Yesterday, Legal Aid and seven other local advocacy groups sent a letter to Councilmember Vincent Orange and other members of the D.C. Council asking them to support and schedule a committee hearing and mark-up of the Debt Buying Limitation Amendment Act of 2015. Councilmember Orange is the Chair of the Committee on Business, Consumer and Regulatory Affairs, the committee to which the bill was referred. The reform would require debt buyers to obtain certain documentation before pursuing collections, particularly in court, a critical consumer protection that has been enacted in several states to curtail abusive debt collection behavior.
Debt buyers have a documented history of suing the wrong person for the wrong amount and using other abusive tactics to collect debt. Our courts are inundated with unsubstantiated lawsuits that can result in wrongful judgments and wage garnishments. Common sense reforms, such as those requiring debt buyers to obtain basic information before filing a collections case, would help ensure debt buyers are not clogging our courts with frivolous lawsuits.