Delegate Cardin Issues Statement on HB417

Delegate Cardin has issued the following statement on House Bill 417:

"Before session began, I was alerted to possible confusion in passive debt collection licensure that may have led to consumers being ripped off by unscrupulous and unlicensed "passive" debt collectors.  As a result, I drafted a  bill requiring all debt collectors to be licensed in the State of Maryland regardless of their status as active or passive debt buyers. My goal was to make sure that consumer debtors are fully protected from the possibility of predatory debt collectors and that any debts they owe are fairly collected. As a consumer rights advocate, I want to see that all debtors are treated civilly and that they are given recourse against unfair debt collection practices.

In consultation with consumer rights advocates, I have decided to withdraw House Bill 417, the bill that requires all debt collectors to be licensed in the State of Maryland. While I continue to believe we should clarify the law on consumer debt collection to require across the board licensure, our consumer rights advocates and partners question whether the legislation is necessary at this time.  As such, I will continue working with consumer rights advocates to seek clarification in the law and determine when it may be appropriate, on behalf of the community of advocates, to legislate this kind of necessary step.

I also want to clarify one point from my oral testimony on House Bill 417. I inadvertently stated that I was awarded legislator of the year by the Maryland Consumer Rights Coalition. More accurately, I was awarded a 100% rating from the Maryland Consumer Rights Coalition.

I look forward to continuing to fight to solve problems and make our system fair and safe for consumers and to protecting consumers’ rights from predatory debt collectors on this and other issues in the future."