Colorado Senate Advances Ser …
The input from ACA International members on a Colorado student loan management bill helped the bill get out of committee with several amendments.
The Colorado Senate Finance Committee considered the bill, the Colorado Student Loan Equity Act, in a hearing on April 21.
The Colorado Student Loan Equity Act would expand the current Colorado Student Loan Servicers Act, which only applies to people who offer student loans, by adding a section covering private lenders, creditors and collection agencies in connection with student loans that are not made, insured or guaranteed under federal law and that are used for post-secondary education, ACA previously said.
The state Senate Finance Committee advanced the bill with nine amendments and a favorable recommendation to the Colorado Senate Appropriations Committee.
ACA members testified on the bill at the April 21 hearing following a campaign to get member input with creditors clients working in the private Colorado student loan space .
âThis show of force has had a major impact, but there is still work to be done,â said Andrew Madden, ACA vice president of state unit and government affairs. âUntil then, the authors of the bill did not want to change the bill. This is all part of the process to improve legislation for the Accounts Receivable Management (ARM) industry. Congratulations to our members who were able to convince their customers. Madden added that it’s critical that these customers and more creditors weigh in with the Credit Committee. There is still a possibility of considerably improving the legislation.
The student loan service bill, sponsored by Sen. Faith Winter and Julie Gonzales, would also:
- Require lenders to grant a discharge to co-signers if certain conditions are met, including 12 months of consecutive and one-time payments, and ensure that co-signers have access to all documents and records relating to the loan they co-signed ;
- Expand disability discharge requirements so that a borrower or co-signer can be released from repayment obligations if they are permanently disabled
- Prohibit “automated signing” of documents used in collection proceedings and require specific evidence of loan creation and debt ownership chain before a loan creditor or collection agency can initiate proceedings. legal proceedings;
- Prohibit automatic defaults, in which a loan is declared immediately due and payable on the death or bankruptcy of a co-signer, even in the absence of default; and
- Provide legal recourse to borrowers who are harmed by the predatory acts and practices of a lender, creditor or collection agency. A violation of the new part of the bill is defined as a deceptive business practice under the Colorado Consumer Protection Act.
The bill will then be considered by the Colorado Senate Appropriations Committee.
Nevada Medical Debt Bill
In other state news, ACA members recently testified before the Nevada Assembly Committee on Trade and Labor in opposition to an amended version of SB 248, which revises provisions of the State law relating to the collection of medical debts.
The bill, which passed in the Nevada Senate on April 19-22, requires a collection agency to notify a consumer before taking action to collect a medical debt and prohibits certain practices related to medical debt collection , previously reported ACA.
A two-part amendment to the bill introduced on April 23 seeks to clarify the potentially confusing language identified by stakeholders and, at the request of stakeholders, âthat medical debt can be sued for collection in a court of law in a small claims action if it raises the jurisdiction limit. “
Madden said that the fact that the committee accepted the amendment is a good start, but that there is a lot of work to be done on this bill.
Texas Credit Repair Bill
Texas State Representative Hugh Shine, R-Temple, recently introduced an industry-backed bill, HB 4266, to amend the state’s finance code and add requirements for organizations to credit repair services.
It was passed by the state committee on pensions, investments and financial services with bipartisan support at the end of March and sent to the House Calendars Committee. The calendars committee is still reviewing the legislation.
ACA continues to monitor state bills that would impact the ARM industry if passed, and members can hear updates on state and federal legislation on the ACA Huddle Weekly sponsored by Connect International, Solutions by Text and Pay N Seconds.
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