Debt Collection News Roundup, Week of June 12th, 2010

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This week began with a bang, in the form of the Federal Trade Commission’s report that consumer complaints about debt collection abuses have tripled. The FTC also released a report, Repairing A Broken System: Protecting Consumers in Debt Collection Litigation and Arbitration in which it criticized the one-two punch of debt collection and mandatory binding arbitration.

The New York Times popped in on Tuesday with a report that at least one New York law firm is filing 80,000 lawsuits per year, enough to put a serious strain on the New York court system. Minnesota Senator Al Franked pointed out to the Federal Trade Commission that the same sort of monkey business is going on in Minnesota, and asked the FTC to take action now and through future regulation. Minnesota legislators also promise to fix the broken debt collection system.

Update: the FTC says it is going to look into debt collectors who are jailing debtors in Minnesota. No report on whether the FTC will look into the other allegations of abuse Senator Franken mentioned.

Oh, and surprise of surprises, a Chicago debt collection law firm, stopped paying its own bills. When asked if it could borrow the money from a friend or family member, the firm had no comment.

But we didn’t even get to all the news this week. We still haven’t weighed in on the sweeping (?) financial reform that Congress finally got around to. And if you just can’t get enough debt collection news, here is a sprinkling of links on the Office of the Comptroller of Currency, which is (apparently) charged with protecting banks from state laws, and on the Military Lending Act, which isn’t actually helping members of the military escape scammers and loan-shark-sized interest rates service fees.