On April 3, 2018, Oregon's governor signed S.B. 1553 which makes an important clarification to the debt buyer law passed last year. The amendment confirms that the debt validation requirement only applies to debt buyers and debt collectors collecting purchased debt; the validation requirement does not apply to collectors servicing debt on behalf of the original/pre-default creditor.
The original debt buyer law, which became effective January 1, 2018, requires that within 30 days of a consumer's request that debt buyers and debt collectors provide Oregon consumers documents proving the existence and assignment of the debt and the itemized account balance. The consumer may make the request at any time, and the request may be verbal or written.
The amendment is effective now. This new provision applies to debt collectors "if the debt collector is a debt buyer, or is acting on a debt buyer's behalf, and collects or attempts to collect purchased debt." O.R.S. § 646.639(2)(t).
Upon request, debt buyers and collectors of purchased debt must provide "business records . . . that establish the nature and amount of the debt." O.R.S. § 646.639(4)(b). This includes:
- The original creditor's name, written as the original creditor used the name in dealings with the debtor;
- The name and address of the debtor;
- The name, address and telephone number of the person that owns the debt and a statement as to whether the person is a debt buyer;
- The last four digits of the original creditor's account number for the debt, if the original creditor's account number for the debt had four or more digits;
- A detailed and itemized statement of: - The amount the debtor last paid on the debt, if the debtor made a payment, and the date of the payment;
- The amount and date of the debtor's last payment on the debt before the debtor defaulted or before the debt became charged-off debt;
- The balance due on the debt on the date on which the debt became charged-off debt;
- The amount and rate of interest, any fees and any charges that the original creditor imposed, if the debt buyer or debt collector knows the amount, rate, fee or charge;
- The amount and rate of interest, any fees and any charges that the debt buyer or any previous owner of the debt imposed, if the debt buyer or debt collector knows the amount, rate, fee or charge;
- The attorney fees the debt buyer or debt collector seeks, if the debt buyer or debt collector expects to recover attorney fees; and
- Any other fee, cost or charge the debt buyer seeks to recover;
- Evidence that the debt buyer and only the debt buyer owns the debt;
- The date on which the debt buyer purchased the debt; and
- A copy of the agreement between the original creditor and the debtor that is either:
- The contract or other writing the debtor signed that created and is evidence of the original debt; or
- A copy of the most recent monthly statement that shows a purchase transaction or balance transfer or the debtor's last payment, if the debtor made a payment, if the debt is a credit card debt or other debt for which a contract or other writing that is evidence of the debt does not exist[.]"
You can read a full copy of the bill by clicking here.
Debt collectors operating in Oregon should contact their compliance and operations teams to ensure proper implementation. We are always available to help.