Consumer Alert: The new debt collection law provides new consumer protections

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ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WHEC) – Got debt? A new law that goes into effect next month will protect you from predatory collectors.

On April 7th, the statute of limitations on your debt is reduced from six years to three years. That means that after three years, collectors can’t take you to court to collect an old debt. They can’t threaten to sue you either. And that keeps criminal collectors from hounding you with old debt they you may not even owe.

In a press release issued on Tuesday, New York Attorney General Letitia James praised the passage of the Consumer Credit Fairness Act of 2021. She pointed to the case of two prominent Buffalo businessmen as evidence of the need for this law.

In 2019, Andrew Shaevel and Jon Purizhansky as well as their company, Hylan Asset Management, LLC, agreed to pay a judgement of more than $676,575 for bilking millions from consumers. In a court filing the NY Attorney General as well as the Federal Trade Commission said the two targeted consumers by hounding them for repayment of fake debts.

That’s right. Consumers paid them millions for debt they didn’t even owe. The law going into effect next month would protect consumers from being sued for debt that’s more than three years old.

"And the biggest thing about that,” said Karyn Rando of the Consumer Credit Counseling service of Rochester. “If somebody makes payment on a debt, let’s say it’s getting really close to that three year mark and it’s two and a half years in, and they make a payment on this debt, it’s not going to restart that clock again so they now have an additional three more years to collect [sue the consumer] on that debt. That’s not going to happen. That’s a great protection for consumers."