ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) _ New York financial regulators want to curb abuse by debt collectors by requiring them to verify all disputed claims, advise consumers when the statute of limitations has expired on debts and confirm settlement agreements in writing.
The Department of Financial Services' proposed regulations would also authorize consumers to choose email for communications from collectors to reduce harassing phone calls and keep better records of interactions.
Department Superintendent Ben Lawsky says Thursday collectors often use ``abusive scare tactics'' with struggling families and ``squeeze outsize profits'' from them.
Regulators say New Yorkers have filed more than 13,000 complaints about collection practices in the past 18 months and that problems are especially frequent from companies buying defaulted debts for pennies on the dollar.
Complaints include harassing calls, contacting incorrect people and seeking incorrect amounts.