CULPEPPER PLAZA
it all swarms on him. He owes
money all over town, and can’t
repay a single debt.
This is where Mike comes into
the picture. Mike is the assistant
manager for a local “A” finance
company. Nancy’s customer comes
to him, and gets a consolidation
loan. Mike pays off all the “B” com
panies, and the customer now has
only one loan to pay off.
ONCE THE CUSTOMER pays
the “B” companies, they consider
him a good risk again, and are will
ing to grant him another loan. Mike
said it is not uncommon for his cus
tomer to reopen with the “B” fi
nance companies, lose his job, and
start the spiraling pattern all over
This time, though, the customer
is behind in his regular monthly
bills, his payment to the “B” com
panies, and to Mike’s company as
That’s when Mike starts having to
make collection calls of his own.
Mike said that in September, 280 of
his 1,300 accounts were delinquent.
He also said that for this year, he has
already written off $24,000 in un
paid debts. He estimated that 99
percent of these unpaid accounts
were because of unemployment.
Mike, who makes other loans be
sides the consolidations, said a first
payment default is not uncommon.
His customer, who at first appears
to be a good credit risk, will get a
large loan, and promptly quit his job
or get laid off. With no money com
ing in, he is unable to repay his
loan. Mike says he sees this sort of
thing happening almost daily, and
his company must absorb the ex
penses incured in trying to collect.
Delinquent and charged off ac
counts present another problem for
Mike’s company. Too much time
spent chasing and collecting, rather
than working with new accounts or
doing routine office work. Poten
tially good customers don’t get serv
ices like they should, due to some
one else’s unemployment.
TOM, A COLLECTION A-
GENT for a local bank, sees still
another angle of the nonpayment
circle. Tom’s bank makes large
commercial, construction and per
sonal loans. His view is as follows:
A local industrial firm has a large
layoff. The people out of work are
generally the same ones who get
into debt to Nancy’s “B” company.
When they are in debt to her,
chances are they are in debt to local
retailers as well. The retailers can’t
collect what is owed to them, and
they must take loans to repay their
own bills. The retailers borrow from
Tom’a bank, and when nobody re
pays the retailers, they too become
delinquent, and it is Tom’s turn to
collect. It is a nasty circle, usually
with unemployment at the hub.
Tom said from his point of view, it
is the small businessman who is hurt
the most. In most cases, he would
like to keep good credit, but can’t,
due to the bad credit of others.
In the cases with the small busi
nessmen, Tom says he generally re
finances the loan over a longer
period of time. This costs the cus
tomer more in interest, but should
allow him to climb out of debt.
When Tom extends a personal
loan to someone not presently work
ing, it is designed to give the cus
tomer a month to get back on his
feet. Tom calls it “extending unem
ployment,” because often the
month passes and the customer is-
still out of work and still in debt.
SUMMING UP HIS collection
work, Tom said, “Unemployment is
the whole reason for default. You
can always trace it back to that.”
The Texas Employment Commis
sion says the November unemploy
ment rate for Bryan-College Station
should stand at 2.5 percent. Taken
at face value, that figure doesn’t look
too bad. Nancy, Mike and Tom
Whole Earth Travel
Internationally known photographer Jim Bones,
is now offering Photographic Workshops on
the Lower Canyons of the Rio Grande with
Whole Earth TVavel. Jim has instructed
classes in photography, was a recipient of
the University of Texas Dobie-Paisano
Fellowship and has worked with Russell
Lee and Eliot Porter. His work has been*
exhibited in art museums and galleries
in Texas, New Mexico and Massachusetts.
JIM BONES ‘ • - ■
PHOTOGRAPHY FIELD WORKSHOP
ON THE LOWER CANYONS OF THE RIO
guys and gals
No Hassle” Hairstyles
Permanent Waves and much
Texas 707 Complex College Station
Meet Jim Bones
and the Whole Earth Travel Staff
at a Special Exhibition and Sale
of his photographic pririfs M
' 10:00 AM. to 6:00 P.M. ^
Saturday, December 2, 1978
Whole Earth Provision Co.
2410 San Antonio Street,
Jim will autograph copies of his books: Texas Earth Surfaces, Texas Heart
land: A Hill Country Year, and Texas Wild.
If you cannot attend but desire further information on these unique Field Workshops
or other Whole Earth Travel trips to Hawaii, Yucatan, Mexico, Wind River Range,
Wyoming, please inquire for itineraries at Whole Earth Travel,
Post Office Box 5805, Austin, Texas 78763.
Spaghetti Dinner all you
can eat for $295
Comes with salad and garlic toast.
Every Sunday Evening 5-10
in the Aggieland Inn
Join A Winning Line Up This Fall
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• Unique Program Sensor system allows you to
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• Inputs for MAG PHONO. AUX. and MIC/PA,
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AM/FM DREAM MACHINE
• Programmable full-week alarm system with
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PSB/FM/AM PORTABLE RADIO
• Advanced solid-state circuitry for maximum
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5" B & W TELEVISION (measured diagonally)
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15“ REMOTE TELEVISION (measured diagonally)
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• Triple-Function Remote Control Commander
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AM/FM STEREO CASSETTE-CORDER
• Advance AM/FM and amplifier circuitry.
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cassette eject function.
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electret condenser microphones.
• Line input & output for connection to another
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(ACROSS FROM BUD WARD
"ONE STOP SHOPPING ALL YOUR
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The cure for
It’s a feeling that slowly descends upon
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reading, the hours at the library, the thesis—
they won’t go away.
But you can. This weekend, take off, say
hello to your friends, see the sights, have a
great time. You’ll arrive with money in your
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take that much out of it.
If you’re feeling tired, depressed and
exhausted, grab a Greyhound and split. It’s a
sure cure for the blahs.
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8:50 A M.
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