Fewer people than before are relying on landlines to be reached while at home. These days, with the rapid pace of growth in technology seemingly evolving without limits, people have begun exclusively using their mobile smartphones as their primary means of contact with the outside world. This has had a fair number of implications for those in the debt collection
business who need to locate people and confront them about outstanding debt.
In an effort to combat this issue, members of the debt collection industry are pushing for new legislation that would allow them to reach people who owed payments over their cellphones. Time reports that the Obama administration is seeking to introduce a bill that would allow government debt collectors to contact people who owe taxes and other fees by cell phone. Currently in the U.S. House of Representatives, there is another debt collection measure being considered that would allow those in the industry to use automatic dialing machines and robocalls to those who were late on payments. "Modernization for new communications is something we’re interested in," said Adam Peterman, director of federal government affairs for ACA International, The Association of Credit and Collections Professionals, in an interview with Time. "We’d like some guidance as to properly use modern technology. We think there are ways to communicate with consumers in the way they see fit the best." However, critics of the new bills say that giving the debt collection agencies expanded powers to contact clients is a dangerous game that could have a negative affect on peoples lives. In an interview with the magazine, National Consumer Law Center managing attorney Lauren Saunders said that she feared many companies would go beyond what the new law would allow. “I think the debt collectors need to be reined in, and I think their ideas are self-serving,” said Ed Mierzwinski, consumer advocate for watchdog group US-PIRG in an interview with the news source. "Modernization should be not in the image of ACA but in the image of consumer groups." Debt collectors use a number of different methods to track down accounts. One common way is to mail letters to the address of the people they are looking for. In a recent interview with KTRT-TV, Texas lawyer Michael Weston says that people would be unwise to ignore the letters based on a possible bank account garnishments.