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Additional Protection from Creditor Harassment

Posted on Jun 15, 2009
On June 4, 2009, a committee of the New Jersey State Assembly approved a bill called the New Jersey Fair Debt Collection Practices Act, which aims to protect New Jerseyans from creditor harassment.   The Senate has a similar bill .  On the one hand, it is great that our legislature is looking out for us, but on the other, the bills as presented mostly echo the federal Act with some changes in damages.

One interesting difference between the two versions of the bill is that the Senate includes the creditor itself as a "debt collector" regulated under the law, while the Assembly version does not (and neither does the federal Act).  I would propose that if the New Jersey legislature really wants to provide protection from creditor harassment to its citizens, they should adopt the Senate version of the bill (at least insomuch as it broadens the scope of a "debt collector.")

I am currently calling upon Assemblyman Burzichelli and his co-sponsors to consider including creditors in the scope of their bill; otherwise, creditors would still free to harass our citizens unchecked.  Let's hope they listen.