Assemblywoman Helene Weinstein

The New York State Assembly passed the Consumer Credit Fairness Act, a bill designed to protect low-income and elderly New Yorkers from aggressive debt collection practitioners.

According to a report by the Post Star News, the primary purpose of the Consumer Credit Fairness Act, introduced by Assemblywoman Helene Weinstein, is to curb abusive debt collection lawsuits by the following means:

  • Requiring notice of a pending consumer credit action to be mailed to the defendants by the clerk of the court;
  • Requiring court filings to include more information about the debt targeted in a lawsuit, such as identifying the debt or account and providing proof that the debt is owed to the plaintiff;
  • Lowering the statute of limitations for consumer credit transactions from six years to three years, and eliminating the right to collect the debt once the statute of limitations is expired; and
  • Terminating the ability of debt buyers to sue on expired debt.

Weinstein explained the importance of the legislation as well as its impact on domestic violence victims.

“Abusive debt collection lawsuits exploit gaps in our state’s laws. This bill takes important steps to close these loopholes to protect consumers and helps to address the long-term impact of economic abuse, including identity theft, which is often suffered by domestic violence victims at the hands of their abusers.”

Weinstein’s work on the bill received high praise from Claudia Wilner, an attorney at NEDAP (Neighborhood Economic Development Advocacy Project) who expressed hopes that it will be passed in the New York State Senate.

“We now call upon the Senate to pass the CCFA this legislative session to put an end to abusive debt collection practices. New Yorkers, particularly those who are low-income, elderly, disabled or domestic violence survivors, have been harassed by these unscrupulous debt collectors for far too long.”

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  • A Sheepshead bayer

    Great! Helene just opened the door for unscrupulous people to abuse the system even further, and other ordinary, hard working, law abiding citizensto pay for others’ irresponsibility! “If you can’t afford it; don’b buy it.” – Can we pass it into law…

    • Sarah Miller

      I agree, its very simple. If you can’t afford it you should not really be buying it. Our desire to achieve things we can’t afford gets us into bad situations. Regardless of the Credit Control policies implemented by both the government and the businesses, if people keep on taking debt that they cannot really pay for, they are practically just digging their own graves.

  • HonestlyNoLongerPays

    From 6 years to 3 years, then you don’t have to pay your debt. Why not just make it zero years already? The bigger abuse is that I struggle to pay my debts on time, only to have to pay (through taxes and increased interest rates) for these deadbeats. How about protecting me, Ms. Weinstein? I live with poor people. I see what many do. Charge up to the maximum, with absolutely no intention of ever paying. But yes, they need protection. Why in god’s name do I plan down to the cent how to pay my bills and support my family honestly? Why do I work a second job? What’s in it for a person to be honest? You’ll convert me yet, Ms. Weinstein, to the dark side.

    • honestrussianbizman

      Because you is stupid american peasant. I have two Bentleys and three mansions and have NEVER paid Credit Card Bill. None of my family pay either and they have helicopters. Stupid american and you wonder why you have nothing.

  • Tuth

    Here is a true story:

    Some time ago I invested a 5 figure sum with a partner who would run a business. Not long after the investment the business went sour and the partner went on to lie, cheat and possible defraud me. I went to court and after a long, drawn-out ordeal I finally won a judgement. Mind you, even thought the guy never bothered to reply or come to court I had to pay court fees, process servers, and some attorney fees to help me figure out what to do ( it is not a simple process.)

    Now the guy has no money, and I have very little I can do about it. It is my job to seek out his assets and then the marshal can maybe go and take them. All of these costs time and money with no guaranteed payoff. But god forbid I make his life uncomfortable with “aggressive debt collectors.” I have 20 years to collect according to the law.

    With that said, we all view credit card companies as these evil corporations, but no one forces you to use them. It always amazes me how surprised people are that they have to pay back what they borrowed. I believe that there should be no statues of limitation. You made a deal so keep your end. Btw, if everyone repaid what they borrowed the interest rates would not need to be so high.

  • peppertree5706

    Now I guess I will never collect that deposit owed to me from the woman whom I rented a room. I won a judgement against her in court, but I am screwed by this law.

    • http://www.flickr.com/photos/lisanne001 Lisanne!

      Which is why this bill fails with the inclusion of this clause.

  • http://www.debtconsolidationcare.com/User/NathanielCopeland Nathaniel Copeland

    1. The first point is a big step up. Court clerks are less likely to perjure themselves in court than mercenary process servers.

    2. The second bit does save debtors the extra trouble of writing a DV request or asking for DV during discovery in court. Now the law would require that creditors need to come up with better ‘proof’ than account statement copies.

    3. The third part renders the fourth part moot. Cutting the SoL in half would make a lot of debtors happy. On the other hands, this will go ahead and push creditors to be more cunning and belligerent.