Washington, DC — Tuesday, Congressman Jake Auchincloss (D, MA-04) marked 100 days in Congress by introducing his first piece of legislation, The Non-Judicial Foreclosure Debt Collection Clarification Act. The bill will be assigned to the Committee on Financial Services, of which Auchincloss is a member.
I just dropped my first bill into the hopper on my 100th day in Congress.
This bill will make sure borrowers are treated with dignity and protected from unwanted and unnecessary harassment.
We can’t rebuild an economy that works for everyone without protecting consumers. pic.twitter.com/vgo67Qh55g
— Rep. Jake Auchincloss (@RepAuchincloss) April 13, 2021
This bill would reportedly ensure that non-judicial foreclosure actions carried out by third parties are included in the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act, which restricts the ways that collectors can contact debtors, as well as the time of day and number of times that contact can be made. Massachusetts is a non-judicial state, and Greater Boston Legal Services has been advocating for a move to a judicial foreclosure process. In the absence of the Commonwealth moving to a judicial foreclosure process, Auchincloss’ bill would help protect debtors from harassment by third parties. The Non-Judicial Foreclosure Debt Collection Clarification Act would provide uniform protection for homeowners regardless of the type of foreclosure process their state has.
“Debt collectors should not have the right to endlessly harass borrowers,” said Auchincloss. “By creating a uniform foreclosure process, Congress will be protecting homeowners and eliminating third-party harassment. We can’t rebuild an economy that works for everyone without protecting consumers. Making sure borrowers are treated with dignity and protected from unwanted and unnecessary harassment is an important step to ensuring economic fairness moving forward.”
The bill is being endorsed by the National Consumer Law Center, Americans for Financial Reform, and the Consumer Federation of America.
“Today, Congressman Auchincloss’ introduced important legislation to close an unintended gap in the Fair Debt Collections Practices Act (FDCPA), requiring that non-judicial foreclosures are covered under the FDCPA,” said Rachel Gittleman, Consumer Federation of America’s Financial Services Outreach Manager. “Consumers facing foreclosures should be protected from abusive debt collection tactics, whether or not that foreclosure occurs in court, and we appreciate the Congressman’s work towards protecting these consumers.”