|SAME AS||No Same As|
|Amd §§600 & 602, add §601-b, Gen Bus L|
|Requires debt collectors to inform debtors in each initial communication that written communications are available in large print format.|
|01/09/2019||referred to consumer affairs and protection|
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NEW YORK STATE ASSEMBLY
MEMORANDUM IN SUPPORT OF LEGISLATION
submitted in accordance with Assembly Rule III, Sec 1(f)
BILL NUMBER: A711 SPONSOR: Niou
TITLE OF BILL: An act to amend the general business law, in relation to requiring debt collectors to inform debtors that written communi- cations are available in large print format   PURPOSE OR GENERAL IDEA OF BILL: This bill would require debt collectors to notify debtors of the avail- ability of large print for future notices. For the purposes of this bill, it also defines a "communication, debt, and debt collector."   SUMMARY OF PROVISIONS: Section 1 amends section 600 of the general business law, adding three new subdivision which offer definitions of relevant terms for this bill. Section 2 amends the general business law by adding a new section, 601-a, which required creditors or debt collectors to offer, upon initial communication, large print for any further communications that the debtor may receive. Furthermore, this section defines what large print will qualify as. Section 3 amends subdivision 1 of section 602 of the general business law, to add a misdemeanor penalty that any creditor or debtor who violates the requirements set forth in section 601-a of this bill will be guilty of. This section also determines a fine and the dollar amount of this fine. Section 4 sets the effective date.   DIFFERENCE BETWEEN ORIGINAL AND AMENDED VERSION (IF APPLICABLE):   JUSTIFICATION: This bill would offer some protection to debtors who suffer from vision problems. Often times debt collectors will bombard debtors with informa- tion that can be intimidating and also difficult to understand. This bill at the very least would ensure that debtors who suffer from poor vision would be able to receive notice that the communications they are receiving can be provided in large print. This service will insure that those who are intended to read, understand, and comply with these commu- nications, are better prepared to do so.   PRIOR LEGISLATIVE HISTORY: 2017-2018:S2199(Parker)/A7860(Niou) - referred to consumer protection/ordered third reading cal.555 2015-2016: A1933 - third reading calendar no. 361/S2515 2013-14: A374/S5386 - passed assembly/referred to consumer protection 2011-2012: A5438 - referred to codes   FISCAL IMPLICATIONS FOR STATE AND LOCAL GOVERNMENTS: None.   EFFECTIVE DATE: This act will take effect immediately.
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STATE OF NEW YORK ________________________________________________________________________ 711 2019-2020 Regular Sessions IN ASSEMBLY (Prefiled) January 9, 2019 ___________ Introduced by M. of A. NIOU, WRIGHT -- read once and referred to the Committee on Consumer Affairs and Protection AN ACT to amend the general business law, in relation to requiring debt collectors to inform debtors that written communications are available in large print format The People of the State of New York, represented in Senate and Assem- bly, do enact as follows: 1 Section 1. Section 600 of the general business law is amended by 2 adding three new subdivisions 5, 6 and 7 to read as follows: 3 5. "Communication" shall mean the conveying of information regarding a 4 debt directly or indirectly to any person through any medium. 5 6. "Debt" means any obligation or alleged obligation of a consumer to 6 pay money arising out of a transaction in which the money, property, 7 insurance, or services which are the subject of the transaction are 8 primarily for personal, family, or household purposes, whether or not 9 such obligation has been reduced to judgment. 10 7. "Debt collector" means an individual who, as part of his or her 11 job, regularly collects or attempts to collect debts: (a) owed or due or 12 asserted to be owed or due to another; or (b) obtained by, or assigned 13 to, such person, firm or corporation, that are in default when obtained 14 or acquired by such person, firm or corporation. 15 § 2. The general business law is amended by adding a new section 601-b 16 to read as follows: 17 § 601-b. Large print notices. 1. Each and every principal creditor or 18 debt collector shall, in each initial communication, clearly and 19 conspicuously disclose to the debtor that written communications from 20 the principal creditor or debt collector may be received in a large 21 print format. Upon written request by a debtor, the principal creditor 22 or debt collector must provide any written communication sent to the 23 debtor in the large print format. EXPLANATION--Matter in italics (underscored) is new; matter in brackets [ ] is old law to be omitted. LBD02247-02-9A. 711 2 1 2. For the purposes of this section, large print format shall mean a 2 printed font size of sixteen or larger. 3 § 3. Subdivision 1 of section 602 of the general business law, as 4 added by chapter 753 of the laws of 1973, is amended to read as follows: 5 1. Except as otherwise provided by law, any person who [ shall violate] 6 violates the terms of section six hundred one of this article [ shall be] 7 is guilty of a misdemeanor, and each such violation shall be deemed a 8 separate offense. A violation by any person of section six hundred 9 one-a of this article, if such violation constitutes the first such 10 offense by such person, is punishable by a civil penalty not to exceed 11 two hundred fifty dollars. The second offense and any offense committed 12 thereafter is punishable by a civil penalty not to exceed five hundred 13 dollars. 14 § 4. This act shall take effect on the thirtieth day after it shall 15 have become a law.