Protecting Consumers in Debt Collection Litigation and Arbitration: A Series of Roundtable Discussions" - August, September, and December, 2009
In my perfect world a rewritten FDCPA would: (1.) Provide for a maximum judgment of $10,000 per action plus attorney fees. That would create a tremendous incentive for collectors to be on the straight and narrow. Creditors who successfully defend FDCPA actions would automatically be awarded their attorney fees. (2.) Creditors responding to a request for verification would be required to produce at minimum some documentation from the OC to evidence the debt (either the original credit app or a statement on the account). Creditors who did not respond to a verification request would be allowed to continue collection activity but limited to written communication unless the debtor initiated a telephonic conversation. (3.) All requests for validation would be deemed "timely". Creditors would be allowed a maximum of 90 days to respond. (4.) Debtors would not be permitted to issue a cease and desist. Debtors would be permitted to bar creditors from calling at the debtor's place of work and during a 10-hour block to time designated by the debtor as their sleep hours (presumed to be 10pm to 8am unless otherwise specified by the debtor). (5.) Creditors would be allowed to call the debtor's cell phone. Creditors would be permitted to speak with the creditor a maximum of 3 times in a 10-day period. Creditors would be permitted to dial a debtor's phone number a maximum of 5 times daily. Creditors would be permitted to leave voice mail/answering machine phone messages without concern for 3rd party disclosure or need for the mini-miranda disclosure. To me, these five changes would clarify and simplify much of the conflict that exists today between creditors and debtors. There is something here for everyone to like and everyone to hate. To me, that is the test of an equitable resolution.