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Al Franken's End Debt Collector Abuse Act

Adam J Krohn / Posted: 2009-02-06 12:00 am
The End Debt Collector Abuse Act, sponsored by Al Franken, would prohibit collectors from seeking a warrant for the arrest of a debtor. Unfortunately, a surprisingly large number of debtors face arrest charges and imprisonment because debt collectors unlawfully get them arrested.

In 1977, Congress passed the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA) to ensure fair debt collection methods. But times have changed and that law needs updating. When the FDCPA was passed, Congress did not foresee the rise in abusive practices in the debt collection industry. The debt collection industry has devised ways around the law to make their profits on hardworking Americans' backs.

Top 5 Violations of FDCPA

All around our country, there are numerous stories of people being taken advantage of by unscrupulous debt collectors. The debt collectors don't let the law or common decency stop them from doing whatever it takes to make money. These abuses include nasty and harassing comments, the use of racial slurs, and going after innocent people for debts that they don't owe.

Debt collectors have all the time in the world and now some are even exploiting scarce law enforcement resources. In doing so, debt collection firms are preying on innocent people who do not know their rights. This is an unfair fight and usually the debtor is taken for a ride. For some people, this bad situation spirals into an even worse nightmare when they end up in jail: a modern-day debtors’ prison. 

One woman who told her story, a Minneapolis resident, spent a full day in jail over a $250 credit card debt. During that day, she was treated like a criminal, groped by one inmate and offered drugs by another, and shared a room and a toilet with a dozen other women, with no privacy. It seems that collectors have found a way to get around the law to making a profit.

Senator Al Franken took it upon himself to introduce the End Debt Collector Abuse Act. The Act, if passed would do the following: 

  • Forbid debt collectors from seeking arrest of a consumer to collect a payment
  • Require debt collectors to provide itemization of the principal, fees and interest
  • Require debt collectors to provide the name of the original creditor up front
  • Require debt collectors to conduct a thorough investigation of any consumer’s dispute
  • Require debt collectors to provide specific evidence relevant to the dispute
  • Increase penalties for violating consumers' rights

Al Franken recognized that there were big problems in the debt collection industry that were long overdue in being addressed. The experienced debt collection attorneys of Krohn & MossLtd. CONSUMER LAW CENTER® hope that the U.S. Congress will act on this important legislation.

Tags : Fair Debt Collection Practices Act, Fdcpa

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