The Oklahoma House of Representatives has referred for further study a bill that targeted the accounts receivable management industry after near-unanimous passage by the Senate a month ago.
Oklahoma State Senate Bill 1430 is a broad, comprehensive bill that places new requirements on debt collection agencies and debt buyers operating in the state.
The bill, named the “Bartmann Bill for Ethical Debt Collection” was introduced by Tulsa Republican Sen. Gary Stanislawski and was championed by ARM industry owner Bill Bartmann.
In early March, the bill passed the Senate by a vote of 40-2 and was referred to the House Judiciary Committee. In the interim, an industry coalition had formed to actively petition representatives to take a closer look at the bill.
According to people familiar with the process, the Committee referred the bill for further study early this week. A hearing on the bill had been scheduled for Monday.
Since the legislative session in Oklahoma is scheduled to end no later than May 25, there is a very good chance the bill will not be considered by the House this session. But it could come up for consideration in the 2013 session.
The coalition that spearheaded the opposition over the past month included ARM industry trade groups DBA International, ACA International – and its state unit, the Oklahoma Collectors Association – and several large debt buyers. Prompted by the coalition, members of the ARM industry in Oklahoma engaged in the strategic lobbying of members of the House Judiciary Committee.