Debt collection

The Civil Law Committee heard SB 211 authored by Sen. Patricia Miller on debt collection. The bill was prepared at the request of Attorney General Zoeller amending the deceptive consumer sales statutes to further consumer protection efforts. A representative from the Office of the Attorney General testified that the bill (1) defines “debt buyer;” (2) enhances the debt collector’s required disclosures to the debtor; and (3) raises the penalties for abusive collection practices to authorize a maximum of $25,000 for each violation (maximum penalty per violation per consumer remains $1,000). An amendment was adopted by consent clarifying the required disclosure provisions. The Indiana Association for Community Economic Development and the Indiana Banker’s Association testified in support of the bill. The Indiana Creditors Bar Association and the Indiana Collectors Association testified in opposition to the bill. The amended bill passed 8-0.

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