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RELEASE: Auchincloss Becomes One of the First Freshman Members to Have A Bill Pass the House in the 117th Congress 

May 13, 2021


 

RELEASE: Auchincloss Becomes One of the First Freshman Members to Have A Bill Pass the House in the 117th Congress 

The Non-Judicial Foreclosure Debt Collection Clarification Act will serve as an important consumer protection tool that will directly benefit Massachusetts residents.

Washington, DC — Today, Congressman Jake Auchincloss (D, MA-04) became one of the first freshman members of this Congress to have a bill pass the House. The Non-Judicial Foreclosure Debt Collection Clarification Act was passed as part of the The Comprehensive Debt Collection Improvement Act. When passed by the Senate and signed into law, this legislation will serve as an important consumer protection tool that will directly benefit Massachusetts residents. The bill, which included Auchincloss’ Non-Judicial Foreclosure Debt Collection Clarification measure, was passed through regular order via the Committee on Financial Services, of which Auchincloss is a member. 

WATCH:Auchincloss discusses his now passed bill on the House Floor

HR 2458, The Non-Judicial Foreclosure Debt Collection Clarification Act will ensure that non-judicial foreclosure actions carried out by third parties are included in the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA), which restricts the ways that collectors can contact debtors, as well as the time of day and number of times that contact can be made. Because Massachusetts uses the non-judicial process for foreclosures, Auchincloss’ bill will help protect residents from harassment by third parties.The Non-Judicial Foreclosure Debt Collection Clarification Actwill also provide uniform protection for homeowners across the country regardless of the type of foreclosure process their state uses.

“Congress passed the American Rescue Plan Act in a tremendous investment to support millions of workers without a paycheck and behind on bills. As we begin work to build back a stronger economy post-pandemic, we must ensure that consumers are protected from bad faith debt collectors,said Auchincloss. “The Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA) was enacted in 1977 – almost 45 years ago. Since then, much has changed including the way we communicate, how we purchase goods, and the credit products we use. We need updates to the FDCPA to fit the needs of consumers today, not in 1977. We can’t rebuild a modern economy that works for everyone without protecting consumers. Making sure borrowers are treated with dignity and protected from unwanted and unnecessary harassment is an important step to ensuring economic fairness moving forward.”   

The Non-Judicial Foreclosure Debt Collection Clarification Act was endorsed by the National Consumer Law Center, Americans for Financial Reform, and theConsumer Federation of America. Small Business Majority, The Responsible Business Lending Coalition, and over 85 public interest, legal services, consumer, labor, and civil rights organizations have endorsed the broader Comprehensive Debt Collection Improvement Act package. 

H.R. 2547, The Comprehensive Debt Collection Improvement Act, sponsored by Chairwoman Maxine Waters, would provide important protections for small businesses, servicemembers, students, and other consumers against mistreatment and harassment by certain debt collectors. The Financial Services Committee held a hearing in March 2021 that highlighted the significant gaps in protections for consumers when it comes to debt collection. During the coronavirus pandemic, many consumers and small businesses have struggled to keep up with their bills, through no fault of their own, whiledebt collectors have seen record profits. Meanwhile, recent CFPB reportingreveals that its consumer complaint database received 82,700 consumer complaints regarding debt collection issues in 2020, a 10% increase from the previous year.Research has demonstratedthat abusive debt collection practices disproportionately harm communities of color and low-income communities. Debt collection communications affect nearly one in three Americans with a credit record.

 

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