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May 26, 2021

CFPB Must Fix Abusive Debt Collection Rules

Better Markets filed a comment letter urging the CFPB to revisit two “heartless” and, frankly, despicable debt collection rules before they go into effect later this year.

Earlier this month, Better Markets responded to a request for comment on a proposal to delay the effective date of two debt collection rules for 60 days. We strongly supported the delay because the rules, as written, would expose vulnerable consumers to abusive debt collectors.

The rules were introduced by President Trump’s former Director Kathleen Kraninger, who maintained an anti-consumer, predator-friendly stance at the CFPB during her time at the regulator. Better Markets was a leading voice in calling attention to the agency’s most anti-consumer actions, including Dennis’ op-ed in The Hill on the predatory lending rule that enabled if not encouraged trapping poor people in a cycle of debt that they could never get out of – by design.

Why it matters? The rules, if they go into effect as scheduled in November 2021, will make it easier for debt collectors to harass vulnerable consumers with repeated phone calls and will facilitate the collection of “time-barred” debt.  That’s why this rule is so despicable: no debt collector should be allowed to lure if not trick or deceive someone into reviving and forcing the repayment of a debt that by law is not collectable.  No one properly and fully informed of the law would do so.  This rule is just a license for debt collectors to prey on poor people.

What we said. Now that the CFPB is under new leadership, it has an opportunity to revisit and revise the debt collection rules so they protect consumers rather than the profits of abusive debt collectors who would exploit them.

Bottom line. In comments that echo concerns Better Markets previously raised, we urge the CFPB to draft debt collection rules that protect consumers from repeated harassment and from inherently deceptive conduct, including the collection of time-barred debt. In short, the CFPB must return to the task of protecting consumers rather than predators.

Read more in our press release.

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