New York City has some of the strongest debt collection laws and regulations to protect its residents from harmful practices. Residents receive some additional protections that are not provided by federal and state debt collection laws.
- Debt collectors MUST be licensed by the NYC Department of Consumer Affairs in order to collect debt. You can look up the debt collector’s status by calling 311. You can report them to the NYC Department of Consumer Affairs if they are not licensed.
- Debt collectors MUST provide you with specific information when you ask them to “verify” or “to confirm” that the debt is valid.
- When you ask debt collectors to verify your debt, they MUST provide
Proof of your agreement to pay the original creditor (for example, a copy of a contract, bill, or statement)
The final account statement issued by the original creditor;
A breakdown of the total amount due, showing principal, interest, and other charges; and,
For all other charges, the date of and basis for each charge.
- After you have requested the debt collector to verify your debt, it MUST stop all debt collection activities until the information described above are is provided. If the debt collector does not send all of this information, it CANNOT attempt to collect the debt or contact you about the debt. In addition, it CANNOT sue you on the debt.
- Debt collectors CANNOT call you more than twice a week about a debt that they are trying to collect from you.
- 6. If you do speak with the debt collector and you decide to enter into any settlement agreement or payment plan, they MUST provide in writing a letter or document confirming the settlement agreement or plan within five (5) business days.