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Senate stymies McCollum on debt collectors

An assortment of insurance issues and feuds made for a lively Senate Banking and Insurance Committee on Wednesday. And when the dust settled, Attorney General Bill McCollum found one of his top legislative priorities cut from a consumer credit protection bill.

McCollum held a news conference in November to call for more authority to pursue civil claims against abusive debt collectors after the Orlando Sentinel exposed serious cracks in the system designed to protect consumers. He wanted pro se authority to make some tactics an inherent violation of the state's Deceptive and Unfair Trade Practices Act.

But a strike-all amendment offered to SB1702 by Chairman Garrett Richter cut McCollum's request. Richter promised to put it in different, yet-to-be-filed bill but its chances remain unknown.