AFSA Testifies Before DC Council on Debt Collection
On November 29, AFSA’s Director of State Research and Policy, Matt Kownacki, testified at a District of Columbia Council committee hearing in opposition to B24-0357. The bill would permanently amend DC’s laws relating to debt collection to place significant new restrictions on creditors collecting from and communicating with their customers. While AFSA’s members are committed to preventing abusive collection practices, some of the proposed bill’s provisions would result in immediate confusion for borrowers and their lenders, make it difficult to communicate with consumers, harm those whose accounts are delinquent, and likely limit the availability of credit for borrowers in the District. The testimony follows a November 23 joint letter with the Card Coalition.
In the testimony and letter, AFSA raised issue over the bill’s vague definition of creditor. Unlike current federal law, the proposed bill does not appropriately distinguish between original creditors and debt buyers and third-party debt collectors. In addition, AFSA voiced concerns over the restrictive limit on call attempts. AFSA also commented on many other provisions of the proposed bill, including the disclosures, a prohibition on collecting exempt funds, vague definitions, indirect vehicle finance, debt validation, the private right of action, and the proposed repossession ban.
This letter and testimony, along with SGA’s other advocacy, can be found on the direct advocacy section of AFSA’s website.
December 1st, 2021 by Dan Bucherer