Marcy Bowers is Director of the Statewide Poverty Action Network.
After building on Poverty Action’s successes passing landmark consumer protection bills, we are mobilizing our network to support HB 1069, which will help regulate an alarming new predatory industry called “Zombie Debt.”
Here’s a quick look at what we’re fighting against:
The Zombie Debt industry is largely unregulated and profits off deceptive practices that intimidate people into paying on old debt or “debt” that they might not even owe. Like a zombie coming back from the dead, old debt comes back to haunt consumers. We urgently need your help to pass this bill which regulates Zombie Debt and the predatory practices of debt buyers.
Check out this video to see how you can help stop Zombie Debt:
- Tell your lawmakers to support HB 1069!
- Call the Washington State Legislative Hotline at 1.800.562.6000 and tell your elected representatives to SUPPORT HB 1069.
- Got a Zombie Debt story to tell? Contact the Statewide Poverty Action Network at firstname.lastname@example.org.
More on the ghoulishness of Zombie Debt:
Zombie Debt occurs when companies sell their old debts for pennies on the dollar to third-party debt buyers. Debt buyers then try to collect on old debts or debts that have already been paid (and sometimes never even owed in the first place). Many times, the information is out of date, has already been paid in full, or is assigned to the wrong person entirely.
Everyone is at risk to be targeted by debt buyers’ search for profit by using the courts and financial system against the public. Debt buying is one of the nation’s fastest growing industries. It is largely financed by Wall Street and is exploiting the lack of industry regulation to extract billions of dollars from people all over the US.
Debt buyers are flooding our court systems:
Debt buyers are increasingly taking advantage of state courts by filing lawsuits to collect on the debt they purchase. Unfortunately, these predatory debt buyers are exploiting our courts by using default judgments against Washingtonians when they might not even owe the debt. Debt buyers don’t even know if they have the right person, the right amount, or any real evidence, but they are able to obtain judgments due to antiquated state laws that don’t protect people from deceptive financial industries.
Low- and moderate-income consumers are disproportionately affected:
One study found that 95% of people with default judgments entered against them lived in low- and moderate-income communities. At a time when struggling families need every penny to survive, Zombie Debt is threatening Washingtonians’ well-being and economic security.
TAKE ACTION: WE NEED YOU!
- Send your legislators this message: “Washington needs to regulate debt buyers and protect consumers from unfair debt practices. SUPPORT HB 1069.”
- Have experience with debt buyers attempting to collect on debt you don’t owe or never incurred? Have you paid high fees to a debt settlement company only to end up in a worse situation than when you started? Give us a call to share your story! Call 1.866.789.7726 or email email@example.com.