The California Association of Collectors has started a grassroots effort to get participants in the accounts receivable management industry to share their feelings about a bill being considered in the state legislature that would protect more of consumers’ assets from garnishments and judgments. The CAC is asking those opposed to such measures to send letters to members of California legislature. A draft letter has been created and can be used by clicking here.
The bill, SB 1477, was introduced earlier this year by Sen. Bob Wieckowski. He has introduced a number of bills over the years aimed at increasing consumer protections in the debt collection process, many of which have become law. Those include SB 531, which requires collectors to have proof they have authority to collect debts prior to doing so, and SB 908, which requires collectors in California to be licensed.
SB 1477 would eliminate the allowable wage garnishment for anyone earning less than $36 per hour. In localities where the minimum wage is $17 per hour, the proposed exemption would increase to $41 per hour. The bill has already been approved by the California state Senate and is now being considered by the state Assembly, having been voted out of committee in June.
“If enacted, creditors will be unable to recover outstanding debts using the last option of wage garnishment,” the letter reads. “As a result, access to affordable credit will be further restricted especially for consumers who need it the most. This would be the final breaking point for many small businesses, rental owners, small medial offices, dentists, and those that provide other goods and services.”
The letter references an existing garnishment bill — which was also introduced by Sen. Wieckowski — that is already in effect.