February 22, 2022

U.S. Rep. Al Lawson Re-introduces Bill to Protect Small Businesses from Harassment by Debt Collectors

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Today, Rep. Al Lawson (FL-05) re-introduced the Small Business Fair Debt Collection Protection Act which safeguards small businesses from harassment by third-party debt collectors. 

The bill extends protections under the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA) to small businesses with loans or obligations that are less than $2.5 million so that debt collectors have guardrails on what they can do to collect these debts.

“This bill promotes entrepreneurism and allows small business owners to have equivalent protections as consumers when dealing with debt collectors,” Rep. Lawson said. “Small businesses are the backbone of our economy, and many are doing well, but in those occurrences when they fall behind on meeting their obligations, they should be given the same level of grace as consumers.”

Currently, small business loan borrowers do not have the same protections individual consumers have under federal law.

Small business owners often place their personal finances as capital to start and expand their businesses. Small business owners typically apply for credit using their personal credit, yet they don’t receive the same protections as individual consumers. By expanding the protections that currently exists for consumers to small business owners, these businesses are more likely to succeed.

These protections are especially important to women and minority small business owners who are particularly vulnerable to predatory practices because they are less likely than other small business owners to have the capital resources and network supports necessary to protect themselves against abusive collectors.