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Committee Passes Legislation to Crack Down on Predatory Debt Collectors and Support Veterans and Servicemembers

Committee Passes Legislation to Crack Down on Predatory Debt Collectors and Support Veterans and Servicemembers


Washington, DC,
November 14, 2019

Today, the House Financial Services Committee passed eight bills to help veterans experiencing homelessness, protect servicemembers from harassment by debt collectors, and prevent predatory debt collection practices to help consumers and small businesses.

See the Chairwoman’s opening statement here and the legislation below.

  • The Ending Debt Collection Harassment Act of 2019 (H.R. 5021), a bill by Representative Ayanna Pressley (D-MA), to amend the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA) to prohibit a debt collector from contacting a consumer by email or text message without a consumer’s consent to be contacted electronically, and prohibits the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) from issuing any rules implementing the FDCPA that allow a debt collector to send unlimited email and text messages to a consumer.

    The bill passed the Committee by a vote of 31-23.

  • The Small Business Fair Debt Collection Protection Act (H.R. 5013), a bill by Representative Al Lawson (D-FL) that expands the FDCPA’s protections to cover small business loans.

    The bill passed the Committee by a vote of 31-23.

  • The Fair Debt Collection Practices for Servicemembers Act (H.R. 5003), a bill by Representative Madeleine Dean (D-PA) that amends the FDCPA to prohibit debt collectors from threatening servicemembers or their families to have a servicemember’s rank reduced, have their security clearance revoked, have them prosecuted under the Uniform Code of Military Justice, or communicating with a servicemember’s chain of command to locate a servicemember.

    The bill passed the Committee by a unanimous vote of 54-0.

  • The Non-Judicial Foreclosure Debt Collection Clarification Act (H.R. 5001), a bill by Representative Wm. Lacy Clay (D-MO), Chairman of the Subcommittee on Housing, Community Development and Insurance, that reverses the recent Supreme Court decision in Obduskey versus McCarthy and Holthus LLP by amending the FDCPA to clarify that entities in non-judicial foreclosure proceedings are covered by the law.

    The bill passed the Committee by a vote of 31-23.

  • The Stop Debt Collection Abuse Act (H.R. 4403), a bill by Representative Emanuel Cleaver (D-MO), Chairman of the Subcommittee on National Security, International Development and Monetary Policy, that extends the FDCPA’s protections as it relates to debt owed to a federal agency, limits the fees debt collectors can charge, and clarifies that debt buyers are subject to FDCPA.

    The bill passed the Committee by a unanimous vote of 54-0.

  • The Debt Collection Practices Harmonization Act (H.R. 3948), a bill by Representative Gregory Meeks (D-NY), Chairman of the Subcommittee on Consumer Protection and Financial Institutions, that clarifies that private debt collectors who pursue debts such as municipal utility bills, tolls, traffic tickets, and court debts are subject to the FDCPA.

    The bill passed the Committee by a vote of 31-23.

  • The Small Business Lending Fairness Act (H.R. 3490), a bill by Representative Nydia Velázquez (D-NY), that would amend the Truth in Lending Act (TILA) to restrict the use of predatory small business loan contract clauses called “confessions of judgment.”

    The bill passed the Committee by a vote of 31-23.

  • To amend the United States Housing Act of 1937 and title 38, United States Code, to expand eligibility for the HUD-VASH program, to direct the Secretary of Veterans Affairs to submit annual reports to the Committees on Veterans’ Affairs of the Senate and House of Representatives regarding homeless veterans, and for other purposes (H.R. 2398), a bill by Representative Scott Peters (D-CA), to expand the eligibility for the Housing and Urban Development-Veterans Affairs Supportive Housing or HUD-VASH program, to veterans experiencing homelessness who have received an “other than honorable” discharge.

    The bill passed the Committee by a unanimous vote of 54-0.

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