Unfair debt collection practices, particularly those of debt buyers, undermine individuals' financial security, especially among low-income households and households of color. When people are pursued or sued for debt they do not owe, these unfair collection attempts not only threaten the unnecessary extraction of money from individuals, but also hinder opportunities to build assets for the future. Towards this end, strong, effective rules to prevent unfair practices can help keep hard earned wages in consumers’ pockets and build pathways to financial security.

In this comment regarding the Missouri Attorney General’s proposed rules to address unfair debt collection practices, the Center for Responsible Lending submits background on debt buying abuses, highlights the disproportionate impact on communities of color, and provides three recommendations to: prevent the unfair collection of zombie debts, prevent additional unfair collection activities, and prevent the unfair accrual of interest above the usury limit.