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Critic says credit card bill leaves consumers vulnerable

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  • Critic says credit card bill leaves consumers vulnerable

    March 6, 2012

    PHOENIX (CBS5) -
    A bill before the Arizona House of Representatives is intended to be a blueprint for going after people who don't pay their credit-card bills, but some say it protects the industry while hurting Arizona consumers.

    The bill's sponsor, Rep. Jeff Dial, a Chandler Republican, said HB 2664 is supposed to protect credit card users while critics maintain it will allow debt buyers to prey on Arizonans who have had their debt dismissed.

    Dial said the bill was born after he was approached by the Arizona Creditor's Bar Association.

    But Rep. Debbie McCune Davis, D-Phoenix, questions the intent.

    "I think the Arizona Legislature should be looking out for Arizona consumers, not for debt buying companies," McCune Davis said.

    Dial said the bill lays the ground rules for credit card companies to pursue those who don't pay, something already spelled out in federal law.

    "Most states have tightened their laws when it comes to this," McCune Davis said. "Arizona seems to be going the other direction. It makes me wonder who this legislation is looking out for."

    Dial refused to explain the exact purpose of the bill when approached by CBS 5 News.

    "What she is talking about, that is a concern that's out there, but that's not the issue that this bill deals with. This is about credit card agreements," he said.

    Basically, this bill would allow a creditor to show how much someone owes simply by producing a copy of the final bill even, if it's electronic.

    "That's a key term in the bill - it refers to electronic correspondence, which could be a name and an account on a spreadsheet and then they go and create lawsuits from this," McCune Davis said.

    Hayden Scheider said that is exactly what happened after his son's credit card default ended up on Hayden's credit.

    "There was absolutely no proof whatsoever," he said. "They didn't even have the original bill of sale."

    Scheider sued the debt collectors and after a two-year battle, finally won.

    "When did it become 'guilty by association?'" Scheider asked. "That's what this is. You have to prove that someone owes that debt."

    The bill is scheduled to be voted on in the next few days.

    Copyright 2012 CBS 5 (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved.

    http://www.kpho.com/story/17091709/c...ers-vulnerable
    Last edited by AngelinaCat; 03-08-2012, 11:11 AM. Reason: Bring in line with thw specific format required for this board

  • #2
    Dlylan, what is up here? Here is the actual Arizona's HB2664: http://www.azleg.gov/legtext/49leg/2r/bills/hb2664s.pdf
    I don't get it. In the article you posted, Davis is talking about how out of state bill collectors would benefit for the passing of this bill? How? The actual bill relates to Credit for contributions to school tuition. How is giving a credit for contributions related? Is this some kind of bogus news article you have linked us to? What would be the purpose?

    Comment


    • #3
      Rep McCune Davis' blog on the bill: http://www.azhousedemocrats.com/2012...50993689771533
      Last edited by LadyInTheRed; 03-07-2012, 04:50 PM.

      Comment


      • #4
        mlsj209, the bill you are looking at is from 2010. The 2012 HB2664 can be read at: http://www.mygov365.com/legislation/.../tab/versions/
        LadyInTheRed is in the black!
        Filed Chap 13 April 2010. Discharged May 2015.
        $143,000 in debt discharged for $36,500, including attorneys fees. Money well spent!

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by LadyInTheRed View Post
          mlsj209, the bill you are looking at is from 2010. The 2012 HB2664 can be read at: http://www.mygov365.com/legislation/.../tab/versions/
          thanks, I think that explains it.

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by mlsj2009 View Post
            thanks, I think that explains it.
            Nope. I went back to research Googling HB2664 for 2010, and it still come up that it deals with getting Individual Scholarship Tax Credit Reform. Here is a fact sheet put out by the Center for Arizona Policy: http://www.azpolicy.org/files/14713/...t%20Reform.pdf
            So, I am still confused and not convinced that HB2664 deals with how bill collectors can win lawsuits without having to validate their claims. That makes no sense to me at all. It sounds like something out of a fascist nightmare for the people of Arizona, if true. Or, is this some kind of scare tactic perpetuated by someone to scare voters?
            I suppose their must be some basis for the post, which would be sad if true in my opinion, but I just can't seem to find it.

            Comment


            • #7
              The site you sent me to, LadyintheRed, was http://www.mygov365.com/legislation/.../tab/versions/
              "This site is a new political site that might have ever reason in the world to misrepresent the news for political purposes. This is from their website:
              We are not life-long politicians. We are not celebrities. We are not Beltway boys or girls. We are not political pundits.

              We are citizens."

              Sounds to me like these guys are citizens with an agenda. Trustworthy? hmmmmm who knows?

              MyGov365 is comprised of a diverse mix of everyday citizens with one common passion: to use innovative technology to bridge the communications gaps between citizens, government, organizations and political professionals.

              Comment


              • #8
                "MyGov365 is comprised of a diverse mix of everyday citizens with one common passion: to use innovative technology to bridge the communications gaps between citizens, government, organizations and political professionals."
                Their blurb. It is so nice they are going to bridge a gap between everyday citizens with common passion. They just simply tell us what the government says. Interesting. Best check out every source today!

                Comment


                • #9
                  Here is a link to the actual bill, which unfortunately has already passed the house and is now on to the senate...

                  http://www.azleg.gov//FormatDocument...Session_ID=107

                  Here is the bad part of the law... it creates a presumption in favor of the plaintiff...

                  44-7804. Establishment of amount owed on a credit card account

                  A. A creditor may establish a presumption of the amount of the debt that is owed on a credit card account through a copy of the issuer's final billing statement or by the electronic data that is maintained by the issuer and that represents the amount owed.

                  B. The cardholder may challenge the presumption with any credible evidence as allowed by law. "




                  ... And the presumption can be based upon flimsy evidence such as a spreadsheet with the account number, the stated balance, etc. Some of you may have already received the flimsy evidence from junk debt buyers in response to your letters disputing the validity of the debt where they merely send back a letter with one small paragraph stating the account number, the date of purchase, and the balance owing at the time of purchase. That's all they would have to do get this presumption in their favor, and it would be up to the debtor to prove that they did not owe the debt.

                  So much for the general idea of "innocent until proven guilty."

                  Arizona has become a very creditor friendly state.

                  If this law passes, it would not make any sense to fight against a lawsuit. Just get ready and file bankruptcy.
                  The world's simplest C & D Letter:
                  "I demand that you cease and desist from any communication with me."
                  Notice that I never actually mention or acknowledge the debt in my letter.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Thanks, GoingDown. I could not find that part of the Bill in my search. Now it starts to make sense. Sad writing of legal content making interpretation of law a nightmare, is my prediction.
                    Certainly, electronic data can be manipulated, and the law appears to certainly favor the creditor because it leaves proof to validate in the hands of the debtor, contrary to federal law. We all know debtors don't pay debt most of the time because they are not in any type of financial condition to do so. So, adding the burden of proof to the debtor is not fair, exactly what the Arizona Rep. said to begin with. Federal law trumps state law, so, I am sure this is eventually destined to be struck down by higher courts.
                    Still a sad thing for the debtors who have to defend themselves today, though. It sounds like the lobbyist and ultra conservative politicians won another one for Big Business!



                    Originally posted by GoingDown View Post
                    Here is a link to the actual bill, which unfortunately has already passed the house and is now on to the senate...

                    http://www.azleg.gov//FormatDocument...Session_ID=107

                    Here is the bad part of the law... it creates a presumption in favor of the plaintiff...

                    44-7804. Establishment of amount owed on a credit card account

                    A. A creditor may establish a presumption of the amount of the debt that is owed on a credit card account through a copy of the issuer's final billing statement or by the electronic data that is maintained by the issuer and that represents the amount owed.

                    B. The cardholder may challenge the presumption with any credible evidence as allowed by law. "




                    ... And the presumption can be based upon flimsy evidence such as a spreadsheet with the account number, the stated balance, etc. Some of you may have already received the flimsy evidence from junk debt buyers in response to your letters disputing the validity of the debt where they merely send back a letter with one small paragraph stating the account number, the date of purchase, and the balance owing at the time of purchase. That's all they would have to do get this presumption in their favor, and it would be up to the debtor to prove that they did not owe the debt.

                    So much for the general idea of "innocent until proven guilty."

                    Arizona has become a very creditor friendly state.

                    If this law passes, it would not make any sense to fight against a lawsuit. Just get ready and file bankruptcy.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      After having visited the official Government website, GoingDown, this is the result of trying to find revising title 44 by adding Chapter 35: http://www.azleg.gov/SearchResults.a...f+Title+44%3A+

                      Any ideas how to Google this to come up with the Government site sharing with me the link coinciding with this information? Still seems fishy to me.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by mlsj2009 View Post
                        After having visited the official Government website, GoingDown, this is the result of trying to find revising title 44 by adding Chapter 35: http://www.azleg.gov/SearchResults.a...f+Title+44%3A+

                        Any ideas how to Google this to come up with the Government site sharing with me the link coinciding with this information? Still seems fishy to me.
                        You could start on the AZ state legislature home page: http://www.azleg.gov/ Then click on "bills" and find it from there. Or if finding it on Google is what makes it real, Google "arizona hb 264 2012" and you'll find a link to the law with the same text as the first link I posted.
                        LadyInTheRed is in the black!
                        Filed Chap 13 April 2010. Discharged May 2015.
                        $143,000 in debt discharged for $36,500, including attorneys fees. Money well spent!

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          IMO, this is a lot of hype over nothing.

                          1. Here’s the link to the proposed bill:

                          http://www.azleg.gov/legtext/50leg/2r/bills/hb2664p.pdf

                          and a link to the House version:

                          http://www.azleg.gov/legtext/50leg/2r/bills/hb2664h.pdf


                          2. In response to this comment:

                          A. A creditor may establish a presumption of the amount of the debt that is owed on a credit card account through a copy of the issuer's final billing statement or by the electronic data that is maintained by the issuer and that represents the amount owed.
                          B. The cardholder may challenge the presumption with any credible evidence as allowed by law.

                          ... And the presumption can be based upon flimsy evidence such as a spreadsheet.
                          Excuse me but after one establishes foundation that such records are kept in the “ordinary course of business” those records are admissible and are typically prima facie evidence of what is contained therein. It is usually up to the other party to impeach the credibility of such records. This is done by taking the testimony of the custodian of records. This is "litigation 101".

                          There appears to be nothing in this bill that is not already in use.

                          Des.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by LadyInTheRed View Post
                            You could start on the AZ state legislature home page: http://www.azleg.gov/ Then click on "bills" and find it from there. Or if finding it on Google is what makes it real, Google "arizona hb 264 2012" and you'll find a link to the law with the same text as the first link I posted.

                            Thank you. I did exactly what you said the other day and the gov search engine sent me to another subject with the same bill number, but this morning, it did work. In fact, I went to "the argument before voting" video and it is pretty conclusive that the bill 2664 is about the credit card agreements as originally posted. I do not know why the Government search engine sent me to the obviously other portion or attached part of the bill not related. This is a mystery to me I may not understand. Thanks again for bearing with me. Checking out sources is an important part of my job. When news items pop up like this, I try to verify what the presenter is presenting is true.
                            Here is my verification (FYI and for explanation on why I asked?) Again, thanks.

                            http://azleg.granicus.com/MediaPlaye...&clip_id=10487

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by despritfreya View Post
                              IMO, this is a lot of hype over nothing.
                              Des, on this bankruptcy forum, you are the one I hold the highest in regards to giving good advice. I assume you are a lawyer, and I always enjoy hearing your answers. Seems you, like many on here, have a genuine interest in helping those who are down and out with their finances. Can happen to anyone, really.
                              I write content and news for a living. When I get privy to a news story someone else has broken and is then posted by a third party, if I were to blog or write about this news, I would certainly research the sources to see if this were true. Verifying sources is hardly "hype" to me. I, like you, care enough about those that are bankrupt that they should get relatively true and good information, not that they weren't already.
                              I don't think I accused anyone of false information, but I simply could not get HB2664 to match on my computer from the Government website what was being posted here. Eventually, this morning, through LadyinTheRed's help, I did get the site and the actual video of the bill's presentation. Why one HB2664 is about the credit card agreements and the other about The Individual Scholarship Tax Credit Reform, I don't really understand. I suppose it could be part of the same bill or another one with the same number, but it seemed fishy to me that it occurred.
                              Again, thank you for all you contribute to this website. I will keep reading, learning, and continuing to verify my sources so I can do a better job. I just hope I don't have too many more like this one. lol

                              Comment

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