MASSACHUSETTS BILL WOULD REGULATE DEBT PURCHASERS AND SELLERS
Massachusetts House Bill 1104, which has been referred to the Joint Committee on Financial Services, would require debt purchasers and sellers to disclose certain information to debtors in connection with sold debts. Specifically, the bill would require a debt purchaser to send a debtor a written notice within 30 days of purchasing a debt that sets forth: (i) the dollar amount of the debt; (ii) the original creditor; (iii) the date on which the debt purchaser bought the debt; and (iv) the interest rate and penalty charges that the debt purchaser may charge on the debt. The bill also would require a debt purchaser to send a monthly notice of activity on the debtor’s account that sets forth: (i) the unpaid balance on the account; (ii) the amount of any payments on the account from 30 days prior to the date the notice is sent; and (iii) the amount of interest and penalties charged on the account from 30 days prior to the date the notice is sent. In addition to the above, the bill would require a debt purchaser to include on any communication sent to a debtor a notice indicating that the debtor may bring a private action if the debt purchaser violates the above disclosure requirements.
With respect to debt sellers, the bill would require a bank within 30 days of selling a debt to send the debtor a written notice informing the debtor of: (i) the amount of the debt; (ii) the person to whom the debt was sold; and (ii) the interest and penalties that the person who bought the debt may charge on the debt. A regulated “bank” would include a savings bank, co-operative bank or trust company subject to the supervision of the Massachusetts Commissioner of Banks.
- Charles Gall and Mike Tomkies