2019 Draft Debt Collection Letter
In May of this year, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) released a set of proposed rules aimed at regulating the third-party debt collection market. While sensible regulations that can put a stop to the most predatory practices that debt collectors engage in are long-awaited and much needed, the Bureau's proposal would leave consumers vulnerable to harassment and questionable tactics this industry has long employed. For example, the proposal places no limits on the number of times a collector can attempt to contact a consumer by electronic means like text message or email and allows seven attempts each week by phone per debt rather than per consumer.
In response to this and other approaches that would do little to curb predatory practices within this industry, Prosperity Now wrote a comment letter outlining ways to make the rule more effective.
Major recommendations in the letter include:
- Limiting the number of times a collector can attempt to contact a consumer by phone about debt to three times a week per consumer
- Prohibiting electronic communications such as emails or text messages unless a consumer expressly consents to receive them
- Removing proposals that would allow attorneys to file lawsuits to collect on debts without consulting original account-level documentation
- Barring the collection of expired debts
- Requiring written notification of important disclosures about debts
Read Prosperity Now's comment letter to learn more about these recommendations and why the Bureau's proposal, as written, would leave the more than 71 million adults with debts in collections in harms way.