Minnesota looks to toughen laws for pugnacious bill collectors

  • Article by: JENNIFER BJORHUS , Star Tribune
  • Updated: January 15, 2013 - 6:05 AM

A proposed law would make debt collectors show evidence they're going after the right person.

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evldedJan. 14, 1312:35 PM

This practice has always seemed more than a little wrong. The contract is between two parties, then once one party decides they can't collect it, they sell it for pennies to another party who wasn't a party to the contract in the first place? Only in America. Scam-nation.

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lonederangerJan. 14, 13 1:29 PM

Thank you Lori!

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pustule2Jan. 14, 13 2:25 PM

This sounds like a good start but the law needs to come equipped with rigorous enforcement and fairly brutal penalties, or it will be ignored by those who feel they are in a position to violate the law with impunity.

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arielbenderJan. 14, 13 3:04 PM

These thumbs down votes are perplexing. The AG is trying to make sure that the companies who buy this debt for pennies on the dollar, actually have evidence that THE PEOPLE THEY TARGET actually owe it. Who would be against that? This isn't about letting delinquent debtors skate, its about protecting people that don't actually owe debt from being harassed.

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schnobelJan. 14, 13 3:15 PM

Jan. 14, 13 3:04 PM "These thumbs down votes are perplexing. The AG is trying to make sure that the companies who buy this debt for pennies on the dollar, actually have evidence that THE PEOPLE THEY TARGET actually owe it. Who would be against that? This isn't about letting delinquent debtors skate, its about protecting people that don't actually owe debt from being harassed." If that was the case it would be one thing but it's just not an issue. The real reason is NOT protecting consumers but making it onerous for the debt buyers to collect so the consumer doesn't have to pay. It's not hard to prove if the debt isn't valid so the reality of this being a problem is different than what you have stated.

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arielbenderJan. 14, 13 3:40 PM

schnobelJan. 14, 13 3:15 PM Jan. 14, 13 3:04 PM "These thumbs down votes are perplexing. The AG is trying to make sure that the companies who buy this debt for pennies on the dollar, actually have evidence that THE PEOPLE THEY TARGET actually owe it. Who would be against that? This isn't about letting delinquent debtors skate, its about protecting people that don't actually owe debt from being harassed." If that was the case it would be one thing but it's just not an issue. The real reason is NOT protecting consumers but making it onerous for the debt buyers to collect so the consumer doesn't have to pay. It's not hard to prove if the debt isn't valid so the reality of this being a problem is different than what you have stated._____________-And your evidence of this allegation is what exactly?

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flatstanleyJan. 14, 13 3:53 PM

schnobel, it migh be your best interest to talk to any family or friends to see if they have had any experience dealing with one of these debt collections group and see if that discussion causes you to change your mind. I have had family members who have been pursued by debt agencies trying to collect on a balance that was already paid. These companies couldn't care less if you actually still owe the money. Their goal is to make you worry so much about be taken to court that you agree to pay the fictional debt just to stop the harrassing calls. Those harassing calls aren't just going to the individual who supposedly owes the debt. They scour public records looking for family or emergency contacts and then call those people telling them that the person in question owes a lot of money. It's a scam and a terrible racket, so I am very happy that our AG is doing something about it.

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mganderson12Jan. 14, 13 3:55 PM

Having been subject to several invalid collection requests against me due to having a common name, I can attest to the difficulty of dealing with these firms to correct their mistakes. I applaud the AG!

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moron100Jan. 14, 13 4:08 PM

schnobel - i see your point but my wife ran into this problem 10 years after paying off a debt that the phone company said she didnt pay. Her parents helped her pay for it but it was pretty dicey on what they would do to her and if we would have to pay for it again.

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The real worldJan. 14, 13 4:24 PM

flatstanley Per FDCPA you can not disclose any information to a third party. You can however ask a third party for location information on the debtor. Here's a crazy concept pay your bills and you won't have to deal with collection agencies.

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