Arkansas skewered on debt collector legislation | Arkansas Blog

Arkansas skewered on debt collector legislation

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YUK YUK: As Rep. John Vines passed an anti-consumer credit collection bill, he yukked about his relationship to the banking industry through his wife.
  • YUK YUK: As Rep. John Vines passed an anti-consumer credit collection bill, he yukked about his relationship to the banking industry through his wife.
John Oliver's "Last Week Tonight" ripped
Arkansas legislation last night — a 2013 bill by Rep. John Vines (D-Hot Springs) to make it easier for debt collection agencies to sue for purchased debt

The issue is sometimes called zombie debt — debt that was thought to be dead, but coming back to harass consumers. The legislative creates a legal presumption in favor of the company buying debt for collection.

Debt collection practices get an unflattering inspection by Oliver. The Arkansas angle appears in the video above at the 12-minute mark. It was already easy to sue and win by default. Rather than tightening laws to protect consumers, Arkansas was one of four states to make life easier for debt collectors, Oliver reported.

Oliver includes a clip of Vines defending his legislation in a way that you might say was incomplete. Or maybe dishonest. Vines, whose wife is a banker, said he didn't think it would have any impact on consumers. Just a little ol' technical correction. Jokes in the committee ensued about Vines' relationship to the banking industry. Yuk yuk. He always takes care of bankers, Vines said. And then the bill passed 83-0.

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