Debt Collectors to NY AG Cuomo: Can You Hear Us Now?

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Industry leaders say New York Attorney General Andrew Cuomo's recent investigation proves their point when it comes to consumer complaints - but will NY State Assembly and Cuomo actually listen?

New York has a chance to do what it has done so many times in the past - lead this nation

"We're glad to see New York Attorney General Andrew Cuomo doing his job in shutting down abusive debt collectors - it proves the laws already on the books can work when they're enforced," said Rozanne Andersen, Executive Vice President of ACA International, the leading trade association for debt collectors. "What concerns us far more is that at the same time, Attorney General Cuomo and the New York State Assembly seem to think the long-term solution to reducing consumer complaints is to just heap additional legislation at the problem versus actually trying to solve it."

Along with members of the New York State Collector's Association (NYSCA), Andersen recently testified before the New York State Assembly on the issue of how the State of New York can best protect consumers from unfair and deceptive practices in debt collection. The Assembly is considering passing additional legislation related to the issue, and Cuomo recently announced he was launching an inquiry into debt collectors across New York State.

"Andrew Cuomo can score some political points with potential voters by filing all the subpoenas he wants with debt collectors across New York, but frankly it's a waste of the taxpayers' time and resources when it comes to resolving the real issue in front of us," Andersen said. "Our members remain committed to not only following the state and federal laws already in place, but in also adhering to our association's strict code of ethics. In addition, our association has long advocated - and in fact did so earlier this month before the New York State Assembly - that the solution to rising consumer complaints is to nurture communication between consumers and collectors. The proposed legislation before the Assembly would do the exact opposite, and in our opinion just lead to more of the same confusion, chaos and ineffectiveness when it comes to finding meaningful validation and resolution for the consumers involved."

Andersen said New Yorkers should expect more out of their state leadership and attorney general's office.

"New York has a chance to do what it has done so many times in the past - lead this nation," she said. "The Attorney General and the State Assembly have an opportunity to break new ground and set the standard for what is needed on a national level - an effective, efficient and ethical consumer dispute resolution program that tracks, validates and helps resolve their complaints in a timely fashion."

Or, Andersen said, Cuomo and company can maintain the status quo - more legislation, more political grandstanding and more consumers left frustrated as a result.

"If you asked the average consumer which scenario he or she would rather see, I think you'd get your answer in a New York minute," she said.

About ACA International
As the leading trade association in the credit and debt collection industry, ACA International has been around since 1939 and represents more than 3,500 collection agencies across the United States.

Media Contact: John Nemo, ACA International Public Relations Director, (952) 928-8000, ext. 124 or nemo(at)acainternational.org

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John Nemo
ACA International
952-928-8000 ext. 124
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