Editorial Board: License Requirement Needed to Curb Buffalo’s Unsavory Debt Collection Industry | Editorial
The city of Buffalo, as well as Yonkers and New York, all require licensing for collection agencies. An agency that exists within the city limits of Buffalo, or that solicits consumers in Buffalo, must obtain a license through the City’s Department of Permits and Inspection Services.
But that leaves vast swathes of land in the state in which debt collection stores are unencumbered by licensing requirements.
Fanelli also did business with other agencies, selling debts and placing debts for collection. One of those companies, according to James’ office, is Midway Resolution Services LLC, which the state says has defrauded and harassed consumers by using spoofing and impersonating government officials. .
A new debt collection front opened last week. New rules from the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau allow collectors to send messages to consumers on social media. Collection agencies must identify themselves as such, but they can attempt to connect by submitting a friend request.
Collection agencies can also send emails and texts to debtors, but must offer the option to opt out.
The collection industry says rule changes were overdue to keep up with technology. We believe this will remove some of the “social” from social media, which is already inundated with accounts from bots, phishing artists, and cat fishermen, among other forms of fraud.