NY regulators issue rules intended to curb abuses by debt collectors, inform consumers

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ALBANY, New York — New York financial regulators have issued rules intended to curb abuse by debt collectors, requiring them to advise consumers when the statute of limitations has expired on debts and confirm settlement agreements in writing.

Regulations by the Department of Financial Services, first proposed in 2013, also authorize consumers to choose email for communications from collectors and request verification of disputed debts.

New Yorkers filed more than 20,000 complaints about collection practices this year, including harassing calls, contacting incorrect people and seeking incorrect amounts, especially with defaulted debts bought for pennies on the dollar.

Federal law prohibits collectors from using or threatening violence, using obscenities or profanities and calling repeatedly intending to harass debtors.

Money exempt from judgments includes Social Security, pensions, welfare, disability benefits, veterans' benefits, alimony and child support.

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