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Debt Collectors Lobby to Block Tougher State Documentation Rules

A wave of U.S. state laws that require debt collectors to document exactly who owes what has triggered a state-by-state lobbying battle over rules of evidence that the industry says could slice into profitability.

A 2009 law in North Carolina requiring collectors to provide original contracts and imposing penalties for erroneous litigation has slowed the industry’s work in that state. Other states, including Massachusetts, Florida, California and Oregon, have followed North Carolina’s law with similar proposals. Consumer advocates say the laws are necessary to curb abuses.