In a bi-coastal assault on the debt collection industry, two of the largest newspapers in the country are running pieces that examine the ARM regulatory environment, specifically focusing on the use of courts in the collection process.
The New York Times has an official editorial (dated August 19) titled “Robo Redux” while the Los Angeles Times is running a long feature piece titled “Aggressive debt collection tactics are drawing federal scrutiny.”
The editorial in The New York Times is fairly straightforward. It references a story the paper ran last week (which we covered) that addresses the current problems in the credit card collection market. The editorial narrows its focus to debt collection lawsuits and recommends that consumers show up in court when notified of debt collection actions, at the same time imploring state lawmakers and regulators to pass pending legislation and noting that the CFPB “should also exercise their powers to regulate debt collection.”
The Los Angeles Times piece covers a bit more ground. The 1,600+ word article thoroughly examines the current ARM regulatory landscape, detailing complaints, regulatory actions over collection lawsuit “robo-signing,” and providing plenty of consumer horror stories to steer opinion.
The LA Times also intones the CFPB’s role in clearing up this mess, noting the agency “is considering new regulations for debt collectors.” Near the beginning of the piece, the writer blames “outdated laws and lax oversight” as drivers of consumer abuse.