senate Bill S5386

Requires debt collectors to inform debtors that written communications are available in large print format

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Bill Status


  • Introduced
  • In Committee
  • On Floor Calendar
    • Passed Senate
    • Passed Assembly
  • Delivered to Governor
  • Signed/Vetoed by Governor
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actions

  • 16 / May / 2013
    • REFERRED TO CONSUMER PROTECTION
  • 08 / Jan / 2014
    • REFERRED TO CONSUMER PROTECTION

Summary

Requires debt collectors to inform debtors in each initial communication that written communications are available in large print format.

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Bill Details

See Assembly Version of this Bill:
A374
Versions:
S5386
Legislative Cycle:
2013-2014
Current Committee:
Senate Consumer Protection
Law Section:
General Business Law
Laws Affected:
Amd §§600 & 602, add §601-a, Gen Bus L
Versions Introduced in 2011-2012 Legislative Cycle:
A5438, A5438

Sponsor Memo

BILL NUMBER:S5386

TITLE OF BILL: An act to amend the general business law, in relation
to requiring debt collectors to inform debtors that written
communications are available in large print format

PURPOSE OR GENERAL IDEA OF BILL: This bill would require debt
collectors to notify debtors of the availability of large print for
future notices. For the purposes of this bill it also defines a
"communication, debt, and debt collector."

SUMMARY OF SPECIFIC PROVISIONS: Section 1 amends section 600 of the
general business law, adding three new subdivision which offer
definitions of relevant terms for this bill.

Section 2 amends the general business law by adding a new section,
601-a, which required creditors or debt collectors to offer, upon
initial communication, large print for any further communications that
the debtor may receive. Furthermore, this section defines what large
print will qualify as.

Section 3 amends subdivision 1 of section 602 of the general business
law, to add a misdemeanor penalty that any creditor or debtor who
violates the requirements set forth in section 601-a of this bill will
be guilty of. This section also determines a fine and the dollar
amount of this fine.

Section 4 sets the effective date.

JUSTIFICATION: This bill would offer some protection to debtors who
suffer from vision problems. Often times debt collectors will bombard
debtors with information that can be intimidating and also difficult
to understand. This bill at the very least would ensure that debtors
who suffer from poor vision would be able to receive notice that the
communications they are receiving can be provided in large print.
This service will insure that those who are intended to read,
understand, and comply with these communications, are better prepared
to do so.

PRIOR LEGISLATIVE HISTORY: 2011-12-A.5438 - Referred to Codes

FISCAL IMPLICATIONS: None to the state

EFFECTIVE DATE: This act shall take effect immediately.

view bill text
                    S T A T E   O F   N E W   Y O R K
________________________________________________________________________

                                  5386

                       2013-2014 Regular Sessions

                            I N  S E N A T E

                              May 16, 2013
                               ___________

Introduced  by  Sen.  PARKER -- read twice and ordered printed, and when
  printed to be committed to the Committee on Consumer Protection

AN ACT to amend the general business law, in relation to requiring  debt
  collectors to inform debtors that written communications are available
  in large print format

  THE  PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF NEW YORK, REPRESENTED IN SENATE AND ASSEM-
BLY, DO ENACT AS FOLLOWS:

  Section 1. Section 600 of the  general  business  law  is  amended  by
adding three new subdivisions 4, 5 and 6 to read as follows:
  4. "COMMUNICATION" SHALL MEAN THE CONVEYING OF INFORMATION REGARDING A
DEBT DIRECTLY OR INDIRECTLY TO ANY PERSON THROUGH ANY MEDIUM.
  5.  "DEBT" MEANS ANY OBLIGATION OR ALLEGED OBLIGATION OF A CONSUMER TO
PAY MONEY ARISING OUT OF A TRANSACTION IN  WHICH  THE  MONEY,  PROPERTY,
INSURANCE,  OR  SERVICES  WHICH  ARE  THE SUBJECT OF THE TRANSACTION ARE
PRIMARILY FOR PERSONAL, FAMILY, OR HOUSEHOLD PURPOSES,  WHETHER  OR  NOT
SUCH OBLIGATION HAS BEEN REDUCED TO JUDGMENT.
  6.  "DEBT  COLLECTOR"  MEANS  AN INDIVIDUAL WHO, AS PART OF HIS OR HER
JOB, REGULARLY COLLECTS OR ATTEMPTS TO COLLECT DEBTS: (A) OWED OR DUE OR
ASSERTED TO BE OWED OR DUE TO ANOTHER; OR (B) OBTAINED BY,  OR  ASSIGNED
TO,  SUCH PERSON, FIRM OR CORPORATION, THAT ARE IN DEFAULT WHEN OBTAINED
OR ACQUIRED BY SUCH PERSON, FIRM OR CORPORATION.
  S 2. The general business law is amended by adding a new section 601-a
to read as follows:
  S 601-A. LARGE PRINT NOTICES. 1. EACH AND EVERY PRINCIPAL CREDITOR  OR
DEBT  COLLECTOR  SHALL,  IN  EACH  INITIAL  COMMUNICATION,  CLEARLY  AND
CONSPICUOUSLY DISCLOSE TO THE DEBTOR THAT  WRITTEN  COMMUNICATIONS  FROM
THE  PRINCIPAL  CREDITOR  OR  DEBT  COLLECTOR MAY BE RECEIVED IN A LARGE
PRINT FORMAT. UPON WRITTEN REQUEST BY A DEBTOR, THE  PRINCIPAL  CREDITOR
OR  DEBT  COLLECTOR  MUST  PROVIDE ANY WRITTEN COMMUNICATION SENT TO THE
DEBTOR IN THE LARGE PRINT FORMAT.

 EXPLANATION--Matter in ITALICS (underscored) is new; matter in brackets
                      [ ] is old law to be omitted.
                                                           LBD01484-01-3

S. 5386                             2

  2. FOR THE PURPOSES OF THIS SECTION, LARGE PRINT FORMAT SHALL  MEAN  A
PRINTED FONT SIZE OF SIXTEEN OR LARGER.
  S  3.  Subdivision  1  of  section 602 of the general business law, as
added by chapter 753 of the laws of 1973, is amended to read as follows:
  1. Except as otherwise provided by law, any person who [shall violate]
VIOLATES the terms OF SECTION SIX HUNDRED ONE of this article [shall be]
IS guilty of a misdemeanor, and each such violation shall  be  deemed  a
separate  offense.    A  VIOLATION  BY ANY PERSON OF SECTION SIX HUNDRED
ONE-A OF THIS ARTICLE, IF SUCH  VIOLATION  CONSTITUTES  THE  FIRST  SUCH
OFFENSE  BY  SUCH PERSON, IS PUNISHABLE BY A CIVIL PENALTY NOT TO EXCEED
TWO HUNDRED FIFTY DOLLARS. THE SECOND OFFENSE AND ANY OFFENSE  COMMITTED
THEREAFTER  IS  PUNISHABLE BY A CIVIL PENALTY NOT TO EXCEED FIVE HUNDRED
DOLLARS.
  S 4. This act shall take effect on the thirtieth day  after  it  shall
have become a law.

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