Indiana Attorney General Greg Zoeller announced Tuesday that he is proposing new legislation in the state that would protect state residents from debt collection scams by “expanding the federal Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA) at the state level.”
According to Zoeller, the proposal would provide greater state protections beyond the FDCPA, including requiring debt collectors to disclose the details of the debt upon initial communication with a consumer. Under the FDCPA, a debt collector has the option to provide the details of the debt in a written notice within five days after the initial communication with a consumer.
Additionally, Zoeller is proposing new state-specific protections not covered under the FDCPA, including requiring debt collectors during the initial communication with a consumer to immediately disclose from whom the debt was purchased, if applicable.
Zoeller noted that the proposals are a reaction to consumer complaints about debt collection. The Attorney General’s Office received 787 debt collection-related complaints in 2013.
Zoeller also announced proposed new rules for home improvement contractors in the state and harsher penalties for scammers that target senior citizens, veterans, and the disabled.