Last week, Missouri’s attorney general proposed reforms to address collection practices that he believes target low-income and minority residents.

Attorney General Chris Koster said he sent a letter to the Missouri Supreme Court’s Commission on Racial and Ethnic Fairness requesting changes in court rules that he said would help prevent unscrupulous collection practices.

“These proposed regulations would expose these types of debt-collection practices for what they truly are — unfair and deceptive,” Koster said at a news conference in St. Louis.  “The problem needs to be fixed.”

Koster wants to require debt collectors to prove, with sufficient documentation, at the very outset of litigation the ability to seek judgment on the debt.  He further wants to stop the practice of collectors repeatedly asking consumers to appear in court, since frequent court dates can be costly to consumers and make it difficult for them to maintain a job.  He also wants stricter guidelines on what creditors can recover for attorneys’ fees upon prevailing in court.

Troutman Sanders LLP will continue to monitor any regulation or legislation on these issues in the State of Missouri.