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Robo Debt Collectors

posted on 2010-11-08

 

To the Editor:

Re “Debt Collectors Face a Hazard: Writer’s Cramp” (front page, Nov. 1):

The bogus affidavits of robo debt collectors have a particularly devastating effect on the disabled and elderly. As many know, Social Security, pensions and other safety net benefits are protected from debt collectors. But legal loopholes enable debt collectors using fraudulent affidavits to snatch Social Security checks deposited in bank accounts.

Indeed, each year more than a million Social Security recipients discover that their monthly check needed for rent, food and medicine has been taken by a robo debt collector.

In 2009, New York closed this loophole by automatically protecting from debt collectors the first $2,500 of any bank account receiving direct deposit Social Security. For the last three years, the United States Treasury has been contemplating a similar rule for the entire country. It’s time for the Treasury to act.

Johnson M. Tyler
Unit Director, Social Security/
Consumer Rights
South Brooklyn Legal Services
Brooklyn, Nov. 2, 2010