Spector, Fajardo, and Sobol: Debt bill hurts consumers

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.


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