How Consumer Advocates Reacted to Proposed Debt Collection Rule

Consumer advocates had a lot to say following the release of yesterday’s proposed debt collection rule. Here is a sampling of their comments:

“We are horrified that the CFPB’s proposed rule will actually authorize harassment of consumers through phone calls, emails, and texts. We are deeply disappointed that the CFPB failed to use this opportunity to protect consumers”

Margot Saunders, an attorney at the National Consumer Law Center.

“Seven calls per debt, per week is simply too many, especially when combined with unlimited emails and texts. A student with eight loans could receive 56 calls per week. The proposed rule would also allow for critical notice to consumers to be provided by email or text message without a consumer’s consent as required by federal law. Other emails and text messages have no limits unless the consumer opts out.”

April Kuehnhoff, an attorney at the National Consumer Law Center who focuses on debt collection

“If you’re one of the millions of Americans who have dealt with constant harassment from debt collectors, you’re going to be dismayed, because the proposed rule expressly authorizes more ways to harass you”

Linda Jun, senior policy counsel at Americans for Financial Reform

“With the extreme examples of debt collectors’ harassment and invasion of consumers’ privacy that we’ve seen, it’s always a bad idea to exempt debt collectors from liability or grant them a safe harbor, in any circumstance. Seems like an invitation to encourage more abuse not deter it.”

Christine Hines, legislative director for the National Association of Consumer Advocates

“The C.F.P.B.’s proposal does nothing to ensure debt collectors document that they are attempting to collect from the right person, for the right amount. By ignoring this central problem with our broken debt collection system, the C.F.P.B. is failing to fulfill its statutory mission to protect consumers.”

Suzanne Martindale, a senior lawyer for Consumers Union

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