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August 4, 2020

Consumer Financial Protection Bureau Reaches New Low in Unleashing Predators on Poor People; CFPB Should Be Known as the Financial Predator Protection Bureau

Tuesday, August 4, 2020
Contact:  Pamela Russell at 202-618-6433 or
Washington, D.C.  –  Dennis M. Kelleher, President and Chief Executive Officer of Better Markets, made the following statement in connection with the filing of a comment letter on the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s (CFPB) proposed rule on time-barred debt:
“Continuing its transformation of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau into the Financial Predator Protection Bureau, the CFPB’s proposed rule to unleash predators on low-to-no income people to collect debts that are by law uncollectable is despicable. No one would knowingly revive a time-barred debt that he or she simply cannot afford to pay because that person is already in extreme financial distress and can barely make ends meet. 
“State laws have long provided that creditors can no longer sue to collect on debts that have become stale after years have elapsed. These are fundamental consumer protections that prohibit poor people from being harassed by debt collectors literally into the grave. While debt collectors may never give up preying on the poor, the CFPB should not help them by enabling and, indeed, legitimizing such predatory behavior.
“The CFPB attempts to put lipstick on this pig by requiring some disclosures before debt collectors can dun consumers on time-barred debt. But these are, at best, ineffective half measures. They will provide no real protection and no real relief from aggressive debt collectors who have a long and unbroken history of confusing and misleading, if not defrauding, poor people into paying or reviving time-barred debts. Such a fig leaf cannot hide the CFPB’s abandonment of consumers and its embrace of predators.
“Any genuine consumer protection bureau would outlaw the collection of time-barred debts and that’s what the CFPB should do.”
Better Markets is a non-profit, non-partisan, and independent organization founded in the wake of the 2008 financial crisis to promote the public interest in the financial markets, support the financial reform of Wall Street and make our financial system work for all Americans again. Better Markets works with allies – including many in finance – to promote pro-market, pro-business and pro-growth policies that help build a stronger, safer financial system that protects and promotes Americans’ jobs, savings, retirements and more. To learn more, visit  
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