North Carolina bill would ease restrictions on debt buyers

The state senate is considering a bill that would eliminate requirements that debt buyers have detailed information about the debt they buy before suing to enforce the debt in court. The bill passed out of committee over the objections of consumer advocates that the bill would facilitate abusive lawsuits against consumers.

The Raleigh News & Observer quotes an official the North Carolina Attorney General's office expressing concerns that the new bill would roll back effective consumer protections, enacted in 2009:

Kevin Anderson, who is in charge of the consumer protection division in the state Attorney General's office, said the 2009 law has been effective in stemming collection abuses. Those abuses included lawsuits against consumers who actually had paid their bills in full or who couldn't even determine, based on the scanty evidence presented in the complaint, whether they had paid or successfully disputed the bill. The debt at issue can be years old by the time the debt buyers acquire them.

Such lawsuits “seemed to be predicated on the notion that consumers just won’t show up and contest the suits. They didn’t have much evidence supporting” their claims, Anderson said.

"The rest of the country that hasn't passed laws like this are still struggling with the problem," he said. “We would caution against rolling back some of these protections.”


Read the whole N&O story here.

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