CBS Evening News for Sunday, Feb 05, 1978
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(Studio) Amt. of national use of credit buying described. Naming of this week as National Pay Your Bills Wk. by bill collection organization noted. New federal law about to go into effect, with regard to bill collection methods mentioned.
REPORTER: Morton Dean
(DC) Report on bill collecting methods and legalities involved. Case cited of college student Eric Steinberg, who must wear leg brace due to childhood Polio and has had trouble Paying for newest brace. [STEINBERG - can do nothing outside home without brace. Describes threat of bill collector.] [Queens Legal Service, Incorporated, spokesperson Karen BERGER - cites types of threats bill collectors make.] Berger's information to Steinberg that collector can't legally carry out threat noted. Case of John and Barbara Liguori cited. [LIGUORI - describes harassment by bill collectors.] Death of Larry Ewell from heart attack, in Saint Albin's, VT, hospital, and his widow's lawsuit against bill collectors, charging they caused attack by hounding him, outlined; background of case given. [Pauline EWELL - describes collectors' threats to husband and his reaction in having heart attack.] Outcome of Ewell's lawsuit noted. [Representative Frank ANNUNZIO - says Americans who owe money should be treated with respect. Knows his committee has been accused of protecting deadbeats, but says most people want to pay debts, but for some reason fall behind.] Details of legislature re: collection, sponsored by Annunzio, that takes effect in March given. [Bill COLLECTOR - talks to debtor about sending in payment.] Legis. sponsors' statement that most collection agencies in United States are ethical and legitimate cited. [American Collectors Association spokesperson Mike GOLDBERG - says agencies aren't monsters and legislature has in it what reputable collection agencies already do.] Seminars being held to instruct collectors on new law noted. [MAN - says new law prohibits subterfuge.] Further details of legislature listed.
REPORTER: Joan Schneider
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