CCRP626

FDCPA Comments being accepted by CFPB

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Lengthy document to read https://files.consumerfinance.gov/f/documents/cfpb_debt-collection-NPRM.pdf

but if you have suggestions submit to Email: 2019-NPRM-DebtCollection@cfpb.gov. Include Docket No. CFPB-2019-0022 or RIN 3170-AA41 in the subject line of the email. Federal eRulemaking Portal: http://www.regulations.gov. Mail: Comment Intake – Debt Collection, Bureau of Consumer Financial Protection, 1700 G Street, NW, Washington, DC 20552.Hand Delivery / Courier: Comment IntakeDebt Collection, Bureau of Consumer Financial Protection, 1700 G Street, NW, Washington, DC 20552.

ACTION: Proposed rule with request for public comment. SUMMARY: The Bureau of Consumer Financial Protection (Bureau) proposes to amend Regulation F, 12 CFR part 1006, which implements the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA) and currently contains the procedures for State application for exemption from the provisions of the FDCPA. The Bureau’s proposal would amend Regulation F to prescribe Federal rules governing the activities of debt collectors, as that term is defined in the FDCPA. The Bureau’s proposal would, among other things, address communications in connection with debt collection; interpret and apply prohibitions on harassment or abuse, false or misleading representations, and unfair practices in debt collection; and clarify requirements for certain consumer-facing debt collection disclosures.DATES: Comments must be received on or before [INSERT DATE 90 DAYS AFTER DATE OF PUBLICATION IN THE FEDERAL REGISTER].

 

https://files.consumerfinance.gov/f/documents/cfpb_debt-collection-NPRM.pdf

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I'm not reading 538 pages.  What are the Cliff's notes, and how does this directly affect consumers? 

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I'd say if you haven't read it, go ahead and make suggestions on problems you feel are present with the current FDCPA. There's also a lot of recent court cases in there you can do a word search on, such as Santander. It appears they're also trying to update and standardize the FDCPA definitions, instead of relying on court cases with varying results depending on location. Technological changes in the way we communicate since the law was written in the 70s are also addressed.

Their summary-

  • Establish a clear, bright-line rule limiting call attempts and telephone conversations: The proposed rule generally would limit debt collectors to no more than seven attempts by telephone per week to reach a consumer about a specific debt. Once a telephone conversation between the debt collector and consumer takes place, the debt collector must wait at least a week before calling the consumer again.
  • Clarify consumer protection requirements for certain consumer-facing debt collection disclosures: The proposed rule would require debt collectors to send consumers a disclosure with certain information about the debt and related consumer protections. This information would include, for example, an itemization of the debt and plain-language information about how a consumer may respond to a collection attempt, including by disputing the debt. The proposal would require the disclosure to include a “tear-off” that consumers could send back to the debt collector to respond to the collection attempt.
  • Clarify how debt collectors can communicate with consumers: The proposed rule would clarify how debt collectors may lawfully use newer communication technologies, such as voicemails, emails and text messages, to communicate with consumers and would protect consumers who do not wish to receive such communications by, among other things, allowing them to unsubscribe to future communications through these methods. The proposed rule would also clarify how collectors may provide required disclosures electronically. In addition, if consumers want to limit ways debt collectors contact them, for example at a specific telephone number, while they are at work, or during certain hours, the rule clarifies how consumers may easily do so.    
  • Prohibit suits and threats of suit on time-barred debts and require communication before credit reporting: The proposed rule would prohibit a debt collector from suing or threatening to sue a consumer to collect a debt if the debt collector knows or should know that the statute of limitations has expired. The proposed rule also would prohibit a debt collector from furnishing information about a debt to a consumer reporting agency unless the debt collector has communicated about the debt to the consumer, such as by sending the consumer a letter.
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