ALBANY – New York Attorney General Letitia James recently sent letters to the largest credit card companies and major debt collectors operating in New York, warning them of new state regulations that prevent them from suing consumers for old debts. A new law protecting debtors comes into force in April.
The Consumer Credit Fairness Act of 2021, signed into law last November, takes effect next month and reduces the statute of limitations for consumer debt collection from six years to three.
“For too long, debt collectors have used unfair and abusive tactics to collect debts inappropriately,” Attorney General James said. “The abusive debt collection practices of the past have hurt low- and middle-income New Yorkers the most and buried them deeper in financial hardship, according to James, who added “I urge any New Yorker who believes having been the victim of an undue debt collection to contact my office. Consumers have rights and my office is committed to protecting them.
As of April 7, 2022, creditors cannot sue or threaten to sue consumers for debts older than three years, down from six years in most cases. In addition, any payment made by a consumer after this three-year period cannot be used to raise the prescribed debt.
The Attorney General noted that consumers are warned that if they make a payment on a debt too old to sue before April 7, the payment may renew the creditor’s ability to sue them for the full amount of the old debt. .
The full text of the new law is available here.