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A02260 Summary:

COSPNSRBarron, Kim, Dinowitz, Epstein, Simon, Frontus, Richardson, Fall, Sayegh, Weprin, Rosenthal D, Reyes, Solages, Abinanti, Cruz, Otis, Gonzalez-Rojas, Kelles, Zinerman
Amd §§600 & 602, add §601-b, Gen Bus L
Requires debt collectors to inform debtors in each initial communication that written communications are available in large print format.
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A02260 Text:

                STATE OF NEW YORK
                                                                Cal. No. 102
                               2021-2022 Regular Sessions
                   IN ASSEMBLY
                                    January 14, 2021
        Introduced  by  M.  of  A.  NIOU, BARRON, KIM, DINOWITZ, EPSTEIN, SIMON,
          once  and referred to the Committee on Consumer Affairs and Protection
          -- reported and referred to the Committee on Codes  --  reported  from
          committee, advanced to a third reading, amended and ordered reprinted,
          retaining its place on the order of third reading
        AN  ACT to amend the general business law, in relation to requiring debt
          collectors to inform debtors that written communications are available
          in large print format
          The People of the State of New York, represented in Senate and  Assem-
        bly, do enact as follows:
     1    Section  1.  Section  600  of  the  general business law is amended by
     2  adding three new subdivisions 5, 6 and 7 to read as follows:
     3    5. "Communication" shall mean the conveying of information regarding a
     4  debt directly or indirectly to any person through any medium.
     5    6. "Debt" means any obligation or alleged obligation of a consumer  to
     6  pay  money  arising  out  of a transaction in which the money, property,
     7  insurance, or services which are the  subject  of  the  transaction  are
     8  primarily  for  personal,  family, or household purposes, whether or not
     9  such obligation has been reduced to judgment.
    10    7. "Debt collector" means an individual who, as part  of  his  or  her
    11  job, regularly collects or attempts to collect debts: (a) owed or due or
    12  asserted  to  be owed or due to another; or (b) obtained by, or assigned
    13  to, such person, firm or corporation, that are in default when  obtained
    14  or acquired by such person, firm or corporation.
    15    § 2. The general business law is amended by adding a new section 601-b
    16  to read as follows:
    17    §  601-b. Large print notices. 1. Each and every principal creditor or
    18  debt  collector  shall,  in  each  initial  communication,  clearly  and
    19  conspicuously  disclose  to  the  debtor  that each communication can be
         EXPLANATION--Matter in italics (underscored) is new; matter in brackets
                              [ ] is old law to be omitted.

        A. 2260--A                          2
     1  provided in an  alternative,  reasonably  accommodatable,  format.  Such
     2  disclosure shall substantively contain the following:
     3    (a)  A statement that the consumer may request the letter in an alter-
     4  native, reasonably accommodatable format selected by the principal cred-
     5  itor or debt collector such as large print, braille, audio compact disc,
     6  or other means; and
     7    (b) A business phone number that the consumer may call to make such  a
     8  request.
     9    2.  For  the  purposes  of  this section, a principal creditor or debt
    10  collector providing reasonable  accommodation  in  compliance  with  the
    11  Americans  with  Disabilities  Act  of  1990 shall not be deemed to have
    12  violated any provision herein.
    13    § 3. Subdivision 1 of section 602 of  the  general  business  law,  as
    14  added by chapter 753 of the laws of 1973, is amended to read as follows:
    15    1. Except as otherwise provided by law, any person who [shall violate]
    16  violates the terms of section six hundred one of this article [shall be]
    17  is  guilty  of  a misdemeanor, and each such violation shall be deemed a
    18  separate offense.   A violation by any person  of  section  six  hundred
    19  one-a  of  this  article,  if  such violation constitutes the first such
    20  offense by such person, is punishable by a civil penalty not  to  exceed
    21  two  hundred fifty dollars. The second offense and any offense committed
    22  thereafter is punishable by a civil penalty not to exceed  five  hundred
    23  dollars.
    24    §  4.  This  act shall take effect on the thirtieth day after it shall
    25  have become a law.
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