Lisa Chow is the economics reporter at WNYC. She tries to explore in her stories surprising aspects of New York’s many economies—in plain view or hidden, in neighborhoods or sectors.
With complaints against debt collectors escalating to 830 last year, the city is cracking down on collection agencies.
Jonathan Mintz, commissioner of the city's Consumer Affairs Department, says debt collectors are harassing people about debts they do not owe, because they share a name with a debtor. He says agencies will now be required to show proof of the debt that is owed -- if the consumer requests it.
"With these new rules, we're going to be looking for systematic changes to way these businesses are operating," Mintz says.
Mintz says debt collectors have become more aggressive since the beginning of the recession because they're seeing smaller profit margins.