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Relating to the collection of consumer debt by debt buyers.
No significant fiscal implication to the State is anticipated.
Among other things, HB 996 would prohibit a debt buyer from commencing an action against or initiating arbitration with a consumer to collect a debt for which the statute of limitations has expired. The bill would also require a debt buyer attempting to collect a debt for which the statute of limitations has expired to include a particular notice that the consumer is not required by law to pay the debt but that the collections agency may continue to report the debt to credit reporting agencies as unpaid for as long as the law permits if it is still within the legal reporting time frame. The exact language would depend on the status of the unpaid debt with respect to whether or not it is still reportable.
This bill would protect individual liberty and property rights of consumers by prohibiting debt buyers from suing to collect a debt the consumer is no longer obligated to pay. Presumably it would also promote some judicial economy by prohibiting suit to be filed if the statute of limitations for the debt has expired.