A source close to Sen. Al Franken's (D-Minn.) office has confirmed that Sen. George LeMieux (R-Fla.) will co-sponsor Franken's upcoming End Debt Collector Abuse Act.

Prompted by a series of Star Tribune articles about caustic and relentless debt collectors who threaten, insult and terrorize American borrowers -- some of whom are completely innocent -- Franken's act, he says, "is about companies that target and harass consumers without just cause."

Among other things, the End Debt Collector Abuse Act would prohibit collectors from seeking arrest warrants to collect debts. It would also toughen already existing penalties against collectors who use illegal methods, like slurs and threats of violence, to collect money.

"This bill will protect consumers, keep debt collectors honest and stop the misuse of law-enforcement resources for private profit," Franken told reporters.

Yesterday, Franken announced his plans to introduce the bill later this week, but LeMieux, whose state has been hit especially hard by the mortgage crisis, had not yet agreed to a co-sponsorship.

--Cord Jefferson is a staff writer at The Root. Follow him on Twitter.