A group of U.S. Senators recently called on Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) Director Kathy Kraninger to reverse a proposed rule that would allow debt collection companies to send unlimited texts and e-mails to consumers.
Abusive and threatening debt collection tactics led to some 82,000 consumer complaints to the CFPB and about 458,000 to the Federal Trade Commission in 2018.
“By allowing debt collectors to send consumers unlimited text messages and e-mails without first receiving affirmative consent for such a method of communication, the proposed rule permits collectors to overwhelm consumers with intrusive communications,” the senators wrote in a letter to Kraninger. “Furthermore, since the CFPB is not requiring collectors to use free-to-end-user text messaging, the CFPB is placing the cost burden of these text messages on the consumer.”
The senators also objected to the stipulation that would allow a debt collector to call a consumer seven times a week per debt.
“For a consumer with six medical debts, the proposed rule means that the consumer could receive up to 42 calls per week,” the senators wrote. “Given the number of American families harmed by abusive debt collection practices, we request that you reconsider this rulemaking and pursue more meaningful reforms that put consumers, not the debt collection industry, first.”
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