Messer, Stilp & Strickler, LTD., Attorneys at Law reported that “On May 13, 2014, S. 2328 was introduced into the Senate by Senator Pat Toomey (R-PA). The legislation seeks to amend the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (“FDCPA”) to preclude law firms and licensed attorneys from the definition of a debt collector when taking certain actions.”
This bill is identical to House Bill HR 2892, also known as the Fair Debt Collection Practices Technical Clarification Act of 2013. Introduced last year by representative Ed Perlmutter (D-CO) and co-sponsor Representative Spencer Bachus (R-AL), both bills seek to amend the definition of the FDCPA for “debt collector”.
The amendment will exclude licensed attorneys and law firms under certain conditions. According to Messer, Stilp & Strickler, LTD., Attorneys at Law, there are two main situations for these exclusions. First, exclusions will occur if the licensed attorney or law firm is filing, serving or conveying formal legal proceedings or any other documents that are pursuant to the rules of civil procedure. The second exclusion occurs if they are communicating, at the direction of a court of law, in depositions or settlement conferences that are in any way connected with a pending legal action which involves collecting debt for a client.
According to ACA International, “ACA International’s Legislative Committee will be reviewing the Senate version of the bill and will provide members with updates on its progress.” So far, the National Consumer Law Center is opposing the S. 2328, saying that it would encourage and allow abusive debt collection practices by attorneys. On the other hand, the National Association of Retail Collection Attorneys (NARCA) is in support of the bill.
In light of the present discussions and decisions that are being made, it is important to find the best merchant account for a collection agency. Especially if you are in the position of operating a collection agency, you’ve probably run across the issue of being able to obtain one; thus, making the handling of transactions professionally a real problem.