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Posts published in “State & Local Regulation”

Trio of New York Bills Would Extinguish Debt, Require Licensing and Impose Additional Requirements in Collection Litigation

A trio of bills currently pending in the New York State Senate would extinguish debt, require licensing and impose additional requirements in collection litigation. New York Senate Bill 691 and Senate Bill 2239 would completely extinguish the right to collect debt arising from a consumer credit transaction upon expiration of the statute of limitations. Senate Bill 691 goes a bit further by proposing to reduce the statute of limitations in “consumer credit transactions” to three years although it does provide certain exceptions. In addition, Senate Bill 691 would require certain disclosures to be provided to defendants in lawsuits brought on…

New Texas Debt Buyer Legislation Would Require More Notices, Addresses Legal Actions 

Newly introduced legislation in Texas, House Bill 996, addresses when a debt buyer can initiate legal action or arbitration to collect a consumer debt and requires specific notices with respect to out-of-statute debt. “Debt buyer” is defined as “a person who purchases or otherwise acquires a consumer debt from a creditor or other subsequent owner of the consumer debt, regardless of whether the person collects the consumer debt, hires a third party to collect the consumer debt, or hires an attorney to pursue collection litigation in connection with the consumer debt. The term does not include: a person who acquires a charged-off…

Rhode Island Adopts 5-Year Record Retention Rule for Debt Collectors

The Rhode Island Department of Business Regulation has adopted a record retention rule for debt collectors requiring that virtually all records be retained for a minimum of five years “following the transaction.” Records that must be retained include the following: all audio recordings of contact with customers; records of all customers contacted; all written correspondence (including that sent electronically) between the licensee and the consumer; complete files and documentation of every debt the licensee has attempted to collect including any and all documents relating to that debt; all communications received from customers including copies of all documents received in hard…

Legislation Introduced in New York, Illinois Would Require Debt Collection Notices

Legislation has been introduced in Illinois and New York that would require debt collectors to provide consumers with specific notices. In New York, Assembly Bill 876 would require the initial written communication to a debtor to include the following: “Debtor’s Rights As a debtor who owes or may owe a consumer claim, you are given some protection and rights by the New York and federal laws regulating debt collection procedures. You should be aware of your rights. 1.  A debt collector may contact you or any member of your family or household directly. However, they may not contact you with such…

Colorado Legislation Would Create Earnings Exemption for Medical Debt

Colorado House Bill 19-1089, introduced on Jan. 14, would amend the Colorado Revised Statutes dealing with property and earnings exemptions by adding a new definition for “medical debt,” which would mean “any obligation or alleged obligation of a person to pay money arising out of the provision of health care services as defined in section 10-16-102(33).” Under the legislation, “the earnings of an individual whose family income does not exceed four hundred percent of the current federal poverty guidelines, adjusted for family size, are not subject to garnishment or levy under execution of attachment if the writ is the result of…

California Enacts Consumer Privacy Act of 2018

On June 28, California passed into law the California Consumer Privacy Act of 2018, which becomes operative on Jan. 1, 2020. As with the EU’s General Data Protection Regulation, the Privacy Act gives consumers greater control over the use and sharing of their personal information. The Privacy Act allows a consumer to request that a business disclose: the categories and specific pieces of personal information that it collects about the consumer; the categories of sources from which that information is collected; the business purposes for collecting or selling the information; the categories of third parties with which the information is…

Rhode Island ‘Expired Debt Act’ More Than Name Implies

On Jan. 7, the Expired Debt Act (EDA) was introduced in the Rhode Island House of Representatives and referred to the House Committee on Judiciary.  The bill was introduced by State Representatives Shekarchi, Solomon, Regunberg, McEntee, and Craven. Since 2007, Rhode Island has had its own Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (RIFDCPA) that is, for the most part, identical to its federal counterpart.  The EDA, however, introduces new definitions and restrictions related to debt collection. The EDA defines a “collector” as “a person collecting or attempting to collect an alleged debt arising out of a consumer transaction.”  The definition is…

Maine Amends Debt Collection Statute, Bills Pending in Other States

Maine has amended its statute regulating debt collection while bills regarding debt collection are pending in other states.  Here’s a breakdown of Maine’s amendments: Written or Court Entered Settlement and Payment Agreements Settlement agreements must be in a writing or entered in “open court” or “approved by the court and included in a court order.” For settlement agreements that are not made in open court or in a court order, the debt collector must “provide” a copy of the written settlement agreement to the debtor within 10 days of the agreement being made. A debtor is not required to make…