Massachusetts Consumer Advocates Fight Debt Collectors

State Attorney General looks to introduce more Regulations on Debt Collection

Massachusetts Consumer Advocates Fight Debt Collectors
September 29, 2016

The state of Massachusetts has battled for consumer rights in several debt collection cases and Attorney General Maura Healey may continue to do so. Many advocates have called on her office to keep up the tight regulation of the state's debt collection industry.

Wednesday's announcement of a settlement with Ditech Financial LLC is an example of such regulations. The collection agency agreed to a $1.4 million settlement after the attorney general's office accused the company of violating the state's laws on debt collection and harassment. According to allegations, Ditech Financial was calling borrowers several times a day, to collect on over 5,000 mortgage debts. Many of the tactics employed by the company violated Massachusetts law.

Healey has a history of working to protect consumers in her state. In 2015, her office sued Lustig, Glaser & Wilson PC, for deceptive debt collection practices. This case, which affected a large number of Massachusetts residents, has not yet concluded.

In early September, the attorney general's office and the Division of Banks held a joint hearing to determine the need for extra regulations in the debt collection industry. Many expect the recent decision in the Ditech case to be discussed at the next hearing.

According to state law, debt collectors may not call borrowers more than twice a week. Some consumers said that they received twelve calls from the company in a single day.

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