senate Bill S131

2011-2012 Legislative Session

Regulates debt collection practices; repealer

download bill text pdf

Sponsored By

Archive: Last Bill Status - In Committee


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

do you support this bill?

Actions

view actions (4)
Assembly Actions - Lowercase
Senate Actions - UPPERCASE
Mar 12, 2012 committee discharged and committed to rules
Mar 08, 2012 notice of committee consideration - requested
Jan 04, 2012 referred to consumer protection
Jan 05, 2011 referred to consumer protection

Co-Sponsors

S131 - Bill Details

Current Committee:
Senate Rules
Law Section:
General Business Law
Laws Affected:
Rpld & add Art 29-H ยงยง600 - 603-a, Gen Bus L
Versions Introduced in 2009-2010 Legislative Session:
S3791, S7309

S131 - Bill Texts

view summary

Enacts the fair debt collection practices act; prohibits debt collectors and creditors from attempting to collect debts by threatening violence, falsely accusing any person of fraud or of a crime, making or threatening to make false accusations to a credit reporting agency, falsely threatening that non-payment will result in arrest, or making other groundless threats; prohibits certain harassing activities by debt collectors; establishes rules for contacting third parties and consumers; provides for private right of action and enforcement by attorney general.

view sponsor memo
BILL NUMBER:S131

TITLE OF BILL:
An act
to amend the general business law, in relation to regulation of debt
collection; and to repeal
article 29-H of such law relating thereto

PURPOSE:
Under present law consumers, creditors, and debt collection agencies
are subjected to vague and inconsistent protection and regulation in
relation to permissible and impermissible consumer debt collection
practices. While the current federal debt collection statute and the
New York City regulation governing debt collection agencies and
creditors both provide detailed descriptions of prohibited practices;
current State law is vague, overly general, and thus inconsistent
with federal and City mandates.

This bill will insure uniformity among the three laws. As a result,
businesses will no longer be subjected to the uncertainty of
enforcement inherent in a system governed by radically inconsistent
statutes. In short, the bill would provide the business community
with a detailed description of proscribed and acceptable practices so
as to facilitate compliance with the law.

Moreover, New York State consumers will receive the additional
protections now found in federal and New York City law. For example,
consumers will have the right to obtain verification of disputed
debts. Too often consumers are dunned for a Bill which either they
paid or did not incur or which reflect an incorrect amount. Many
consumers, faced with the threat of impaired credit ratings and
lawsuits, pay these incorrect debts simply to avoid further
harassment. A debtor would also be protected from calls at specified
unreasonable hours, calls at his place of employment without consent,
obscene and abusive calls, threats of violence, fraudulent
misrepresentations, and baseless threats.

SUMMARY OF PROVISIONS:
This bill would repeal General Business Law, Article twenty-nine-H,
the existing debt collection statute, and would substitute a new,
more comprehensive Article 29-H (Fair Debt Collection Practices Act).

This proposal would prohibit debt collectors and creditors from:
attempting to collect debts by threatening violence; falsely accusing
any person of fraud or of a crime; making or threatening to make
false accusations to a credit reporting agency; falsely threatening
that non-payment will result in arrest; threatening action which the
collector in his usual course of business does not in fact take;
threatening to enforce a right with knowledge that the light does
does not exist.

Further, the bill would prohibit debt collectors and creditors from
unreasonably oppressing, harassing, or abusing any person in an
attempt to collect a debt by using profane or obscene language,
making deceptive telephone calls, communicating at an unreasonable
time (before 8:00 A.M. and after 9:00 P.M.) or at an unusual place.


Debt collectors and creditors are prohibited, under the bill, from
unreasonably publicizing information relating to any alleged debt, or
from communicating with the debtor's employer except after judgment
on the debt has been entered or to locate the debtor.

Under the bill, no debt collector or creditor could attempt to collect
a debt or obtain information concerning a consumer by: using any name
other than his own legal name (with limited exceptions); failing to
disclose in any written communication that he is attempting to
collect a debt; falsely representing that he has something of value
for the consumer; failing to disclose the name of the person to whom
the debt is owed; falsely representing the legal status of the debt;
falsely representing that he is associated in any way with any
government agency; falsely representing that the debt may be
increased by attorneys' fees or other charges; or falsely
Representing that the sale or assignment of a debt will cause the
consumer to lose a defense to it.

Debt collectors and creditors would be forbidden, under the bill, from
collecting debts by communicating with the debtor without the
debtor's written consent.

Collection agencies also would be prohibited from communicating with a
debtor by telephone before sending a written communication to him. No
debt collector or creditor could seek to locate a debtor by
disclosing the debt to any third party, communicating with any third
party more than once, or communicating orally without first
communicating in writing to any third party.

Creditors and collection agencies would be required, under the bill to
disclose in their first written communication to a consumer the
amount of the debt, to whom the debt is owed, the consumer's right to
dispute the validity of the debt, and the consumer's right to obtain
verification of the debt.

Collection agencies must also disclose, at the consumer's request, the
name of the original creditor if different from the current one, and
the authority of the collection agency to initiate legal action on
behalf of the creditor. In addition, collectors must disclose, in
their initial letter to debtors, some of the most important consumer
rights.

When the debtor resides in New York City, these disclosures must be
made in both English and Spanish. Collection agencies and creditors
would be afforded, under the provisions of the bill, a defense of
bona fide error if it can be shown that they adopted reasonable
procedures to avoid the violation.

The Attorney General would be authorized to bring an action to enjoin
violations of the law and obtain monetary penalties ranging from $50
to $5,000 as well as costs and restitution.
Individuals also could sue violators directly and obtain
$50 or their actual damages, Whichever is greater, plus punitive
damages and attorneys' fees.
Creditors would not be liable, under the bill, for the act of their
collection agencies if they can show they had no reason to believe
the collection agency would violate the law or if they made a prior


investigation of the collection agency's practices. The law would not
apply to offices or employees of the United States or any state to
the extent that the collection or attempt to collect any debt,
constituted the performance of official duties.

JUSTIFICATION:
Numerous complaints are made by consumer debtors victimized by
malicious debt collection practices.

These people have been repeatedly and systematically subjected to
obscene and harassing telephone calls, threats of physical violence,
coercion, threats of criminal prosecution, fraudulent
misrepresentations, and baseless threats of impaired credit standing
and legal action. Consumer debtors also receive dunning letters which
simulate legal process and misrepresent the consequences of
non-payment.

The complaints are directed not only at debt collection agencies but
also at banks, small loan companies, and retail merchants in a
recently concluded case against a major loan company, that numerous
debtors, and their references, children, neighbors, friends,
co-workers and employers -- were subjected to a barrage of illegal
threats and verbal abuse, many debtors were threatened with death,
serious physical injury, or sexual abuse.
Telephone calls in the middle of the night were not uncommon.

Even the most vulnerable debtors: the elderly, the sick, and young
children -- were not spared these abuses. Families had their home
lives disrupted, their employment jeopardized, have been forced to
disclose unlisted telephone numbers, declare bankruptcy and even
relocate to avoid the daily harassment.

Under current State law, none of these people had the statutory right
to sue for damages. In addition, a major loophole in current State
law contains no provision to protect non-debtors from harassment. The
proposed bill closes this gap by prohibiting the harassment of any
person. In 1982, firms were charged with posing as law firms in their
efforts to collect debts from consumers, as well as illegally
charging interest. The state is currently forced to rely on the more
specific provisions of the federal debt collection law to bar these
practices.

In 1983, the State sued the nation's largest collection agency
charging that it had engaged in repeated abusive and harassing
collection practices. That suit shows that current debt collection
laws are insufficient to deter such practices; the current State debt
collection law does not allow for the recovery of fines in such
actions. Under the proposed bill, collection agencies would be
subject to monetary penalties for engaging in these activities. This
would carry a strong deterrent effect. With skyrocketing interest
rates, unemployment, inflation, and increasing consumer debt, such
abuses are likely to increase, absent effective and consistent
statutory protections.

Current State law does not adequately address the problem of debt
collection abuse. Its terms are vague, overly broad and inconsistent
with current federal and New York City laws. As a result, consumers


are not fully protected and businesses are not clearly informed as to
which collection practices are prohibited.

Creditors and collection agencies are protected under the bill against
liability for mere technical violations; a good faith defense may be
interposed. Moreover, the criminal penalty in the current law is
eliminated by the bill and realistic civil remedies are substituted.
Twenty-five other states have enacted laws which provide debtors with
a private right of action against debt collectors.

Enactment of the proposed bill would help restore New York's position
as a leader in consumer protection. Until this comprehensive debt
collection statute is enacted consumer debtors will continue to
suffer violations of fundamental rights to privacy, dignity and
freedom from unwarranted intrusions into their daily lives.

LEGISLATIVE HISTORY:
2010: S.7309/A.4237
2007-08: A.4032 (Lafayette) - Referred to Consumer Affairs & Protection

FISCAL IMPLICATIONS:
None.

EFFECTIVE DATE:
1st of September next succeeding the date it shall have become law.

view full text
download pdf
                    S T A T E   O F   N E W   Y O R K
________________________________________________________________________

                                   131

                       2011-2012 Regular Sessions

                            I N  S E N A T E

                               (PREFILED)

                             January 5, 2011
                               ___________

Introduced  by  Sens. PERALTA, 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 regulation of
  debt collection; and to repeal article 29-H of such law relating ther-
  eto

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

  Section  1. Article 29-H of the general business law is REPEALED and a
new article 29-H is added to read as follows:
                               ARTICLE 29-H
                   FAIR DEBT COLLECTION PRACTICES ACT
SECTION 600.   DEFINITIONS.
        601.   PROHIBITED PRACTICES.
        602.   CREDITORS AND DEBT COLLECTORS.
        603.   ENFORCEMENT.
        603-A. SEPARABILITY CLAUSE.
  S 600. DEFINITIONS.  AS  USED  IN  THIS  ARTICLE  UNLESS  THE  CONTEXT
REQUIRES  OTHERWISE  THE  FOLLOWING TERMS SHALL HAVE THE FOLLOWING MEAN-
INGS:
  1. "PERSON" MEANS ANY NATURAL PERSON,  CORPORATION,  SOLE  PROPRIETOR-
SHIP, BUSINESS, TRUST, PARTNERSHIP, INCORPORATED OR UNINCORPORATED ASSO-
CIATION, ESTATE, CO-OPERATIVE OR ANY OTHER LEGAL ENTITY EXCEPT ANY OFFI-
CER  OR  EMPLOYEE  OF  THE UNITED STATES OR ANY STATE TO THE EXTENT THAT
COLLECTING OR ATTEMPTING TO COLLECT ANY DEBT CONSTITUTES THE PERFORMANCE
OF OFFICIAL DUTIES.
  2. "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 RESULT OF THE TRANSACTION ARE PRIMA-

 EXPLANATION--Matter in ITALICS (underscored) is new; matter in brackets
                      [ ] is old law to be omitted.
                                                           LBD03295-01-1

S. 131                              2

RILY FOR PERSONAL, FAMILY OR HOUSEHOLD PURPOSES,  WHETHER  OR  NOT  SUCH
OBLIGATION HAS BEEN REDUCED TO JUDGMENT.
  3.  "CONSUMER"  MEANS  ANY NATURAL PERSON OBLIGATED OR ALLEGEDLY OBLI-
GATED TO PAY ANY DEBT.
  4. "DEBT COLLECTOR" MEANS ANY PERSON, FIRM, CORPORATION  OR  ORGANIZA-
TION  OR ANY EMPLOYEE THEREOF ENGAGED IN ANY BUSINESS A PURPOSE OF WHICH
IS THE COLLECTION OF DEBTS, OR WHO REGULARLY  COLLECTS  OR  ATTEMPTS  TO
COLLECT, DIRECTLY OR INDIRECTLY, DEBTS OWED OR DUE OR ALLEGED TO BE OWED
OR  DUE ANOTHER, OR ANY PERSON, FIRM, CORPORATION OR ORGANIZATION OR ANY
EMPLOYEE THEREOF ENGAGED IN ANY BUSINESS A PURPOSE OF WHICH IS  LOCATING
OR ATTEMPTING TO LOCATE CONSUMERS.
  5.  "CREDITOR"  MEANS ANY PERSON, FIRM, CORPORATION OR ORGANIZATION OR
ANY EMPLOYEE THEREOF TO WHOM A DEBT IS OWED, DUE OR ALLEGED TO  BE  OWED
OR  DUE,  OR ANY ASSIGNEE FOR VALUE OF SAID PERSON, FIRM, CORPORATION OR
ORGANIZATION.
  6.  "DEBT  COLLECTION"  MEANS  ANY  ACTION,  CONDUCT  OR  PRACTICE  IN
CONNECTION WITH THE COLLECTION OF A DEBT.
  7.  "LOCATION  INFORMATION"  MEANS  A  DEBTOR'S PLACE OF ABODE AND HIS
LISTED TELEPHONE NUMBER AT SUCH PLACE, OR HIS PLACE OF EMPLOYMENT.
  8.  "VERIFICATION"  MEANS  A  CONTRACT,  RECEIPT,  ORDER,  WRITING  OR
DOCUMENTATION WHICH EVIDENCES THE EXISTENCE OF A DEBT.
  9. "COMMUNICATION" MEANS THE CONVEYING OF INFORMATION REGARDING A DEBT
DIRECTLY OR INDIRECTLY TO ANY PERSON THROUGH ANY MEDIUM.
  S  601.  PROHIBITED  PRACTICES. 1. NO DEBT COLLECTOR OR CREDITOR SHALL
COLLECT OR ATTEMPT TO COLLECT ANY DEBT BY MEANS OF ANY THREAT,  COERCION
OR ATTEMPTED COERCION. THIS INCLUDES BUT IS NOT LIMITED TO THE FOLLOWING
ACTIVITIES:
  A.  USING OR THREATENING TO USE VIOLENCE OR ANY ILLEGAL MEANS TO CAUSE
HARM TO THE PERSON, REPUTATION OR PROPERTY OF ANY PERSON; OR
  B. ACCUSING OR THREATENING TO ACCUSE FALSELY ANY PERSON  OF  FRAUD  OR
ANY  CRIME,  OR ANY CONDUCT WHICH CAN REASONABLY BE EXPECTED TO DISGRACE
SUCH OTHER PERSON OR IN ANY WAY  SUBJECT  HIM  OR  HER  TO  RIDICULE  OR
CONTEMPT OF SOCIETY; OR
  C.  MAKING  OR  THREATENING  TO  MAKE ANY FALSE ACCUSATIONS TO ANOTHER
PERSON, INCLUDING ANY CREDIT REPORTING AGENCY, THAT A CONSUMER  HAS  NOT
PAID A JUST DEBT; OR
  D.  THREATENING  TO  SELL OR ASSIGN A DEBT WITH AN ATTENDING REPRESEN-
TATION OR IMPLICATION THAT AS A RESULT OF SUCH SALE  OR  ASSIGNMENT  THE
CONSUMER  WOULD  BE  SUBJECTED  TO  ANY  ACTION WHICH COULD CONSTITUTE A
VIOLATION OF THIS ARTICLE; OR
  E. THREATENING THE NON-PAYMENT OF A DEBT WILL RESULT IN THE ARREST  OR
CRIMINAL PROSECUTION OF ANY PERSON; OR
  F.  DISCLOSING  OR  THREATENING  TO DISCLOSE INFORMATION AFFECTING THE
CONSUMER'S REPUTATION FOR CREDIT WORTHINESS WITH KNOWLEDGE OR REASON  TO
KNOW THAT SUCH INFORMATION IS FALSE; OR
  G.  THREATENING ANY ACTION WHICH THE DEBT COLLECTOR OR CREDITOR IN THE
USUAL COURSE OF ITS BUSINESS DOES NOT IN FACT TAKE; OR
  H. CLAIMING, ATTEMPTING OR THREATENING TO ENFORCE A RIGHT  WITH  KNOW-
LEDGE OR REASON TO KNOW THAT THE RIGHT DOES NOT EXIST.
  2.  NO  DEBT  COLLECTOR OR CREDITOR SHALL OPPRESS, HARASS OR ABUSE ANY
PERSON IN CONNECTION WITH THE COLLECTION OF OR THE ATTEMPT TO COLLECT  A
DEBT. THIS INCLUDES BUT IS NOT LIMITED TO THE FOLLOWING ACTIVITIES:
  A.  USING  ANY  OBSCENE  OR PROFANE LANGUAGE OR ANY LANGUAGE WHICH CAN
REASONABLY BE EXPECTED TO ABUSE THE HEARER OR READER; OR

S. 131                              3

  B. MAKING TELEPHONE CALLS WITHOUT THE  MEANINGFUL  DISCLOSURE  OF  THE
DEBT  COLLECTOR'S IDENTITY EXCEPT AS OTHERWISE PROVIDED BY THIS ARTICLE;
OR
  C. CAUSING ANY EXPENSE TO ANY PERSON FOR TELEPHONE CALLS, TELEGRAMS OR
OTHER  CHARGES INCURRED THROUGH A MEDIUM OF COMMUNICATION BY CONCEALMENT
OF THE IDENTITY OF THE DEBT COLLECTOR OR CREDITOR OR THE PURPOSES OF THE
COMMUNICATION; OR
  D. CAUSING A TELEPHONE TO RING REPEATEDLY OR CONTINUOUSLY IN A  MANNER
THAT  CAN  REASONABLY BE EXPECTED TO ANNOY, HARASS OR NEEDLESSLY DISTURB
ANY PERSON; OR
  E. COMMUNICATING WITH ANY PERSON WITH SUCH  FREQUENCY  OR  IN  SUCH  A
MANNER  AS  CAN  REASONABLY BE EXPECTED TO CONSTITUTE AN ANNOYANCE OR AN
UNWARRANTED DISTURBANCE OF SUCH PERSON; OR
  F. COMMUNICATING OR ATTEMPTING TO COMMUNICATE WITH ANY PERSON  AT  ANY
UNUSUAL  TIME  OR PLACE, OR AT ANY TIME OR PLACE WHICH CAN REASONABLY BE
EXPECTED TO BE INCONVENIENT FOR SUCH PERSON. IN THE ABSENCE OF AN  INDI-
CATION  TO  THE  CONTRARY,  IT SHALL BE PRESUMED THAT TELEPHONE COMMUNI-
CATIONS RECEIVED BEFORE EIGHT O'CLOCK A.M. AND AFTER NINE  O'CLOCK  P.M.
ARE INCONVENIENT.
  3.  NO  DEBT COLLECTOR OR CREDITOR SHALL UNLAWFULLY PUBLICIZE INFORMA-
TION RELATING TO ANY ALLEGED DEBT OR CONSUMER. THIS INCLUDES BUT IS  NOT
LIMITED TO THE FOLLOWING ACTIVITIES:
  A.  COMMUNICATING WITH THE CONSUMER'S EMPLOYER OR ANYONE ELSE EMPLOYED
BY THAT EMPLOYER REGARDING THE DEBT WITH THE EXCEPTION THAT THE  FOLLOW-
ING COMMUNICATION SHALL BE PERMISSIBLE:
  (I)  BY  THE CREDITOR OR HIS OR HER ATTORNEY WHEN THE COMMUNICATION IS
FOR THE SOLE PURPOSE OF EXECUTING A WAGE GARNISHMENT AFTER THE DEBT  HAS
BEEN REDUCED TO JUDGMENT AND TO THE EXTENT IT IS REASONABLY NECESSARY TO
ACTUALLY EXECUTE SUCH WAGE GARNISHMENT;
  (II)  BY THE CREDITOR OR HIS OR HER ATTORNEY WHEN THE COMMUNICATION IS
FOR THE SOLE PURPOSE OF EXECUTING A WAGE ASSIGNMENT OBTAINED PURSUANT TO
ARTICLE THREE-A OF THE PERSONAL PROPERTY LAW AND TO  THE  EXTENT  IT  IS
REASONABLY NECESSARY TO EXECUTE SUCH WAGE ASSIGNMENT;
  (III)  FOR  THE  SOLE  PURPOSE  OF  OBTAINING  LOCATION INFORMATION AS
DEFINED BY SUBDIVISION SIX OF THIS SECTION; AND
  (IV) WHERE THE CONSUMER OR HIS OR HER ATTORNEY HAS CONSENTED  TO  SUCH
COMMUNICATION IN WRITING AFTER THE DEBT HAS BEEN INCURRED;
  B.  DISCLOSING ANY INFORMATION REGARDING A CONSUMER'S DEBT BY PUBLISH-
ING OR POSTING ANY LIST OF CONSUMERS EXCEPT AS PERMITTED BY THE  ACT  OF
CONGRESS  KNOWN AS THE "FAIR CREDIT REPORTING ACT" OR BY ADVERTISING FOR
SALE ANY CLAIM TO ENFORCE PAYMENT THEREOF OR IN ANY OTHER  MANNER  OTHER
THAN THROUGH PROPER LEGAL PROCESS;
  C. COMMUNICATING FOR THE PURPOSE OF DEBT COLLECTION WITH A CONSUMER BY
POSTCARD; OR
  D.  USE  OF ANY LANGUAGE OR SYMBOL BY A DEBT COLLECTOR, OTHER THAN HIS
OR HER ADDRESS, ON ANY ENVELOPE WHEN COMMUNICATING WITH ANY  PERSON  FOR
THE PURPOSE OF DEBT COLLECTION BY USE OF THE MAILS OR BY TELEGRAM EXCEPT
THAT  HE MAY USE HIS BUSINESS NAME IF SUCH NAME DOES NOT SPECIFY THAT HE
OR SHE IS IN THE DEBT COLLECTION BUSINESS.
  4. NO DEBT COLLECTOR OR CREDITOR SHALL COLLECT OR ATTEMPT TO COLLECT A
DEBT OR OBTAIN OR ATTEMPT TO OBTAIN INFORMATION CONCERNING A CONSUMER BY
ANY FRAUDULENT, DECEPTIVE, FALSE, OR MISLEADING REPRESENTATION OR MEANS.
THIS INCLUDES BUT IS NOT LIMITED TO THE FOLLOWING ACTIVITIES:
  A. THE USE, BY ANY DEBT COLLECTOR, CREDITOR OR  ANY  EMPLOYEE  OF  ANY
DEBT  COLLECTOR OR CREDITOR IN ANY COMMUNICATION FOR THE PURPOSE OF DEBT
COLLECTION OF ANY NAME THAT IS NOT SUCH PERSON'S ACTUAL  NAME;  PROVIDED

S. 131                              4

THAT  SUCH PERSON MAY USE A NAME OTHER THAN HIS OR HER ACTUAL NAME IF HE
OR SHE USES THE SAME NAME IN ALL COMMUNICATIONS FOR THE PURPOSE OF  DEBT
COLLECTION  AND  IF  SUCH PERSON OR HIS OR HER EMPLOYER HAS THAT NAME ON
FILE SO THAT THE TRUE IDENTITY OF THE DEBT COLLECTOR CAN BE ASCERTAINED;
OR
  B.  EXCEPT AS OTHERWISE PROVIDED BY SUBDIVISION SIX OF THIS SECTION TO
OBTAIN LOCATION INFORMATION, FAILING TO DISCLOSE IN ALL WRITTEN COMMUNI-
CATIONS THAT THE DEBT COLLECTOR IS ATTEMPTING TO COLLECT A DEBT AND THAT
ANY INFORMATION OBTAINED WILL BE USED FOR THAT PURPOSE; OR
  C. FALSELY REPRESENTING THAT THE DEBT COLLECTOR OR CREDITOR HAS IN HIS
OR HER POSSESSION INFORMATION OR SOMETHING OF VALUE FOR THE CONSUMER; OR
  D. FAILING TO DISCLOSE THE NAME OF THE PERSON TO WHOM THE DEBT IS OWED
AT THE TIME OF MAKING ANY DEMAND FOR MONEY; OR
  E. FALSELY REPRESENTING THE CHARACTER, EXTENT, AMOUNT OR LEGAL  STATUS
OF A DEBT; OR
  F.  FALSELY REPRESENTING OR IMPLYING THAT ANY DEBT COLLECTOR OR CREDI-
TOR IS VOUCHED FOR, BONDED BY, AFFILIATED WITH, OR  AN  INSTRUMENTALITY,
AGENT  OR  OFFICIAL OF ANY AGENCY OF THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT OR ANY STATE
OR LOCAL GOVERNMENT; OR
  G. USING, DISTRIBUTING OR  SELLING  ANY  WRITTEN  COMMUNICATION  WHICH
IMPLIES,  SIMULATES,  OR IS FALSELY REPRESENTED TO BE AUTHORIZED, ISSUED
OR APPROVED BY A COURT, A GOVERNMENT OFFICIAL, A GOVERNMENT OR AN ATTOR-
NEY AT LAW; OR
  H. FALSELY REPRESENTING THAT A DEBT OR AN ALLEGED DEBT HAS BEEN OR MAY
BE INCREASED BY THE ADDITION OF ATTORNEY'S  FEES,  INTEREST,  COLLECTION
FEES, OR ANY OTHER FEES OR CHARGES; OR
  I.  FALSELY  REPRESENTING  THE  STATUS  OR TRUE NATURE OF THE SERVICES
RENDERED OR THE COMPENSATION WHICH MAY BE LAWFULLY RECEIVED BY THE  DEBT
COLLECTOR OR CREDITOR FOR THE COLLECTION OF A DEBT; OR
  J. COMMUNICATING WITH ANY PERSON IN CONNECTION WITH DEBT COLLECTION OR
IN  AN  EFFORT TO OBTAIN INFORMATION ABOUT A CONSUMER IN THE NAME OF, OR
IN A MANNER WHICH CAN REASONABLY BE IMPLIED TO BE FROM, AN  ATTORNEY  AT
LAW WHEN IT IS NOT; OR
  K.  FALSELY  REPRESENTING  THAT  THE  DEBT  COLLECTOR  OR  CREDITOR IS
EMPLOYED BY, OR IS AFFILIATED WITH, A CREDIT BUREAU OR A CREDIT  REPORT-
ING AGENCY AS DEFINED BY 15 U.S.C., S 1681A(F); OR
  L.  FALSELY STATING, REPRESENTING OR IMPLYING THAT THE SALE OR ASSIGN-
MENT OF A DEBT SHALL CAUSE THE CONSUMER TO LOSE ANY CLAIM OR DEFENSE  TO
PAYMENT OF THE DEBT.
  5.  NO  DEBT COLLECTOR OR CREDITOR SHALL COLLECT OR ATTEMPT TO COLLECT
ANY DEBT IN ANY OF THE FOLLOWING WAYS:
  A. COLLECTING OR ATTEMPTING TO COLLECT FROM THE CONSUMER  ALL  OR  ANY
PART  OF  THE  DEBT COLLECTOR'S OR CREDITOR'S FEE OR CHARGE FOR SERVICES
RENDERED, OR COLLECTING OR ATTEMPTING TO COLLECT ANY INTEREST  OR  OTHER
CHARGE,  FEE  OR  EXPENSE  INCIDENTAL TO THE PRINCIPAL DEBT, UNLESS SUCH
EXPENSE IS EXPRESSLY AUTHORIZED BY CONTRACT OR LAW; OR
  B. COMMUNICATING FOR THE PURPOSE OF DEBT COLLECTION WITH ANYONE  OTHER
THAN THE CONSUMER'S ATTORNEY, EXCEPT AS OTHERWISE PROVIDED BY THIS ARTI-
CLE, IF THE DEBT COLLECTOR OR CREDITOR KNOWS THE CONSUMER IS REPRESENTED
BY  SUCH  ATTORNEY WITH RESPECT TO SUCH DEBT AND HAS KNOWLEDGE OF OR CAN
READILY ASCERTAIN SUCH ATTORNEY'S NAME AND ADDRESS, UNLESS THE  ATTORNEY
FAILS  TO  RESPOND  WITHIN A REASONABLE TIME TO A COMMUNICATION FROM THE
DEBT COLLECTOR OR CREDITOR, OR  THE  ATTORNEY  CONSENTS  IN  WRITING  TO
DIRECT  COMMUNICATION  WITH  THE  CONSUMER.  THIS  SUBDIVISION SHALL NOT
PROHIBIT SERVICE OF PROCESS ON A CONSUMER AS PERMITTED BY ARTICLE  THREE
OF THE CIVIL PRACTICE LAW AND RULES; OR

S. 131                              5

  C.  USING,  DISTRIBUTING,  SELLING,  OR  PREPARING FOR USE ANY WRITTEN
COMMUNICATION THAT VIOLATES OR FAILS TO CONFORM TO THE POSTAL  LAWS  AND
REGULATIONS OF THE UNITED STATES; OR
  D. COMMUNICATING OR ATTEMPTING TO COMMUNICATE WITH THE CONSUMER AT HIS
OR  HER PLACE OF EMPLOYMENT AFTER THE CONSUMER HAS REQUESTED THAT HE NOT
BE CONTACTED AT HIS OR HER PLACE OF EMPLOYMENT; OR
  E. EXCEPT AS OTHERWISE PROVIDED BY SUBDIVISION SIX  OF  THIS  SECTION,
COMMUNICATING  IN  CONNECTION WITH DEBT COLLECTION WITH ANY PERSON AFTER
SUCH PERSON HAS NOTIFIED THE DEBT COLLECTOR OR CREDITOR IN WRITING  THAT
HE  OR  SHE  WISHES  THE DEBT COLLECTOR OR CREDITOR TO CEASE ALL FURTHER
COMMUNICATIONS WITH HIM OR HER OR COMMUNICATING WITH THE CONSUMER  AFTER
SUCH CONSUMER HAS NOTIFIED THE DEBT COLLECTOR OR CREDITOR THAT HE OR SHE
REFUSES  TO  PAY  THE  DEBT.  THIS SUBDIVISION SHALL NOT PROHIBIT A DEBT
COLLECTOR OR CREDITOR FROM COMMUNICATING  WITH  THE  CONSUMER  ONCE,  IN
WRITING,  TO  ADVISE  HIM  OR  HER THAT CERTAIN SPECIFIED ACTION WILL BE
TAKEN OR TO ADVISE THE CONSUMER  THAT  FURTHER  COLLECTION  ACTIVITY  IS
BEING TERMINATED. THIS SUBDIVISION SHALL NOT PROHIBIT ANY COMMUNICATIONS
REQUIRED BY LAW; OR
  F.  COMMUNICATION  BY A DEBT COLLECTOR WITH A CONSUMER BY TELEPHONE OR
IN PERSON PRIOR TO THREE BUSINESS DAYS AFTER A DEBT COLLECTOR  HAS  SENT
ITS  INITIAL WRITTEN COMMUNICATION TO THE CONSUMER, WHICH WRITTEN COMMU-
NICATION SHALL COMPLY WITH SUBDIVISION SEVEN OF THIS SECTION.
  6. ANY DEBT COLLECTOR OR CREDITOR COMMUNICATING WITH ANY PERSON  OTHER
THAN  THE  CONSUMER  FOR  THE  PURPOSE OF ACQUIRING LOCATION INFORMATION
ABOUT THE CONSUMER SHALL:
  A. IDENTIFY HIMSELF OR HERSELF, STATE THAT HE OR SHE IS CONFIRMING  OR
CORRECTING  LOCATION  INFORMATION  CONCERNING THE CONSUMER, AND, ONLY IF
EXPRESSLY REQUESTED, IDENTIFY HIS OR HER EMPLOYER; AND
  B. NOT STATE THAT THE CONSUMER OWES ANY DEBT; AND
  C. NOT  COMMUNICATE  WITH  ANY  SUCH  PERSON  MORE  THAN  ONCE  UNLESS
REQUESTED TO DO SO BY SUCH PERSON OR UNLESS THE DEBT COLLECTOR OR CREDI-
TOR  REASONABLY  BELIEVES  THAT  THE  EARLIER RESPONSE OF SUCH PERSON IS
ERRONEOUS OR INCOMPLETE AND THAT SUCH PERSON NOW HAS CORRECT OR COMPLETE
LOCATION INFORMATION; AND
  D. NOT USE ANY LANGUAGE OR SYMBOL ON ANY ENVELOPE OR IN  THE  CONTENTS
OF  ANY  COMMUNICATION EFFECTED BY THE MAILS OR TELEGRAPH THAT INDICATES
THAT THE SENDER IS IN THE DEBT COLLECTION BUSINESS OR THAT THE  COMMUNI-
CATION RELATES TO THE COLLECTION OF A DEBT; AND
  E.  AFTER THE DEBT COLLECTOR OR CREDITOR KNOWS THE CONSUMER IS REPRES-
ENTED BY AN ATTORNEY WITH REGARD TO THE SUBJECT DEBT AND  HAS  KNOWLEDGE
OF OR CAN READILY ASCERTAIN SUCH ATTORNEY'S NAME AND ADDRESS, NOT COMMU-
NICATE  WITH  ANY  PERSON  OTHER THAN THAT ATTORNEY, UNLESS THE ATTORNEY
FAILS TO RESPOND WITHIN A REASONABLE TIME TO COMMUNICATION FROM THE DEBT
COLLECTOR.
  7. THE INITIAL WRITTEN  COMMUNICATION  FROM  A  DEBT  COLLECTOR  TO  A
CONSUMER  FOR  THE PURPOSE OF DEBT COLLECTION SHALL, UNLESS THE CONSUMER
HAS PAID THE DEBT, INCLUDE ON THE FACE OF THE COMMUNICATION:
  A. THE AMOUNT OF THE DEBT; AND
  B. THE NAME OF THE CREDITOR TO WHOM THE DEBT IS OWED IF NOT  THE  SAME
AS THE DEBT COLLECTOR; AND
  C.  A  STATEMENT  THAT  UNLESS  THE CONSUMER, WITHIN THIRTY DAYS AFTER
RECEIPT OF THE NOTICE, DISPUTES THE VALIDITY OF THE DEBT, OR ANY PORTION
THEREOF, THE DEBT WILL BE ASSUMED TO BE VALID BY THE DEBT COLLECTOR; AND
  D. A STATEMENT THAT IF THE CONSUMER NOTIFIES  THE  DEBT  COLLECTOR  IN
WRITING WITHIN THE THIRTY-DAY PERIOD THAT THE DEBT, OR ANY PORTION THER-
EOF,  IS  DISPUTED,  THE  DEBT COLLECTOR WILL OBTAIN VERIFICATION OF THE

S. 131                              6

DEBT OR A COPY OF A JUDGMENT AGAINST THE CONSUMER IF  ONE  HAS  IN  FACT
BEEN RENDERED AND A COPY OF SUCH VERIFICATION OR JUDGMENT WILL BE MAILED
TO THE CONSUMER BY THE DEBT COLLECTOR; AND
  E.  A  STATEMENT  THAT, UPON THE CONSUMER'S WRITTEN REQUEST WITHIN THE
THIRTY-DAY PERIOD, THE DEBT COLLECTOR WILL MAIL HIM OR HER THE NAME  AND
ADDRESS  OF  THE ORIGINAL CREDITOR, IF DIFFERENT FROM THE CURRENT CREDI-
TOR; AND
  F. THE AUTHORITY, IF ANY, OF THE DEBT COLLECTOR TO INITIATE A  LAWSUIT
TO COLLECT THE DEBT ON BEHALF OF THE CREDITOR.
  8.  IF  THE CONSUMER NOTIFIES THE DEBT COLLECTOR WITHIN THE THIRTY-DAY
PERIOD DESCRIBED IN SUBDIVISION SEVEN OF THIS SECTION THAT THE DEBT,  OR
ANY PORTION THEREOF, IS DISPUTED, OR THAT THE CONSUMER REQUESTS THE NAME
AND  ADDRESS  OF  THE  ORIGINAL CREDITOR, THE DEBT COLLECTOR SHALL CEASE
COLLECTION OF THE DEBT, OR ANY DISPUTED PORTION THEREOF, UNTIL THE  DEBT
COLLECTOR  OBTAINS  VERIFICATION  OF THE ORIGINAL CREDITOR AND A COPY OF
SUCH VERIFICATION OR JUDGMENT OR NAME AND ADDRESS OF THE ORIGINAL CREDI-
TOR IS PROVIDED TO THE CONSUMER BY THE DEBT COLLECTOR.
  9. THE INITIAL WRITTEN COMMUNICATION FROM A CREDITOR TO A CONSUMER  IN
CONNECTION  WITH  THE  COLLECTION OF ANY DEBT NOT WITHIN THE SCOPE OF 15
U.S.C. S 1666 (ET SEQ.) OR ARTICLE THIRTY-FOUR OF THIS CHAPTER  FOR  THE
PURPOSE  OF  DEBT  COLLECTION,  SHALL,  UNLESS THE CONSUMER HAS PAID THE
DEBT, INCLUDE:
  A. THE AMOUNT OF THE DEBT; AND
  B. THE NAME OF THE ORIGINAL CREDITOR IF NOT THE SAME  AS  THE  CURRENT
CREDITOR; AND
  C. A STATEMENT THAT IF THE CONSUMER NOTIFIES THE CREDITOR WITHIN THIR-
TY DAYS AFTER RECEIPT OF THE NOTICE THAT THE DEBT, OR ANY PORTION THERE-
OF,  IS  DISPUTED, THE CREDITOR WILL PROVIDE THE CONSUMER WITH VERIFICA-
TION OF THE DEBT OR A COPY OF A JUDGMENT AGAINST THE  CONSUMER,  IF  ONE
HAS IN FACT BEEN RENDERED.
  10. IF THE CONSUMER NOTIFIES THE CREDITOR WITHIN THE THIRTY-DAY PERIOD
DESCRIBED  IN  SUBDIVISION  NINE  OF  THIS SECTION THAT THE DEBT, OR ANY
PORTION THEREOF, IS DISPUTED THE CREDITOR SHALL  CEASE  DEBT  COLLECTION
WITH  RESPECT  TO  THE  DEBT, OR ANY DISPUTED PORTION THEREOF, UNTIL THE
CREDITOR PROVIDES THE CONSUMER VERIFICATION OF THE DEBT OR A COPY  OF  A
JUDGMENT.
  11.  THE FAILURE OF A CONSUMER TO DISPUTE THE VALIDITY OF A DEBT UNDER
THIS SECTION SHALL NOT BE CONSTRUED BY ANY  COURT  AS  AN  ADMISSION  OF
LIABILITY BY THE CONSUMER.
  12. THE INITIAL COMMUNICATION FROM A DEBT COLLECTOR OR A CREDITOR TO A
CONSUMER IN CONNECTION WITH THE COLLECTION OF ANY DEBT SHALL INCLUDE THE
FOLLOWING IN AT LEAST TEN POINT TYPE EITHER ON THE FACE OF SUCH COMMUNI-
CATION OR ON A SEPARATE PIECE OF PAPER PROVIDED AT THE SAME TIME AS SUCH
COMMUNICATION:
  "YOUR  RIGHTS AS A CONSUMER DEBTOR. THE NEW YORK 'FAIR DEBT COLLECTION
PRACTICES ACT' PROVIDES PROTECTION TO DEBTORS FROM  ABUSIVE  OR  ILLEGAL
DEBT COLLECTION PRACTICES."
  SOME OF THESE PROTECTIONS INCLUDE:
  A.  CALLING  YOU BEFORE 8 O'CLOCK A.M.  OR AFTER 9 O'CLOCK P.M. UNLESS
THE DEBT COLLECTOR KNOWS THAT COMMUNICATION AT THAT TIME IS CONVENIENT;
  B. CALLING YOU AT YOUR JOB IF YOU TELL THE DEBT COLLECTOR  NOT  TO  DO
SO;
  C.  USING ABUSIVE OR HARASSING OR DECEPTIVE METHODS TO COLLECT A DEBT;
AND
  D. CONTINUING TO COMMUNICATE WITH YOU AFTER YOU  HAVE  TOLD  THE  DEBT
COLLECTOR  IN  WRITING  TO  STOP  OR THAT YOU REFUSE TO PAY THE DEBT. BY

S. 131                              7

EXERCISING THIS RIGHT, THE DEBT WILL NOT NECESSARILY BE  ELIMINATED  AND
YOU MAY STILL BE SUED BY THE CREDITOR TO RECOVER THE DEBT.
  IF  YOU  BELIEVE THAT A DEBT COLLECTOR HAS ATTEMPTED TO COLLECT A DEBT
IN AN UNLAWFUL MANNER, CONTACT THE STATE ATTORNEY GENERAL'S OFFICE,  THE
FEDERAL  TRADE  COMMISSION,  YOUR  LOCAL CONSUMER PROTECTION AGENCY OR A
PRIVATE ATTORNEY. YOU HAVE THE  RIGHT  TO  SUE  A  DEBT  COLLECTOR  THAT
VIOLATES THE LAW AND IF YOU ARE SUCCESSFUL YOU CAN RECOVER MONEY DAMAGES
AND  YOUR  ATTORNEY'S  FEES.  THIS  LAWSUIT  CAN BE BROUGHT IN ANY COURT
INCLUDING SMALL CLAIMS COURT.
  13. ALL WRITTEN NOTICES REQUIRED TO BE PROVIDED BY THIS ARTICLE  SHALL
BE  WRITTEN  IN  BOTH  ENGLISH  AND  SPANISH WHERE THE RECIPIENT OF SUCH
NOTICES RESIDES IN A CITY IN THE STATE WITH A POPULATION OF ONE  MILLION
OR MORE.
  S  602.  CREDITORS  AND  DEBT  COLLECTORS.  1.  MULTIPLE DEBTS. IF ANY
CONSUMER OWES MULTIPLE DEBTS AND MAKES ANY SINGLE PAYMENT  TO  ANY  DEBT
COLLECTOR  OR CREDITOR NOT WITHIN THE SCOPE OF 15 U.S.C. S 1666 OR ARTI-
CLE THIRTY-FOUR OF THIS CHAPTER, WITH RESPECT TO SUCH DEBTS,  SUCH  DEBT
COLLECTOR  OR CREDITOR SHALL NOT APPLY SUCH PAYMENT TO ANY DEBT WHICH IS
DISPUTED BY THE DEBTOR IF THE DEBTOR HAS NOTIFIED THE DEBT COLLECTOR  OR
CREDITOR  OF SUCH DISPUTE AS PROVIDED BY SECTION SIX HUNDRED ONE OF THIS
ARTICLE AND WHERE APPLICABLE SHALL APPLY SUCH PAYMENT IN ACCORDANCE WITH
THE CONSUMER'S DIRECTIONS.
  2. VENUE. ANY CREDITOR WHO BRINGS ANY LEGAL ACTION ON A DEBT AGAINST A
CONSUMER SHALL DO SO IN THE COUNTY IN WHICH  SUCH  CONSUMER  SIGNED  THE
CONTRACT SUED UPON OR IN THE COUNTY IN WHICH THE CONSUMER RESIDES AT THE
COMMENCEMENT OF THE ACTION.
  3.  BONA FIDE ERROR. NO PERSON SHALL BE GUILTY OF A VIOLATION OF PARA-
GRAPH B OR D OF SUBDIVISION FIVE OR PARAGRAPH C OR E OF SUBDIVISION  SIX
OF  SECTION  SIX  HUNDRED ONE OF THIS ARTICLE OR SUBDIVISION ONE OF THIS
SECTION IF THE ACTION COMPLAINED OF RESULTED  FROM  A  BONA  FIDE  ERROR
NOTWITHSTANDING  THE  USE OF REASONABLE PROCEDURES ADOPTED TO AVOID SUCH
ERROR AND ANY EVIDENCE OF SUCH BONA FIDE ERROR SHALL ONLY BE  RAISED  AS
AN AFFIRMATIVE DEFENSE IN ANY ACTION BROUGHT TO ENFORCE THIS ARTICLE.
  S  603.  ENFORCEMENT.  1. ATTORNEY GENERAL ENFORCEMENT. WHENEVER THERE
SHALL BE A VIOLATION OF THIS ARTICLE AN APPLICATION MAY BE MADE  BY  THE
ATTORNEY GENERAL IN THE NAME OF THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF NEW YORK TO A
COURT  OR  JUSTICE  HAVING JURISDICTION TO ISSUE AN INJUNCTION, AND UPON
NOTICE TO THE DEFENDANT OF NOT  LESS  THAN  FIVE  DAYS,  TO  ENJOIN  AND
RESTRAIN  THE  CONTINUANCE  OF SUCH VIOLATION; AND IF IT SHALL APPEAR TO
THE SATISFACTION OF THE COURT OR JUSTICE  THAT  THE  DEFENDANT  HAS,  IN
FACT,  VIOLATED  THIS ARTICLE, AN INJUNCTION MAY BE ISSUED BY SUCH COURT
OR JUSTICE, ENJOINING AND RESTRAINING  ANY  FURTHER  VIOLATION,  WITHOUT
REQUIRING  PROOF  THAT  ANY PERSON HAS, IN FACT, BEEN INJURED OR DAMAGED
THEREBY. IN SUCH ACTION OR PROCEEDING, THE ATTORNEY  GENERAL  MAY  APPLY
FOR  A  CIVIL  PENALTY  OF NOT LESS THAN FIFTY DOLLARS AND NOT MORE THAN
FIVE THOUSAND DOLLARS PER VIOLATION, AND, WHERE APPROPRIATE, FOR  RESTI-
TUTION AND DAMAGES TO AGGRIEVED CONSUMERS; AND THE COURT MAY MAKE ALLOW-
ANCES  TO  THE ATTORNEY GENERAL AS PROVIDED IN PARAGRAPH SIX OF SUBDIVI-
SION (A) OF SECTION EIGHTY-THREE HUNDRED THREE OF THE CIVIL PRACTICE LAW
AND RULES. IN CONNECTION WITH ANY SUCH PROPOSED APPLICATION, THE  ATTOR-
NEY  GENERAL IS AUTHORIZED TO TAKE PROOF AND MAKE A DETERMINATION OF THE
RELEVANT FACTS AND TO ISSUE SUBPOENAS IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE CIVIL PRAC-
TICE LAW AND RULES.
  2. PRIVATE RIGHT  OF  ACTION.  ANY  DEBT  COLLECTOR  OR  CREDITOR  WHO
VIOLATES  ANY  PROVISION  OF THIS ARTICLE WITH RESPECT TO ANY INDIVIDUAL

S. 131                              8

SHALL BE LIABLE IN ANY COURT OF COMPETENT JURISDICTION, INCLUDING  SMALL
CLAIMS COURT, TO SUCH INDIVIDUAL IN AN AMOUNT EQUAL TO:
  A.  SUCH  PERSON'S  DAMAGES SUSTAINED AS A RESULT OF SUCH VIOLATION OR
FIFTY DOLLARS WHICHEVER IS GREATER, FOR EACH VIOLATION; AND
  B. SUCH ADDITIONAL PUNITIVE DAMAGES AS THE COURT MAY ALLOW; AND
  C. SUCH PERSON'S COSTS AND ATTORNEY'S FEES.
  IN AN ACTION BROUGHT BY ANY PERSON TO ENFORCE THIS ARTICLE, THE  COURT
MAY,  SUBJECT  TO  ITS  JURISDICTION, ISSUE AN INJUNCTION TO RESTRAIN OR
PREVENT ANY VIOLATION OF THIS ARTICLE OR ANY  CONTINUANCE  OF  ANY  SUCH
VIOLATION.
  3.  OTHER  REMEDIES.  THIS  ARTICLE  SHALL NOT ANNUL, ALTER, AFFECT OR
EXEMPT ANY PERSON SUBJECT TO THE PROVISIONS OF THIS ARTICLE FROM COMPLY-
ING WITH THE LAWS, ORDINANCES, RULES OR REGULATIONS OF ANY  LOCALITY  OR
OTHER  GOVERNMENTAL  BODY, RELATING TO DEBT COLLECTION PRACTICES, EXCEPT
TO THE EXTENT THAT SUCH  LAWS,  ORDINANCES,  RULES  OR  REGULATIONS  ARE
INCONSISTENT  WITH ANY PROVISION OF THIS ARTICLE, BUT NO SUCH LAW, ORDI-
NANCE, RULE OR  REGULATION  SHALL  BE  CONSIDERED  INCONSISTENT,  IF  IT
AFFORDS  GREATER  PROTECTION  TO  THE  CONSUMER.  THIS ARTICLE SHALL NOT
ANNUL, ALTER OR AFFECT THE RIGHTS OF ANY PERSON AGAINST ANY CREDITOR  OR
DEBT COLLECTOR.
  4.  LIMITS  ON  CREDITOR  LIABILITY FOR ACTS OF DEBT COLLECTOR. IN ANY
ACTION PURSUANT TO THE PROVISIONS OF THIS ARTICLE A  CREDITOR  SHALL  BE
LIABLE FOR THE ACTS OF A DEBT COLLECTOR AUTHORIZED TO OR ENGAGED IN DEBT
COLLECTION  WITH  RESPECT  TO  A  DEBT OWED OR ALLEGED TO BE OWED TO THE
CREDITOR IF:
  A. THE CREDITOR HAS KNOWLEDGE OR  REASON  TO  BELIEVE  THAT  THE  DEBT
COLLECTOR  ENGAGES  IN THOSE ACTS OR PRACTICES WHICH ARE IN VIOLATION OF
THIS ARTICLE; OR
  B. THE CREDITOR HAS AUTHORIZED THE DEBT COLLECTOR TO  ENGAGE  IN  DEBT
COLLECTION  WITH  RESPECT TO THE DEBT WITHOUT TAKING REASONABLE STEPS TO
ASCERTAIN THAT THERE IS NO REASON TO BELIEVE  THAT  THE  DEBT  COLLECTOR
ENGAGES  IN THOSE ACTS OR PRACTICES WHICH ARE IN VIOLATION OF THIS ARTI-
CLE. REASONABLE STEPS SHALL INCLUDE REVIEWING THE FORMAL WRITTEN  COMMU-
NICATIONS  OF  THE  DEBT  COLLECTOR,  AND  REVIEWING REPORTS OF CONSUMER
COMPLAINTS AGAINST THE DEBT COLLECTOR PREPARED BY  THE  BETTER  BUSINESS
BUREAU OR OTHER CONSUMER PROTECTION AGENCIES.
  S 603-A. SEPARABILITY CLAUSE. IF ANY PART OR PROVISION OF THIS ARTICLE
OR  THE  APPLICATION  THEREOF TO ANY PERSON OR CIRCUMSTANCES BE ADJUDGED
INVALID BY A COURT OF COMPETENT JURISDICTION,  SUCH  JUDGMENT  SHALL  BE
CONFINED IN ITS OPERATION TO THE PART, PROVISION OR APPLICATION DIRECTLY
INVOLVED  IN  THE  CONTROVERSY  IN  WHICH  SUCH JUDGMENT SHALL HAVE BEEN
RENDERED AND SHALL NOT AFFECT OR IMPAIR THE VALIDITY OF THE REMAINDER OF
THIS ARTICLE OR THE APPLICATION THEREOF  TO  OTHER  PERSONS  OR  CIRCUM-
STANCES  AND  THE LEGISLATURE HEREBY DECLARES THAT IT WOULD HAVE ENACTED
THIS ARTICLE OR  THE  REMAINDER  THEREOF  HAD  THE  INVALIDITY  OF  SUCH
PROVISION OR APPLICATION THEREOF BEEN APPARENT.
  S  3.  This  act  shall  take  effect  on  the first of September next
succeeding the date on which it shall have become a law.

Comments

Open Legislation comments facilitate discussion of New York State legislation. All comments are subject to moderation. Comments deemed off-topic, commercial, campaign-related, self-promotional; or that contain profanity or hate speech; or that link to sites outside of the nysenate.gov domain are not permitted, and will not be published. Comment moderation is generally performed Monday through Friday.

By contributing or voting you agree to the Terms of Participation and verify you are over 13.