Oregon Amendment Clarifies New Debt Collection Requirement Only Applies to Purchased Debts

The recent amendment resolves uncertainty about who is required to provide certain information to the consumer.

4/4/2018 12:09 PM

NewsCompliance
Oregon Amendment Clarifies New Debt Collection Requirement Only Applies to Purchased Debts

Last summer, Oregon Gov. Kate Brown signed H.B. 2356 into law. The legislation, enacted per the request of the state’s attorney general, required debt buyers to obtain a license from the Oregon Department of Consumer and Business Services (DCBS). This legislation also included procedural requirements for collection actions taken by debt buyers and debt collectors working on the debt buyer’s behalf. However, a small section of the statute (Oregon Revised Statute 646.639(2)(t)) caused some confusion as its wording appeared to indicate that all third-party debt collectors, as well as debt buyers and the debt collectors working for them, must supply the consumer with certain information within 30-days of a consumer’s request.

On April 3, Oregon’s governor signed S.B. 1553, which clarifies the intended scope of this requirement by amending Oregon Revised Statute 646.639 to read:

(2) A debt collector engages in an unlawful collection practice if the debt collector, while collecting or attempting to collect a debt, does any of the following:

(t) Collects or attempts to collect a debt if the debt collector is a debt buyer, or is acting on a debt buyer’s behalf, and collects or attempts to collect purchased debt before providing to a debtor, within 30 days after the date of the debtor’s request, all of the documents listed in subsection (4)(b) of this section.

The revised language clarifies that only debt buyers and debt collectors working on the debt buyer’s behalf are subject to the provision requiring a debt collector to provide certain information at the consumer’s request. The requirement does not apply to third-party debt collectors collecting on non-purchased debts.

Special thanks to members of the Oregon Collectors Association who worked closely with key legislators over the last two legislative sessions to pass the original legislation and to pass this current bill.

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