News & Resources

Debt collection agencies lobby for legislation updates

Jun 22, 2011 Mike Garretson

In response to a slew of negative publicity about debt collectors, the Association of Credit & Collection Professionals - also known as ACA International - recently called for changes to debt collection laws and regulations, according to the New York Times. Primarily, ACA International is looking for an update to the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act. The legislation was passed in 1977 and has not been significantly altered since, which poses a problem for collecting debts using modern technology such as email and cell phones. Additionally, debt collectors are requesting that regulators specify the language they may use when leaving a voice message, as this is a massive source of lawsuits against the industry, the news source reports. They are also recommending the law be changed to compel creditors to retain customer account information for at least seven years, in order to combat the issue of pursuing debts with little paperwork to back up claims. According to the news source, ACA International leaders said they support efforts to crack down on rule-breaking debt collectors. Figures from the Federal Trade Commission indicate that consumer complaints against collectors rose by 17 percent between 2009 and 2010.