CFPB backs regulations to implement Fair Debt Collection Practices Act

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Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) officials have initiated the process issuing a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking to implement the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA).

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The effort would provide consumers with explicit protections against harassment by debt collectors and straightforward options to address or dispute debts.

“The Bureau is taking the next step in the rulemaking process to ensure we have clear rules of the road where consumers know their rights and debt collectors know their limitations,” CFPB Director Kathleen L. Kraninger said. “As the CFPB moves to modernize the legal regime for debt collection, we are keenly interested in hearing all views so that we can develop a final rule that takes into account the feedback received.”

The CFPB said the notice would set clear limits on the number of calls debt collectors may place to reach consumers weekly and clarify how collectors may communicate lawfully using newer technologies, such as voicemails, emails, and text messages, that have developed since the FDCPA’s passage in 1977. It would also require collectors to provide additional information to consumers to help them identify debts and respond to collection attempts.

Before the 2010 Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act (Dodd-Frank Act), Congress had not delegated to any agency the authority to issue substantive rules to interpret the FDCPA.

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