By: Robert J. Nahoum
U.S. Senator Pat Toomey (R-Pa.) introduced a bill, with bi-partisan support, that would exempt debt collection attorneys from compliance with federal debt collection laws known as the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA) during specific litigation related debt collection activities.
Sen. Toomey’s bill would “amend the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act to preclude law firms and licensed attorneys from the definition of a debt collector when taking certain actions” including:
- serving, filing, or conveying formal legal pleadings, discovery requests, or other documents pursuant to the applicable rules of civil procedure; or
- communicating in, or at the direction of, a court of law or in depositions or settlement conferences, in connection with a pending legal action to collect a debt on behalf of a client.
The FDCPA is a federal law that regulates the collection of consumer debts. It precludes third party debt collectors (including debt collection attorneys) from using false, misleading, deceptive and harassing debt collection tactics. If passed, the proposed legislation would implicitly allow attorney debt collectors to use misleading, deceptive and harassing debt collection tactics when serving court, papers, making discovery request and questioning consumers during depositions and settlement conferences.
Legislation like this is a big wet kiss to the debt collection industry. These days, debt collection law-firms have become little more that debt collection agencies themselves, using the courts as a tool to squeeze scarce money from unrepresented consumers. Law-firms like Eltman, Eltman and Cooper, P.C,, Cohen & Slamowitz, LLP and Pressler and Pressler file thousands of consumer debt collection cases and are routinely accused of violating the FDCPA in the Process. If a bill like this were to pass, things would only get worse for consumers not better. For this reason, the only conclusion to be drawn is that the supporters in Washington are looking out for the debt collectors, not the consumers.
If you need help settling or defending a debt collection law suit, stopping harassing debt collectors or suing a debt collector, contact us today to see what we can do for you.