Writing in the Brownsville Herald, consumer law professors Mary Spector (SMU), Genevieve Hebert Fajardo (St. Mary’s) and Neil L. Sobol (Texas A& M) critique the debt collection bill pending in the House, HR 4550, which would exclude from the FDCPA's coverage attorneys to the extent they are engaging in litigation. Excerpt:
House Resolution 4550, would give attorneys and law firms a free pass when they use false, misleading or abusive practices to collect debts in court.
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The proposed bill is likely to lead to:
➤ More lawsuits as attorneys rush to litigation to immunize their conduct in an already overburdened court-system.
➤ Less informal resolution of consumer debt as lawsuits become preferred method of collection.
➤ More use of unfair litigation tactics, all now covered by the FDCPA, including:
1. Lawsuits against consumers in distant courts.
2. Lawsuits to collect zombie debt.
3. Lawsuits to collect amounts not owed.
➤ More judgments obtained through unfair means with long-lasting and devastating consequences to consumers.