A coalition of 74 different consumer advocacy groups have written a joint letter to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, laying out a series of restrictions and prohibitions that should be included in the agency’s proposed debt collection rule, due to be issued in the next few months.
Among the requests made in the letter are:
- Limiting collectors to one conversation per week with individuals, with up to three attempted calls.
- Requiring collectors to cease communications with individuals when requested to do so.
- Not exempting any collector contacts, including “limited content” calls or messages requesting a call back, from the FDCPA.
- Only allowing text and email conversations when the individual has provided consent, and limiting consent to that particular debt collector only. If the debt is transferred to another agency, that agency would have to obtain its own consent.
- Prohibiting calls and emails to an individual’s place of employment.
- Banning any collection of debt that is beyond the statute of limitations., including any and all communications about time-barred debts.
- Creating a model validation notice and statement of rights that has passed consumer testing.
- Requiring every collector to send a validation notice, even if another debt collector had sent a validation notice on the same debt.
Some of the requirements have already been proposed by the CFPB, when it issued a series of guidelines about the proposed rule in advance of a hearing held more than two years ago that allowed small businesses to weigh in on the proposed regulation. Some of the proposals are already in existence, such as ceasing communications when an individual revokes consent to be contacted.