Past Due: Why Debt Collection Practices and The Debt Buying Industry Need Reform Now, a new report authored jointly by Consumers Union (which publishes Consumers Report) and East Bay Community Law Center at UC Berkeley’s Boalt Hall School of Law tells some horrifying stories of consumers abused by debt collectors.
The report also makes a number of policy recommendations that would supplement existing laws and provide much-needed protections for consumers. Among the reforms the report suggests:
1. Require that a collector provide to a consumer (without the consumer requesting it) certain information beyond that already required by the FDCPA before making any collection attempts. Among the information suggested:
proof of indebtedness signed by the consumer;
name of the original creditor;
chain of title if the debt has been sold;
date the debt was incurred and date of last payment;
itemization of total principal, interest; fees and other charges.
2. Require that more information be submitted to the court when filing a complaint. The report recommends that all federal, state and local courts require complaints to provide the information listed in #1, above. Some state and local courts have already implemented some or all of these requirements.
3. Increase oversight of service of process. Consumers should not be denied their right to due process simply because they never knew they were being sued.
If you or someone you know has been sued by a debt collector, turn to a lawyer who is experienced with debtor’s rights. Some large debt collection agencies are: Collins Financial Services; Colorado Capital Investments; Credigy Receivables; Elite Recovery Services; Erin Capital Management; Gemini Asset Recoveries; Independence Receivables; Metro Portfolios; Northstar Capital Acquisition; NY Financial Services; Pinpoint Technologies; Portfolio Recovery Associates; RAB Performance Receivables; RJM Acquisitions; Rushmore Recoveries; and Worldwide Asset Purchasing.