From the office of Congressman Anthony Brindisi:
Congressman Anthony Brindisi stood up for servicemembers against harmful debt collection practices. Brindisi supported the Fair Debt Collection Practices for Servicemembers Act. The legislation, supported by Democrats and Republicans, addresses harmful debt collection practices that target members of the military.
The legislation would prevent debt collectors from, among other things, attempting to sabotage a servicemember by contacting a member of their chain of command.
“Our brave servicemembers fight to protect our freedoms,” Brindisi said. “They should not have to fight abusive debt collectors. This bipartisan legislation shows that we will not stand idly by when bad actors target our men and women in uniform.”
Nearly forty percent of complaints filed by service members with the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) are about debt collection, and service members are more likely to face debt collection challenges than all other consumers.
According to the CFPB, servicemembers are subject to a variety of unfair debt collection practices:
- Contacting the service member’s chain of command in order to extract payment;
- Including a clause in the loan contract that the service member must grant the debt collector the authority to contact the chain of command;
- Threatening punishment through the Uniform Code of Military Justice, threatening to have the service member’s rank reduced, or threatening to have security clearances revoked.
The legislation passed the House. Brindisi, a champion for consumers, recently called on the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau to investigate Spectrum’s shady debt collection practices.