A recent announcement from Massachusetts attorney general Martha Coakley stated that debt collection
regulations in the Commonwealth had been revised to more closely align with existing state and federal laws, explains the Stop Collector blog.
Enacted on March 2, the revisions offer additional protections for consumers, and are part of a larger effort to move regulations closer to the Consumer Protection Act. Among the amendments was a new definition of the term "creditor" as a buyer of delinquent debt who hires a third party to collect. A new definition of "debt" was also announced, which now includes a first mortgage or a loan in excess of $25,000. Additionally, a provision was enacted that stated collectors must make good-faith efforts to ensure a debt isn't past its statute of limitations. New limits were placed on the frequency of telephone calls made by agencies either in person or via text message as well. Also, creditors are now required to make new disclosures regarding time-barred debts and provide a state validation notice. The goal of this initiative is to "promote a more favorable regulatory environment that improves the business climate in the Commonwealth while maintaining and promoting principles of consumer protection and fair business practices."