Special Interest Debt Settlement Bill in California Fails But Raises Concerns

The Daily News in LA is reporting a story about sponsored bills in the California legislature which are the work of special interests regardless if it is right for consumers. The mentions one area of concern.

Some critics say even those failed bills are a problem because their large numbers distract time and attention from the public good.

Consider a bill sponsored by the debt-settlement industry to let companies charge hefty advance fees to near-bankrupt clients, regardless of whether their efforts to settle debts succeed.

It prompted a warning from legislative staff that it opened the door to greatly increased fees on consumers. The bill died, but only after extensive wrangling between March 2009 and June 2010, with eight committee hearings and dozens of meetings of interested parties, some lasting up to six hours.

Gail Hillebrand of the Consumers Union, a leading opponent of the bill, said the measure cost her about 200 hours over six months.

You can read the full article, here.

Sincerly,
Steve

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