More from the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau

I’m a little slow at getting to this, but it’s welcome:

Starting Jan. 2, the government watchdog will regulate 175 debt-collection firms that each bring in more than $10 million in annual receipts — accounting for 63 percent of the market.

Consumer Reports has a long report showing why this is a good thing. Here’s a story adding to that:

In April, Lori Swanson, the Minnesota attorney general, disclosed hundreds of Accretive’s internal documents that outlined aggressive collection tactics, including embedding debt collectors as employees in emergency rooms and pressuring patients to pay before receiving treatment.

There was a bit of a scandal in Massachusetts back in 2006:

 In October 2003, Marjorie and Allan Slotnick of Brockton received a demand from a debt collector that they pay a 1995 Southwestern Bell phone bill, for $484, purportedly owed by their son. But Adam Slotnick was killed in the Northridge, Calif., earthquake in January 1994 a year before the debt was incurred. The Slotnicks sent the debt collector a copy of their son’s death certificate, thinking that would be the end of it.

No such luck. The debt collector resold the debt. On July 18, another debt collector, Merchants Credit Guide of Chicago, sent a demand letter to the Slotnicks this time for $982. The Slotnicks sent off another copy of the death certificate, but not before Allan Slotnick had a telephone encounter with a collector who hung up on him. “He refused to listen. He just wanted the money,” Allan Slotnick said.

Remember, Republicans were against forming the CFPB.

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