N.J. moves to shield ID theft victims from debt collectors

A measure awaiting final legislative approval in the New Jersey Senate would prevent some identity them victims from being hassled by debt collectors.

Some of his constituents who did nothing wrong were repeatedly hounded by debt collectors after their stolen identities were used to make purchases, said Sen. Jeff Van Drew, D-Atlantic.

“Now if you have to deal with that debt collector once or twice that’s understandable but it was on and on, and they were continually pestered every day, phone calls at work, phone calls at home, letters in the mail literally running their lives,” he said. “Now that’s wrong.”

Identity theft victims would have to send a written notice to a debt collector to trigger the protections of the bill that’s already been passed by the state Assembly.

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It requires those companies to cease collection efforts until it’s determined whether the consumer is responsible for the debt. If the companies don’t stop, they could face fines up to a thousand dollars for each violation.

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