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South Carolina ranks among the best states for consumer protections

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(The Center Square) — South Carolina ranked above average for its consumer protection laws.

A new National Consumer Law Center report gave South Carolina an “A” grade in two of the five categories studied and a “B” in a third category. The Palmetto state received a “D” in two others.

Overall, the state received a “B,” meaning it has “strong protections” in most categories. It was one of 15 states nationwide to receive a “B;” no states received an “A.”

According to the report, “No Fresh Start 2023: Will States Let Debt Collectors Push Families Into Poverty as Economic Uncertainty Looms?,” South Carolina received an “A” for its protection of wages and is one of four states that ban wage seizure entirely for typical consumer debts. It ranked alongside North Carolina, Pennsylvania and Texas.

“Laws in Alabama, Arizona, California, Indiana, Maine, Minnesota, Nebraska, New York, Ohio, South Carolina, and Utah also provide for automatic inflation adjustments,” the report noted. “It is surprising that more states have not adopted this simple, yet fair and effective approach.”

The report found neighboring Georgia has “extremely weak protections” in four of the five categories studied and “weak protections” in the fifth, joining Kentucky, Michigan, New Jersey, and Utah in receiving “F” grades. Pennsylvania and Wyoming received similarly low grades of “D.”

“Without exemption laws, seizures by debt collectors drain away the wages and resources that families need,” Carolyn Carter, deputy director at the National Consumer Law Center and co-author of the report, said in a release. “Reform of exemption laws not only protect families from destitution but can also act as an economic stimulus tool that steers money into state and local communities.”

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