Collector - August 2017 - 28
TWO WAYS TO KEEP UP
WITH STATE ISSUES
1. Get involved in your state or regional unit. ACA units play a pivotal role
in driving the collection industry's state legislative and regulatory agenda.
Attending meetings and volunteering on your unit's board will connect you to
local leaders who are actively working to keep the collection industry healthy.
Connect with your unit here: www.acainternational.org/units.
2. Join the legislative discussion on The Hub. The Hub is an online resource
where ACA members can interact and ask questions about their day-to-day
experiences related to compliance, management, working with consumers
and local legislative or legal trends. Sign in here:
Check out the number of states
considering these hot issues:
Credit Reporting: 19
Sales Tax on Services: 17
Call Blocking: 7
Moving Call Centers: 7
Statute of Limitations: 7
Purchased Debt: 5
to shy away from major tax proposals in
election years so this high level of activity
will likely drop off next year.
ACTION IN NEW ENGLAND
Every year the New England Collectors
Association is one of the busiest units,
and this year is no exception. The unit is
tracking and working on more than 60 bills,
including more than 25 in Massachusetts.
One of the more critical bills in
Massachusetts, HB 201, could significantly
hamper collection communication efforts
through new "robocall" prohibitions.
Another bill, SB 120, would significantly
shorten the current statute of limitations
and eliminate the revival of the statute
The New England Unit, led by its
president Jeff DiMatteo, has met with key
legislators regarding both of these bills
and even helped propose and support
an alternative bill, HB 282, which would
accomplish the same robocall protections for
consumers while ensuring legitimate debt
collection calls are still able to take place.
These bills have been referred to the Joint
Consumer Protection and Professional
Licensure Committee and are expected to
receive hearings during the summer.
The New England Unit has also
joined with a large coalition of industry
members in Rhode Island to oppose HR
5396 unless amended.
The bill would prohibit the litigation of
out-of-statute debt while implementing some
requirements. The proposal would also create
some troubling inconsistencies with the
Rhode Island Fair Debt Collection Practices
Act. The legislation currently is being held in
the House Judiciary Committee and will be
carried over to the 2018 session.
REWRITING THE COLORADO FAIR
DEBT COLLECTIONS ACT
In addition to working on the previously
mentioned garnishment legislation, the
Associated Collection Agencies worked
on a rewrite of the Colorado Fair Debt
Collections Practices Act, which was set
to expire this year.
After months of meetings and negotiations
with key legislators, the Department
of Revenue, the Office of the Attorney
General and other interested stakeholders,
a comprehensive package was passed by the
legislature and signed by the governor.
Tom Romala, the unit's longtime Colorado
legislative chair, said that this was the busiest
legislative cycle he can remember in 30
years. One welcome provision he pointed
out in the new legislation was that the next
sunset has been pushed back until 2028.
IN WEST VIRGINIA
In April, West Virginia enacted SB 563,
which among other things amended the
definition of "debt collector" to exempt
attorneys representing creditors, provided
that the attorneys are licensed in West
Virginia or otherwise authorized to practice
law in the state and are handling claims
and collections in their own name as an
employee, partner, member, shareholder
or owner of a law firm and not operating a
collection agency under the management of
a person who is not a licensed attorney.
The new law also addresses the manner
in which a debtor must notify a collector
of attorney representation. The legislation
amended the timeframe a collector must