An Act To Prevent Abusive Debt Collection Practices
Be it enacted by the People of the State of Maine as follows:
Sec. 1. 32 MRSA §11002, sub-§1-A is enacted to read:
1-A. Collection action. "Collection action" means a lawsuit or arbitration proceeding initiated to collect a debt from a consumer.
Sec. 2. 32 MRSA §11013, sub-§§6 to 8 are enacted to read:
6. Written requirement for payment schedule or settlement agreement. A debt collector may not enter into a payment schedule or settlement agreement regarding a debt unless the payment schedule or settlement agreement is either documented in open court, approved by the court and included in a court order or otherwise reduced to writing. If a payment schedule or settlement agreement is not included in a court order, the debt collector shall provide a written copy of the payment schedule or settlement agreement to the consumer within 10 business days of entering into the payment schedule or settlement agreement and the consumer need not make a payment on the payment schedule or settlement agreement until the written copy has been provided in accordance with this subsection.
7. Acting on time-barred debt. A debt collector may not initiate a collection action when the debt collector knows or reasonably should know that the collection action is barred by the limitations period as set forth in subsection 8.
8. Limitations period for debt collectors. A debt collector may not commence a collection action more than 6 years after the date of the consumer's last activity on the debt. This limitations period applies notwithstanding any other applicable statute of limitations, unless a shorter limitations period is provided under the laws of this State. Notwithstanding any other provision of law, when the applicable limitations period expires, any subsequent payment toward, written or oral affirmation of or other activity on the debt does not revive or extend the limitations period.
Effective 90 days following adjournment of the 127th Legislature, First Regular Session, unless otherwise indicated.