U.S. Senator Cory Booker, 46, is on the short list for vice presidential nominee for this year’s presidential race. The freshman senator’s name keeps coming up in conversations around Capitol Hill. Plus, he and his 1.6 million Twitter followers are on Sen. Hillary Clinton’s campaign trail. The first Black person to represent New Jersey in the Senate, Booker was mayor of Newark, New Jersey, from 2006 to 2013.
Booker and Republican Senator Mike Lee of Utah co-introduced legislation that expands consumer protections and closes loopholes exploited by debt collectors.
He writes in part in an opinion piece on CNN, “The primary anti-debt collection abuse law at the federal level, the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act, was passed by Congress in 1978 to set national standards for debt collectors and to protect consumers from those who use abusive and deceptive tactics to collect on a debt.
“All this means that hardworking Americans are being targeted, harassed and hassled by private collectors working to collect government debts while taking advantage of a legal exception
“Our bill, the Stop Debt Collection Abuse Act of 2015, would amend a law passed almost 40 years ago to clearly apply the same standards required for debt collection agents working for private companies to agents working for federal government agencies. It would do this by expanding the law’s definition of “debt” — including in that definition overpayments, penalties, fines and fees that have been traditionally excluded from protections.
“While this legislation would not prevent debt collectors of local and state debts from evading consumer debt behavior standards, applying these protections to the collection of all federal debts is a first step toward expanding protections for consumers at all levels of government.”