Protecting the Elderly From Debt Collectors

            While the political buzz is that the new Republican majority U.S. Senate will try to emasculate the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (“CFPB”) created as part of Dodd-Frank with major help from Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D. Mass), political writer Tim Devaney of the Hill reports that meanwhile the CFPB is focusing on harassing tactics by debt collectors against older Americans.  The CFPB has a recent survey indicating that an increasing problem is retired citizens being hounded for medical debt and for money owed by deceased relatives.

            Senior citizens frequently live on fixed incomes during retirement and still have debt.  The more outrageous tactics include false threats of blocking social security payments and/or veterans’ benefits.  The CFPB expresses concern that the stress caused by these debt collectors actually “aggravate existing medical conditions” in their victims. 

            If the new Congress curtails the regulatory authority of the CFPB, maybe the chattering class will again speak of government action creating “death panels”.

© David G. Hicks, Attorney at Law

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