Quote of the Day

"Giving one of the most abusive industries in the U.S. free rein to inundate people with robo-calls to their cell phones is a terrible idea. ... Harassing people on their cell phones is just not going to help solve the federal deficit."Margot Saunders (pdf), National Consumer Law Center, on President Obama's proposal, buried on page 28 of his deficit reduction plan, "to allow debt collectors 'to contact delinquent debtors via their cellular phones' when collecting debts owed to or guaranteed by the federal government."
Currently, debt collection calls to cell phones are limited because collectors must check their phone number lists against a list of known cell phones and cannot call those numbers unless the consumer has provided that number as a way of reaching them. Though the proposal is limited to debts owed or guaranteed by the federal government, millions of consumers will be affected, including graduates who can't pay their loans due to the terrible job market, homeowners who are behind in mortgages, and people who are in tax disputes with the Internal Revenue Service. Families who have lost their homes to foreclosure could be exposed to cell phone calls for years if the delinquency on their mortgage is sold to debt buyers.

The Federal Trade Commission receives more complaints about the debt collection industry than any other industry─more than 140,000 complaints in 2010─and those complaints increase every year. "The Fair Debt Collection Practices Act badly needs updating but for the purposes of protecting consumers from widespread harassment and debt collector abuses, not for facilitating those abuses," Saunders noted.
Emphasis mine.

[Thanks to Deeks for the heads-up.]

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