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APNewsBreak: Obama seeks debt collector proposal
APNewsBreak: Dems mum on Obama proposal on debt collectors pursuing money owed government
By The Associated Press

WASHINGTON (AP) ' President Barack Obama wants Congress to make it easier for private debt collectors to call cellphones belonging to consumers who are delinquent on student loans and other billions owed the government.

The administration says the change will provide substantial increases in collections, particularly as an increasing share of households no longer have landlines and rely on cellphones.

Consumer groups are unhappy with the proposal, and some of Obama's Democratic allies in Congress are avoiding comment.

The industry supports the plan, which would allow private debt collectors pursuing money owed the government to automatically dial cellphone numbers rather than call them individually.

Figures show the Education Department is the government's biggest user of private debt collectors. The companies receive up to 17.5 percent of what they recover.

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