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CFPB Update Could Allow Unlimited Texts and Emails to Consumers

CFPB Update Could Allow Unlimited Texts and Emails to Consumers

It's been a big week for the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB). Newly proposed debt collection rules that may update the 1977 Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA) could allow debt collectors to send unlimited texts and emails to consumers. The proposed Regulation F contains detailed, substantive rules that will have a major impact on the collections industry.

Concerns have been raised by privacy advocates, as the expected updates to the FDCPA would allow debt collectors to assault consumers with texts, emails and private messages on social media. Debt collectors rebuttal that they need these additional channels in order to reach millennials and modern consumers who shun telephones.

Other updates to the federal statute include:

  • Creating a limit on call attempts regarding a specific debt to no more than seven per week and a limit on phone conversations (connected calls) to one per week.
  • New requirements for consumer-facing disclosures include an itemization of the debt, a plain-language description about how consumers can respond to the collection attempt and a “tear-off” disclosure that would allow consumers to return it by mail to respond to the collection attempt.

Consumers have 90 days to submit comments to the CFPB before the proposed regulation is officially published in the Federal Register.