New England Collectors Ask State Lawmakers to Reject Bill that Would Harm Consumers

9/26/2017 8:00 AM

ACA Board Member Jay Gonsalves urges Joint Committee to consider negative impact of reducing the Statute of Limitations in Massachusetts.


The New England Collectors Association testified against legislation that would shorten the statute of limitations in Massachusetts during a hearing before the state’s Joint Committee on Financial Services.

The Joint Committee on Financial Services, chaired by State Sen. James Eldridge, D-Middlesex and Worcester, and State Rep. Aaron Michlewitz, D-Suffolk, discussed Senate Bill 120 on Sept. 25.

The legislation in question is sponsored by Chairman Eldridge.  Under the proposal, an action for the collection of a consumer debt shall be commenced within four years of the accrual of the cause of action. The current Statute of Limitations in Massachusetts is six years. 

The New England Collectors Association was represented at the hearing by ACA Board Member Jay Gonsalves, of Action Collection Agencies Inc., Middleboro, Mass.  Gonsalves urged the Joint Committee Chairman to carefully consider the unintended consequences detailed in his testimony and to reject S120.

Gonsalves focused his remarks on the negative impact shortening the Statute of Limitations would have on consumers.  “By reducing the Statute of Limitations to four years, this bill would limit the ability of a creditor to be flexible with setting up a long-term payment plan which could satisfy the debt, and would likely result in an increase in lawsuits and negative credit reports.”

S120 was one of more than a dozen bills on the committee’s hearing agenda and no votes were taken during the proceedings on Sept. 25. The New England Collectors Association and their lobbying team will continue to follow this legislation closely and advocate for industry priorities. 

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