The new rules will require debt collectors to produce a court judgment or actual loan
document. They will also have to show an accounting of all interest and fees included in
the debt, and inform customers when the statute of limitations has expired. The
regulations will be announced Wednesday.
BY GLENN BLAIN / NEW YORK DAILY NEWS / Wednesday, December 3, 2014, 12:57 AM
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Benjamin Lawsky (C), superintendent of Financial Services, said too many debt collectors have tried
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ALBANY ­ The Cuomo administration is moving to rein in over­aggressive debt
collectors, The Daily News has learned.
Under new rules — set to be announced Wednesday — debt collectors must,
on request, be able to produce a court judgment or actual loan documents.
They must also be able to provide an accounting of all interest and fees
included in the debt; and inform consumers when the statute of limitations —
typically six years — has expired.
“The debt collection industry is filled with far too many unscrupulous actors
willing to deceive and abuse consumers just to make a quick buck,” said
Superintendent of Financial Services Benjamin Lawsky.
Lawsky and other consumer advocates said the new regulations will provide
much­needed governance to an industry that has gone largely unregulated
despite thousands of consumer complaints each year.
So far this year, the state has received more than 20,000 complaints about
debt collection practices, officials said.
“Debt collectors will pretty much will say anything to try to get anybody to pay,”
said Susan Shin, a senior staff attorney at the New Economy Project.
Shin said her organization hears frequently from consumers who received
harassing telephone calls from debt collectors. Often, the collectors threaten to
seize social service benefits, which they are not allowed to do.
Other times, debt collectors will seek to collect debts that have already been
paid or have surpassed the statue of limitations.
Carolyn Coffey of MFY Legal Services, a non­profit group that provides legal
services to the poor, said new rules will help level the playing field.
“There are plenty of people who have fallen on hard times and truly do want to
make payments and they will feel very pressured into clearing their names,”
Coffey said. “But if it is not a legitimate entity, they are just are throwing their
money away.”
A debt collectors’ group also praised the changes.