The Oregon House of Representatives on Tuesday is reviewing a bill that would place new, stronger requirements on debt buyers that file collection lawsuits. 

HB 2252 was introduced earlier this year and was referred to the House Committee on Consumer Protection and Government Effectiveness, followed by a public hearing where debt buyers expressed their opposition. Tuesday’s work session could include a vote and recommendation on passage.

The intent of the bill, as written, is to create requirements for how debt buyers can bring legal action to collect debt. It outlines the notices that a debt buyer must give to a debtor before a suit is filed and include a list of documents that must be presented to the consumer and the court.

DBA International, the largest industry group representing debt buyers, and debt-buying giant Encore Capital Group submitted testimony opposing the bill.

Encore argued that the bill goes far beyond federal rules and those in other states. It would require documents and data that “simply do not exist,” Encore said.

Encore said that original contracts may not be available simply because they does not exist - noting that for a rising number of credit card accounts opened by phone or online, there’s never a signed contract.

Encore pointed out that both the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau and Federal Trade Commission have recognized that pre-charge-off account itemization is typically not provided to debt purchasers.   DBA International noted that the bill would require debt buyers to provide more than 20 different data elements, documents and notices to the consumer on three different occasions as proof that they have the correct consumer identity, they own the debt and have the correct balance owed.DBA International believes the bill would do nothing to prevent scammers from taking advantage of Oregon residents, adding that it “imposes extreme and in some cases impossible requirements on the industry which will not solve the problem of bad actors. It will simply serve to punish legitimate companies already complying with the law."

Tuesday's House Committee work session could brings amendments to the bill or result in a vote on whether to send it to the full House.

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