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End abuse from debt collection firms

posted on 2010-11-19

 

When someone takes out a loan, they ought to pay it back. But an increasing number of unscrupulous debt collection agencies have begun taking advantage of innocent people who have tried to play by the rules. I think this is a problem lawmakers must address.

Debt collection firms are preying on people with good intentions but without the time and money to figure out their rights and fight back. And some debt collectors are exploiting scarce law enforcement resources to go after unsuspecting Minnesotans. These abuses also include nasty and harassing calls and going after innocent people for debts that they don’t owe.

In 1977, Congress passed the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act to protect consumers from abusive debt collection practices. But Congress did not foresee the abuses that would arise as the growing debt collection industry found ways around the law. Times have changed and that law needs to be updated.

That’s why I introduced the bipartisan End Debt Collector Abuse Act, which would forbid debt collectors from seeking the arrest of a consumer in pursuit of payment. It would also require that debt collectors provide consumers with basic information up front, so that consumers can recognize a debt, determine whether the collector’s claim is accurate, and exercise their rights.

Finally, the End Debt Collector Abuse Act would increase the penalties for violating consumers’ rights, in order to crack down on the rogue debt collectors who have been blatantly and willfully ignoring current federal prohibitions against harassing calls and other abusive practices.

I have no intention of making it easier for people to skip out on legitimate debts. But when debt collectors don’t let the law or common decency stop them from doing whatever it takes to make a buck, hardworking Minnesotans deserve to have basic protections.

What do you think?

Contact Info for US Senator Al Frankin

320 Hart Senate Office Building
Washington, DC 20510
(202) 224-5641