COVID-19 Leads N.Y. to Scrap Collector Licensing: Report

It appears as though a proposal in New York that would require debt collectors to be licensed will not be moving forward, likely due to the state’s efforts to combat the spread of the coronavirus.

A published report revealed that the budget that was approved by both houses of the New York State legislature for the state’s Department of Financial Services did not include any mention or reference of the proposal that Governor Andrew Cuomo had initiated in December. A copy of the budget for the Department of Financial Services can be accessed by clicking here.

Gov. Cuomo had announced a plan in December that would require debt collectors to be licensed. As well, the state’s Department of Financial Services would be empowered with more authority to regulate, investigate, and take action against debt collectors.

“We license barbers, home inspectors and used car dealers in New York – so it makes no sense that we don’t have the authority to license an industry that can cause families financial ruin,” Gov. Cuomo said at the time. “As this industry grows and increasingly deploys abusive and deceptive practices to prey on consumers, this proposal would give the state new tools to regulate debt collectors – stopping unscrupulous practices and strengthening our consumer protection laws.”

New York is dealing with more COVID-19 cases than any other state in the country. As of yesterday, nearly one-third of the 245,175 confirmed cases in the United States were in New York. Nearly 2,000 people have died in New York as a result of contracting coronavirus. The 84,000 confirmed cases in New York is three times higher than the number of cases in New Jersey, the state with the second-most confirmed cases.

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