From the NY Times:
The Bloomberg administration announced new rules on Monday that are intended to change the way debt collectors operate by making sure they are going after the right people.
The new rules require collection agencies to provide consumers with the equivalent of an “original receipt” of the debt, proving the ownership and including an itemized list of accrued interest and any additional fees, said Jonathan B. Mintz, the city’s consumer affairs commissioner.
Until now, licensed collection agencies equipped with a list of debtors could contact anyone in New York City whose name appeared on a debtor list, regardless of whether that person owed money or not. The new rules, the commissioner said, will force original creditors to keep paperwork documenting a debt, who owes it, how old it is and whether it is still owed under the statutes of limitations. Debt collectors have recently been criticized by some judges for their tactics, and for the lack of documentation supporting their claims.