Final FTC Roundtable to Discuss Debt Collection Litigation; Continued Call for Public Comments

For Release

The Federal Trade Commission will host a public event on consumer protection issues arising when debt collectors sue consumers to recover on a debt. This will be the last in a series of three FTC roundtable discussions on these topics.

WHAT: “Protecting Consumers in Debt Collection Litigation:
A Roundtable Discussion”
WHEN: December 4, 2009, from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Registration – begins at 8 a.m.
WHERE: FTC’s Satellite Building Conference Center
601 New Jersey Avenue, N.W.,
Washington, D.C. 20001

This Roundtable follows up on the Commission’s February 2009 Report, Collecting Consumer Debts: The Challenges of Change – A Workshop Report. The Report announced that the FTC would hold regional roundtables to help develop policy recommendations related to debt collection litigation and arbitration proceedings. The Commission held Roundtables in Chicago in August, 2009, and San Francisco in September, 2009. The FTC will hold its third Roundtable in Washington, D.C. on December 4, 2009. A distinguished group of state court judges, government officials, debt collectors and debt buyers, consumer attorneys and advocates, academics, and other stakeholders will participate in the Roundtable.

The Roundtable will cover topics related to consumer debt collection litigation proceedings, such as service of process, consumer default rates, time-barred debts, evidentiary requirements in collection actions, and post-judgment issues.

The Roundtable is free and open to the public. No pre-registration is required. Details can be found at http://www.ftc.gov/bcp/workshops/debtcollectround/index.shtm. The Commission will also offer a live webcast of the event for those who wish to participate but cannot attend.

The Commission invites interested parties to submit requests to be participants in the Washington, D.C. Roundtable and to recommend other topics for discussion. Requests to participate in the Roundtable should be submitted electronically to consumerdebtevents@ftc.gov by November 9, 2009. Interested parties should include both a statement detailing their expertise on the issues to be addressed and complete contact information. The Commission will invite discussants based on their expertise and on the need to represent a range of views.

Interested parties are also highly encouraged to submit written comments or original research relating to debt collection litigation or arbitration proceedings through November 30, 2009. Comments should refer to “Debt Collection Roundtable – Comment, Project No. P094806.” To file electronically, follow the instructions and fill out the form at https://public.commentworks.com/ftc/debtcollectroundtable2. Paper comments should include the above reference both in the text and on the envelope, and should be mailed or delivered to the following address: Federal Trade Commission, Office of the Secretary, Room H-135 (Annex A), 600 Pennsylvania Avenue, N.W., Washington, DC 20580. Comments containing confidential material, however, must be filed in paper form, must be clearly labeled “Confidential,” and must comply with Commission Rule 4.9(c). The FTC requests that any paper comments be sent by courier or overnight service, if possible, because postal mail in the Washington area and at the Commission is subject to delay due to heightened security precautions.

Reasonable accommodations for people with disabilities are available upon request. If you need an accommodation related to a disability, please contact Bevin Murphy at 202-326-3224 or via e-mail at consumerdebtevents@ftc.gov. Your request should include a detailed description of the accommodations you need and a way to contact you if we need more information. Please provide advance notice.

The Federal Trade Commission works for consumers to prevent fraudulent, deceptive, and unfair business practices and to provide information to help spot, stop, and avoid them. To file a complaint in English or Spanish, visit the FTC’s online Complaint Assistant or call 1-877-FTC-HELP (1-877-382-4357). The FTC enters complaints into Consumer Sentinel, a secure, online database available to more than 1,700 civil and criminal law enforcement agencies in the U.S. and abroad. The FTC’s Web site provides free information on a variety of consumer topics.

(Roundtable)

Contact Information

MEDIA CONTACT:
Office of Public Affairs
202-326-2180
STAFF CONTACT:
Julie Bush,
Bureau of Consumer Protection
202-326-3608