Al Lawson Brings Back Small Business Debt Collection Protection Bill


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U.S. Rep. Al Lawson, D-Fla., brought back his “Small Business Fair Debt Collection Protection Act” which he has championed in recent years.

The bill extends protections under the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA) to small businesses with loans or obligations that are less than $5 million so that debt collectors have more limits on what they can do to collect these debts.

“Currently, small business loan borrowers do not have the same protections individual consumers have under federal law,” Lawson’s office noted. “Small business owners often place their personal finances as capital to start and expand their businesses. Small business owners typically apply for credit using their personal credit, yet they don’t receive the same protections as individual consumers. By expanding the protections that currently exists for consumers to small business owners, these businesses are more likely to succeed.

“These protections are especially important to women and minority small business owners who are particularly vulnerable to predatory practices because they are less likely than other small business owners to have the capital resources and network supports necessary to protect themselves against abusive collectors,” the congressman’s office added.

Lawson introduced the bill on Tuesday and weighed in on his proposal.

“This bill promotes entrepreneurism and allows small business owners to have equivalent protections as consumers when dealing with debt collectors,” Lawson said. “Small businesses are the backbone of our economy, and many are doing well, but in those occurrences when they fall behind on meeting their obligations, they should be given the same level of grace as consumers.”

Lawson’s bill was sent to the U.S. House Financial Services Committee. So far, there is no companion measure over in the U.S. Senate.

Originally from Jacksonville, Kevin Derby is the editor of Florida Daily and covers politics across Florida. Reach Kevin at kevin.derby@floridadaily.com