|Received:||11/30/2005 10:10:05 AM|
|Agency:||Federal Trade Commission|
|Rule:||Identity Theft Survey|
|Docket ID:||To Be Added|
Comments:The National Association of Retail Collection Attorneys (NARCA) submits these comments regarding the identity theft survey proposed by the FTC. NARCA is a trade association of 700 law firms that engage in the collection of consumer debt throughout the United States. Member firms attempt pre-suit collection, litigate when necessary and conduct post-judgment collection efforts. They are governed in these activities by the requirements of the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA), Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) and other federal and state legislation, as well as by court procedural rules and lawyers’ Codes of Professional Responsibility. NARCA member firms confront claims of identity theft on a regular basis in their debt collection practices. Anecdotally, these claims seem to be rising, and NARCA applauds the FTC in its efforts to continue to quantify this problem. In addition, several efforts are underway in Congress to address identity theft – solutions to a problem that may or may not be needed. NARCA expresses the hope that the various problems lumped together as “identity theft” will be addressed separately in the survey. These problems include use of a person’s credit without their permission by a family member or acquaintance; use of a person’s credit by a stranger who stole it; creation of “false identities” using names similar to names of real people; and other schemes. Some of these problems seem more susceptible of legislative solution than others. In addition, NARCA hopes that the survey will discover the steps consumers took when confronted by identity theft and how successful they were in resolving the problem. Both the pervasiveness and the severity of the problem, and the effectiveness of the current solutions, are useful information to guide further legislation and/or regulation.