An E Bay Of Deadbeats

Want to pick up some cheap debt? The Web is the place to be

If everything from fine art to used wedding dresses can be auctioned off on the Internet, why not bad debts? Newly minted Web sites are vying to sell off such problem debts as unpaid credit-card bills, auto loans, home mortgages, and even uncollected lawsuit settlements. "The market for distressed debt is the greatest it's ever been, which is spurring the Internet movement," says Edward I. Altman, professor of finance at New York University's Stern School of Business.

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