[[quoteright:260:[[ComicBook/DisneyDucksComicUniverse http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/07ac28597b8767c905f8c764da30893f.jpg]]]]
[[caption-width-right:260:Fear me if you dare!]]

->''"I need my money. And I will find your sister, your daughter, whoever this Miss Deborah Gordon is, and I will find her and I will find you. And I will fuck you up. Goodbye."''
-->-- '''Typical call from a "nice" debt collector'''

A trope about that [[SarcasmMode most revered and respected of all professions]], the debt collector. They have a proud reputation for being nasty, lazy thugs who think the law is a suggestion and will stoop to any low in order to shake some money out of their "customers." Their stereotypical nature is often the butt of many jokes. Note that for the sake of examples, tax collectors are also included. Prone to making the HarassingPhoneCall, as mentioned above. Some collectors in RealLife have even tried to get their targets arrested/imprisoned, even in areas where this is technically highly illegal. Threatening criminal charges is actually a great way to get a collection agency sued, as is threatening a lawsuit when you have no intent to file one any time soon. The most common alignment for this trope is NeutralEvil.

This is one of the tropes that gave birth to DastardlyWhiplash.

When a casual loan from a friend causes the lender to transform into this trope, you have NeverLendToAFriend.

Related to LoanShark. OlderThanFeudalism. A form of AcceptableProfessionalTargets. Using one of these is a good way for someone trying to KillTheCreditor to be written as sympathetic.

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!!Examples:

[[foldercontrol]]

[[folder:Anime & Manga]]
* In ''SayonaraZetsubouSensei'', Kafuka Fuura's father was driven to suicide by debt collectors.
* The prime reason that Allen Walker of ''DGrayMan'' became so good at cheating at cards was to deal with constant harrasment by debt collectors as the result of being stuck with General Cross' gambling debts.
* In ''LiarGame'', after the end of the first round, debt collectors would come to gather the 100 million yen. And if you didn't have it, well ...
* In Manga/JoJosBizarreAdventure , a villain's Stand (sort of psychic projection) has the power to "collect debts" by reading the opponent minds to know where they keep any money or valuables. If nothing else is available, it will remove organs to sell on the black market. While collecting, it's invulnerable; you can only get rid of it by beating its master.
* The thuggish debt collector in ''Manga/SteppingOnRoses'' (''Hadashi de Bara wo Fume'') is a prime example. In his attempt to collect a debt incurred by her older brother from protagonist Sumi, he initially offers to let her WorkOffTheDebt by paying with her body. When she refuses, he later returns and kidnaps Sumi's younger siblings, threatening to ''sell them off to a foreign country'' if he didn't have his money by the following day.
* Averted in ''{{LightNovel/Durarara}}''. Tom works as a debt collector but is generally a very nice and laid back guy. He hires Shizuo as his bodyguard and enforcer, but he would rather just use Shizuo's fearsome reputation to scare debtors into paying on time and only uses violence as a last resort. Unfortunately, [[TooDumbToLive there are still idiots who provoke Shizuo]].
* in ''{{Desert Punk}}'', Rainspider starts out as this. When collecting debts from a poor old man and a young woman in his debut, upon finding they have no money, his solution is to SELL THE GIRL INTO SLAVERY! At the same time, Desert Punk took a job to collect debt from a loan the man made ''[[RefugeInAudacity at the same time with another company]]'' with the same plan for repayment (or possibly buying the daughter himself). The rest of the episode is about Desert Punk and Rainspider fighting over whose company gets to collect, [[spoiler:until they totally exhaust each other, then the father and daughter beat them both over the head and took the proof of the loan. Turns out both were con artists, who'd planned everything from the beginning and had done so many times before.]]
* The manga version of ''Anime/HellGirl'' uses this trope twice. The 2nd went as far as to burn a debtor's house down to elicit payment. This provokes a contract with Enma Ai in a MamaBear rage.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Comic Books]]
* ''ComicBooks/DisneyDucksComicUniverse'' examples:
** Never borrow so much as a nickel from [[CarlBarks Scrooge McDuck]]! You'd get off easier [[DealWithTheDevil selling your soul to the devil]];
** The usually nameless thugs after DonaldDuck. Barks apparently based his portrayal of these on his own experience with debt collectors as a struggling young artist...There was also a story (where this page's image comes from) where Donald is hypnotized into believing he's one. HilarityEnsues...[[CrowningMomentOfFunny For real.]]
** There's not one, but two Italian stories[[note]]Paperino e la caccia al debito; Paperin servizio notifiche[[/note]] where Donald becomes a debt collector--and since Donald, being in PerpetualPoverty, personally knows all the tricks used to dodge debts, he is excellent at his job. Both stories end with [[spoiler:Donald being assigned to best the biggest debt dodger in town... namely, himself.]]
** {{Invoked}} in ''ComicBook/PaperinikNewAdventures'' by Xadhoom: she has [[PhysicalGod godlike powers]], and, in her own words, the [[HordeOfAlienLocusts Evronians]], having conquered and razed her homeworld and transformerd [[spoiler: almost]] all her people into [[SlaveMook Coolflames]] while she conduced the experiment that gave her the powers, owe her her homeworld and people... So she took the name Xadhoom, meaning "Creditor" in her language, and started exterminating the Evronians. A virtual cookie if you can guess what has just happened when she finally declares "Closed accounts".
* Franchise/{{Batman}} villain the Tally Man is this trope turned full on psychotic.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Films -- Animated]]
* In the Disney version of ''Disney/RobinHood'', the Sheriff of Nottingham played this trope by collecting harsh, unnecessary taxes for the greedy Prince John. Despite saying [[JustDoingMyJob he was just doing his duty]], the crooked lawman crossed lines by taking money that was hidden in the cast of a man's broken leg (even beating on it to get the last coin out), stealing a child's birthday gift that was a coin (a farthing: the lowest denomination in existence in that time period), robbing a blind beggar (who was really the titular hero in disguise), and even taking the only coin from the church's poor box.
** The last one crosses the line from cruel to outright illegal when you consider the fact that the crown didn't have the authority to tax the church at all at that point in history. It was a major political hot topic for centuries.
*** That may explain why Friar Tuck [[BerserkButton lost his cool and proceeded to give the Sheriff a thumping before he was arrested]][[note]]Something that Sheriffs at that point in history didn't have the legal authority to do either[[/note]].
-->"'''''GET OUT OF MY CHURCH!!!!'''''"
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Films -- Live-Action]]
* The villain in ''Film/ConfessionsOfAShopaholic'' is a debt collector who goes as far as to humiliate the hero on national television in order to collect (illegal).
* In the Mickey Rooney movie ''Quicksand'', the appearance of one of these accelerates the downward spiral of the hero, since he threatens to have the young fellow jailed for fraud unless he pays all the money on an installment plan watch within 24 hours.
* Averted with taxman Harold Crick in ''Film/StrangerThanFiction'', who is the hero of the story.
* In ''Film/GrandmasBoy'', the lead character is threatened by debt collectors.
--> "If you not out in five minute, my frien' here, remove your testicles. Through you' anus."
* The titular Repo Men of ''Film/RepoTheGeneticOpera'' repossess your organs if you fail to make your payments to [=GeneCo=]. Though the only one we see in action is Nathan, who is more of a WoobieDestroyerOfWorlds, given that he's forced into the role by Rotti, and appears to be genuinely mentally ill, with a vicious split personality that takes over whenever he's in Repo Man mode.
* I don't remember the exact quote, but from ''Film/{{Babe}}: Pig in the City'' we had this:
--> "And then, two men came to the farm. They were men from a place that felt no love or compassion for anyone: the bank."
* In ''Film/SuicideKings'', it is eventually revealed that the two kidnappers are debt collectors for a LoanShark, and that the kidnapping is simply a means to allow the debtor to get the money from their family. Who that debtor is becomes the film's central mystery.
* Greedo, the blue Rodian that Han Solo encounters in the Mos Eisley cantina in ''Film/StarWarsANewHope'', is one of these in the employ of criminal kingpin Jabba the Hutt (to whom Han owes a great deal of money). He is not above pulling a gun on a recalcitrant debtor, which leads to his KarmicDeath when Han shoots him first.
* Rocky Balboa's primary occupation at the very beginning of the ''Film/{{Rocky}}'' series. The 'evil' part is averted when Rocky actually attempts to use reason and compassion in dealing with a debtor (and in keeping Paulie from going into the business).
* ''Film/TheBluesBrothers'' [[PuttingTheBandBackTogether attempt to put on another show]] in order to save the orphanage they were raised in from being closed due to back tax debt.
* The South Korean movie ''PietÓ'' is about a debt collector who maims and injures debtors so that they can collect insurance to pay off their loans, at the cost of living out their lives crippled or disfigured.
* The trucker brothers in ''Film/ThinkBig'' has to be on constant lookout on the repo man Sweeney, who tries to steal their truck, which is one payment away from being completely theirs. [[spoiler:He succeeds near the end, but gets his karmic comeuppance by getting poisoned from the toxic waste shipment that brothers were hauling]].
* Dutch movie ''Karakter'' is about a debt collector battling with his illigitimate son. Although the debt collector is hated by all his 'customers' his side of the story is that he is simply following the law and making sure freeloaders get their due. He seems to legitimitly love his son and want him to succeed but also believes in though love, very tough love [[spoiler: the debt collector commits suicide at the end of the movie, but throughout the movie the viewer was led to believe his son had killed him]]
* Any adaptation of ''Literature/AChristmasCarol'' that shows Scrooge trying to collect money owed to him invariably depicts him as one.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Literature]]
* [[RobinHood The Sheriff of Nottingham]] is considered by most to be the TropeCodifier. The [[Disney/RobinHood Disney movie]] even has him stealing from a church poor box and [[ClarkKenting what he thinks]] is a blind man.
* More of a Crazy Debt Collector than actually Evil, but in Creator/HarukiMurakami's short story ''Superfrog Saves Tokyo'', the titular Superfrog proves his good intentions by extracting a promise to pay from someone the main character had been struggling to collect from. [[NoodleIncident The viewer is never told exactly what the frog did, but the client's lawyer is deeply traumatized]].
* The villain of ''Litature/TheRedNecklace'', Count Kalliovski, lets people borrow large sums of money from him so when they fail to pay him back, he gains control over them.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Live-Action TV]]
* In ''Series/DoctorWho'' serial "[[Recap/DoctorWhoS15E4TheSunMakers The Sun Makers]]", far-future Pluto is governed by a monstrous tax collector (literally: [[spoiler: he turns into some kind of fungus at the end]]) and his greedy lackies, who subjugate the human colonists through providing them with access to an artificial sun -- for which they are taxed into poverty and starvation.
* In a rare example of the EvilDebtCollector as the ''protagonist'', the TrailerParkBoys were forced into this role to pay off a veterinarian for treating a sick dog Julian was taking care of, along with treating one of Ricky's gunshot wounds. To pay their bill, Ricky and Julian had to steal a riding mower belonging to another one of the vet's customers who owed him a lot of money.
* Subverted in ''Series/CornerGas'' where the tax man (who keeps insisting he's [[InsistentTerminology "''A tax man, not THE tax man''"]]) is not evil at all but friendly, reasonable and will not hesitate to give useful tax break info that benefits those who treat him nicely. Which is amazing considering he has to deal all day long with people like [[JerkAss Oscar.]]
* Some of the marks in ''Series/{{Leverage}}'' are essentially Evil Debt Collectors.
* In ''Series/{{Justified}}'' a bookie employed a part time debt collector to collect from gamblers who failed to pay the money they owed. The debt collector's regular job was as a gardener so he liked to threaten to cut of people's toes with garden shears if they did not pay up. However, the bookie was a relatively nice guy so the debt collector was not supposed to actually seriously hurt people. This changed when one of the gamblers makes a business suggestion to the collector and they embark on ASimplePlan of kidnapping the bookie and stealing all of his money. We then see that the debt collector really was a tad AxeCrazy and he decides to shoot it out in a duel with US Marshal Raylan Givens.
* Several marks in ''Series/{{Hustle}}'' fall into this. The woman who runs the [=Do$h4You=] loan service and the thugs she sends out as her repo agents in "Old Sparks Come New" are perhaps the purest examples.
* In Series/ElChavoDelOcho, Sr. Barriga (the landlord of "La Vecindad") isn't evil necessarily, [[ItMakesSenseInContext but he may as well be one as far as Don Ramˇn is concerned...]]
* A ''Series/CSIMiami'' episode (Season 5, Episode 4: ''Bang, Bang, Your Debt'') involved a web of debauchery, murder and suicide which revolved around a spectacularly {{Jerkass}} bundle of these (who's preferred way to create "''customers''" was by swindling college kids into a DarkerAndEdgier CreditCardPlot). The VictimOfTheWeek was a girl that was dragged into debt bad enough to be kicked out of college, had to do sexual favours to the collectors' leader try to reduce the debt (and him deciding to not do anything after having his way with her), and who decided to commit suicide alongside a friend of hers that was on the same wagon (and when he managed to survive, he decided to [[KillTheCreditor kill the collector in revenge]]).
* ''Series/LasVegas'': Subverted in an episode where Sam Marquez is teamed up with a debt collector to track down several gamblers who are evading their debts to the casino. She asks him if he's gonna hurt anyone to force them to pay up, but he points out that this would quickly land him in jail if the debtor decides to call the authorities; according to him it's more about appearance and intimidation than ''actually'' roughing people up. This doesn't stop Sam from playing the "violent collector" part herself later on.
* In ''Series/GameOfThrones'' the Iron Bank of Braavos essentially [[PlayingBothSides plays the titular game of thrones]] by [[KingmakerScenario using would-be royal claimants as these]], although [[PlayedWith said claimants ''have'' to be evil]]... the catch is that any royal claimant that actually succeeds promptly becomes the new debtor!
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Music]]
* "Taxman", by Music/TheBeatles.
** I'll tax your tropes!
* "Repo Man" by The Coup.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Mythology & Religion]]
* In Literature/TheBible, Jesus [[HeelFaceTurn redeems a tax collector]] [[UrExample named Matthew, also known as Levi, who up to that point is portrayed as a very sinful and evil man]]. He even makes him one of His Apostles.
** Adding in for the Bible entry, it would seem that being a Debt Collector is the AlwaysChaoticEvil and DesignatedVillain version of jobs, as Jesus often uses them as the bad guys in the metaphors (and then subverts that these bad guys still pale in the faces of the haughty).
*** There was at least one subversion in one of Jesus' parables, a [[EgocentricallyReligious Pharisees]] was harassing a collector over the fact his career choice will land him in hell, the collector, showing both wit and humility, drops to his knees and begs God for forgiveness, showing more faith that the Pharisees probably ever would and establish the ([[FairForItsDay alien in that time thought]]) that one's career choice didn't dictate their religious or moral compass.
*** This even goes back to the Old Testament. Leviticus and Deuteronomy list very specific ways in which debts are to be collected, and loans and collateral accepted.
** In the Bible example, tax collectors tended to be Jews who were collecting taxes for the Romans who conquered them. So a double whammy there.
*** Especially since Jesus frequently mentions tax collectors and prostitutes in the same sentence in his parables.
*** In those days, it wasn't uncommon for them to [[CorruptBureaucrat demand more than was really owed, and skim off the top]]. John the Baptist even calls out the tax collectors for this very practice, saying they should collect no more than they are legally entitled to collect.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Newspaper Comics]]
* ComicStrip/HagarTheHorrible often gets visits from the friendly tax collector... and his [[GiantMook burly enforcer.]]
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Professional Wrestling]]
* A professional wrestling example of an evil tax collector was [[Wrestling/MikeRotunda Irwin R. Schyster (IRS)]] from the WWE (early-mid 1990s, back when it was known as the WWF). He was a heel. Part of the famous tag team Money Incorporated with [[Wrestling/TedDiBiase "The Million-Dollar Man" Ted [=DiBiase=]]]. This team was known for its prowess as technical wrestlers.
* About the same time, in WWE there also was the ''Repo Man'' (Barry Darsow).
* Inverted in 1990, when the ''[[Wrestling/BigBossman Big Boss Man]]'' (Ray Traylor) refused to reposess Ted [=DiBiase=]'s Million Dollar Belt, because he wouldn't take a pay-off.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Video Games]]
* Parodied in the ''VideoGame/AnimalCrossing'' series multiple times. While Tom Nook may occasionally make a joke about sending "the raccoon goons" if you don't pay him back for your house upgrades, you can TakeYourTime paying him back.
* The plot line of ''VideoGame/{{Pikmin}} 2'' involves the president of Olimar's company running from debt collectors after taking a loan from the wrong bank - the All-Devouring Black Hole {{Loan Shark}}s. He [[http://www.pikminwiki.com/Mail sends emails]] about it.
--> I just took a call from my loan agent! He has the scariest voice I've ever heard. While you two are dawdling about, my life hangs by a thread! Get to work, slackers!
--> Olimar! You're my hero! You've erased half of our debt. Still, things have become a bit dangerous, so I'm going into hiding. Focus on work...and don't slack off!
--> I found some tasty grass today. It was the first time in a while that I could eat until I was full.
--> I have a regrettable message. I have been caught. If I don't pay off the company debt right away, I'm to be buried in Hocotate Swamp. It's bleak here... Hurry!
* One of the early-mid game books (Timid Teacher book 2, I think) in ''VideoGame/{{Persona 4}}'' involves a man trying to deal with psycho debt collectors.
* ''TheSims2'' has the Repo Man, who comes if you blow off paying the bills too long. He's the one character you can't even cheat code your way around. He shows up with a vacuum that sucks up all your stuff and his appearance is an automatic bad memory for your Sims.
** On the ''The Sims 3'' you can actually erase the Repo Man just fine.
* ''EuropaUniversalis 2'' features an opportunity for a player to be this. Give the AI a short-term loan. Wait until AI refuses to repay. You get a free casus belli.
* Niko in ''VideoGame/GrandTheftAutoIV'' is sold out to debt collectors.
* The BigBad of Axel's story in ''VideoGame/{{Disgaea 2|CursedMemories}}'' is an evil repo man out to destroy an orphanage. This scumbag even holds Axel's little brother hostage. This leads to a CrowningMomentOfAwesome for Axel.
* This happens to O'aka in ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyX-2'', after he ends up heavily in debt to some Al Bhed. Yuna and the Gullwings can help him by buying enough of his merchandise so he has the money to pay off his loans.
* Turned UpToEleven in ''VisualNovel/NineHoursNinePersonsNineDoors''. WordOfGod reveals that it was [[spoiler: Lord Gordain who created the original Nonary Game as away of both getting rid of his debtors in a ridiculously brutal manner and to provide entertainment to other billionares.]]
* VideoGame/WorldOfWarcraft has several quest lines where you are asked to go collect debts from a series of deadbeats who refuse to repay their dues to the quest giver. A few of those deadbeats are ''actually dead'' and you have to beat up their ''ghosts'' for the money. There is no escaping your credit record in Azeroth.
* The [[ExcusePlot 'plot']] of Film/TheThreeStooges video game is that the Stooges have 30 days to raise enough money to save an orphanage from being closed down by I. Fleecem, whose appearences are punctuated with an EvilLaugh. If you bump into Fleecem during the game, he'll take away some of your money.
* TheFederation in ''Videogame/GratuitousSpaceBattles'', being a corporate conglomerate, offers loans on an intergalactic level to entire races and governments, so obviously they'd need to ramp up their debt collection department to scale. "Up to scale" in this case meaning they have a whole armada exclusively dedicated to mucking up late payers (which is just about everyone).
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Webcomics]]
* In ''TheWordWeary'', Stan Becks is a debt collector with a fictional company. He calls Elly and tells her (wrongly) she has pay beck her recently deceased mother's credit card debt, crippling her financially. This trope is played with in that Stan himself doesn't really appear to be evil, just forced into it to save his job.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Western Animation]]
* Played for laughs in the ''RockosModernLife'' cartoon "Who Gives A Buck", after Rocko gets carried away with his new credit card. He picks up the phone and receives the standard angry collection call.
** In "Junk Junkies", Rocko ends up owing $500 to a pizza place. Their debt collection practices start off with phone calls, but quickly escalate to breaking windows and dropping ''flaming pizza bombs'' from a plane. Their final method involves a visit from a massive thug named Wallace.
* ''WesternAnimation/CowAndChicken'' uses a similar joke in an episode where Chicken gets a credit card, with the Red Guy as the debt collector being rather overzealous at making Chicken pay back a twenty-five-cent charge.
* Pete plays one in the ClassicDisneyShort "Moving Day" (1936), playing the bullying sheriff planning to evict Mickey and Donald and sell all their furniture.
* The Vreedle Brothers are Repo Men on ''WesternAnimation/Ben10AlienForce'', sent to get Ship.
* Even Scrooge [=McDuck=] isn't immune to this trope. "[[Recap/DuckTalesS1E5NothingToFear Nothing to Fear]]" from ''WesternAnimation/DuckTales'' had the protagonists suffering from their worst nightmares. Scrooge's worst fear is debt collectors taking away everything he owns, even to the point of trying to take away Huey, Dewey and Louie.
* In the ''WesternAnimation/{{Wakfu}}'' special "Nox", the future villain is harassed by one of these. The debt collector actually goes out of his way to intimidate Nox's children for no reason. Indeed, much of Nox's obsession with the Eliacube ties in with his desire to make sufficient money to get rid of his debt. This ends...poorly for just about everyone involved.
* ''DastardlyAndMuttleyInTheirFlyingMachines'': In a "Magnificent Muttley" segment episode, Muttley found a treasure chest and Dick Dastardly disguised himself as a tax collector to "seize" the treasure as payment for back taxes. [[spoiler:The joke was on him as the chest contained nothing but dog biscuits]].
[[/folder]]

[[noreallife]]

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