Pending the D.C. Mayor's signature, Washington D.C. is expected to enact a new law - B23-0733 - prohibiting debt collectors from attempting to collect debts from District of Columbia residents through at least early August.

The new law, passed by the D.C. Council yesterday and supported by the D.C. Mayor who is expected to sign the new law immediately, prohibits debt collectors from making outbound collection attempts by any written or electronic means, including mail, telephone, e-mail or text message. However, a debt collector may communicate with a debtor if the communication is in response to a request made by the debtor. The new law also prohibits debt collectors and creditors from repossessing vehicles, initiating, threatening or filing new collection lawsuits and garnishments, and using other statutory remedies to enforce existing judgments.

The restrictions on outbound collection attempts do not apply to original creditors collecting or attempting to collect their own debt, or a debt owed on a loan secured by a mortgage on real property.

The restrictions remain in effect until 60 days after the termination of the public health emergency, which the D.C. Mayor has extended until at least June 8, 2020.

Similar restrictions on debt collection have been enacted in Nevada and Massachusetts.

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