Washington, DC, Mayor Muriel Bowser signed Bill 24-169, on “2021 Act to amend the Consumer Protection against Unfair Debt Collection Act, 2021», With temporary changes related to communication with consumers and documentation of debts.
It will take effect on September 23, 2021.
The legislation, originally introduced by City Council Chairman Phil Mendelson and Attorney General Karl Racine, was first approved by the full city council on July 13, and the replacement legislation was approved on August 3, ACA International reported previously.
The legislation aims to modernize the district debt collection law – drafted in 1971 – and to establish temporary updates to the debt collection laws before the restrictions on debt collection communications end in late September.
Some legal requirements include:
- A debt collector cannot call a consumer for more than three days in a seven-day period. However, calls initiated by the consumer or made by a collection agent at the request of a consumer are not taken into account in the appeal limit of three calls per seven day period.
- Detailed notices of the amount claimed by the consumer are required. However, if the debt is from a credit card, itemized accounting should be measured from the cancellation balance and should include copies of the cancellation statement and the last monthly statement recording a purchase transaction, a final one. payment or balance transfer. . This amendment removes the following wording from the original legislation: If the debt results from a credit concern, the account must include the last 24 periodic statements required by the Truth in Lending Act, 15. USC Section 1637 (b), which document the transactions, purchases, fees and charges that make up the debt. Removing this wording ensures that consumers receive relevant information regarding their debt, including fees, etc., without receiving a large volume of statements or documents. Additional language is needed for credit card debt because of the limitations of the information banks can provide to debt collectors.
- Debt collectors can be required to send a notice to consumers with information about their account, such as the name of the original creditor as well as the name of the current creditor or owner of the debt, rather than to ask the debt collector to send this information. unsolicited after a first communication.
- If the consumer is an individual, the court may impose an additional penalty of at least $ 500 and not more than $ 4000.
Washington, DC decree and public health emergency were lifted on July 24, but the order stipulated that restrictions on debt collection communications will continue for 60 days, the ACA previously reported. The emergency legislation was intended to maintain communication restrictions on debt collection for an additional 90 days. A law approved by the city council on August 3 replaced this emergency law.
From now on, the law signed by the mayor will come into force on September 23 and will expire after 225 days.
An additional bill similar to 24-169, which would be permanent if passed, the Consumer Protection Against Unfair Collection Practices Act, 2021, was presented by the city council in July.