With the economic crisis still in full swing, many American families who have typically been able to successfully manage their finances are finding it difficult to keep their head above water. To add insult to injury, many debt collectors have seized upon this economic climate to garner larger profits. However, many States Attorneys Generals have stepped up to try to curb the onslaught from the debt collection industry.
The latest to do so, is Massachusetts State Attorney General Martha Coakley who wants to close loopholes in Massachusetts debt collection rules that date as far back as the 1970s.
Coakley is proposing that regulations prohibiting “abusive” debt collection attempts be modernized by adding cell phone calls and text messages to forms of communication covered by the rules.
She also wants to make debt buyers – companies that purchase debt and then try to collect it on their own — subject to all regulations.
Another change would require debt collectors to make a good faith effort to determine whether a debt is too old to be collected before contacting consumers.
Finally, the attorney general’s office is amending the regulations to make them more consistent with the Massachusetts Division of Banks’ regulation of debt collectors and the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act.
Coakley says the amendments would help ensure that people are treated fairly when contacted about a debt.
A hearing will be held on the proposed changes on May 18, 2011, at 9 a.m. in Boston. Testimony may be presented orally at the public hearing or in writing.
The Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA) offers protection from illegal and unethical tactics of the debt collectors. A clear understanding of debt collection laws under the FDCPA will entail you to the power to fight the third party debt collectors.