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How The Mainstream Media Covered the Release of the Proposed Debt Collection Rule

The release of the proposed debt collection rule by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau is not just news for companies in the credit and collection industry; it is also news for consumers, too. To that end, many mainstream media outlets covered the release of the proposed rule. And how the public reacts to the provisions of the proposed rule could have an impact on what is included in the final rule. How the public reacts will be shaped by the coverage of the proposed rule they read and see. Here is how mainstream media outlets across the country covered yesterday’s news (click on the image to be taken to the article from each outlet):

Vanity Fair

While industry groups are obviously thrilled with the move, consumer advocates—which the C.F.P.B. used to be—worry about what kind of high-pressure tactics collectors will use once given the thumbs-up to violate consumers’ privacy in a digital fashion.

Number of industry sources mentioned/quoted: One

Marketwatch.com

“This rule opens the door to increased contact by debt collectors to new channels or existing channels that they haven’t utilized to date like emails and text messages. That’s very dangerous to consumers,” Joanna Darcus, a debt attorney at the National Consumer Law Center in Boston.

Number of industry sources mentioned/quoted: Zero

FastCompany.com

The proposed rules also say debt collectors can contact you through your social media accounts once a day, so long as it is not “viewable by a person other than the consumer,” which means that Sallie Mae is going to be trying to slide into your DMs. Well, that’s one way to get some of us to finally give up social media.

Number of industry sources mentioned/quoted: Zero

TheVerge.com

The Trump administration has moved to dismantle consumer protection regulations across the federal government. Before being implemented, the CFPB’s plan will enter a 90-day public comment period.

Number of industry sources mentioned/quoted: Zero

CBSNews.com

The proposed law would also limit the number of phone calls from a debt collector to 7 per week. That limit is already being decried by the debt-collection industry, which called it an “arbitrary” number.

“We think there are several areas that need to be clarified and improved upon before the rule is finalized, including the arbitrary limit on call attempts that could unnecessarily impede communications with consumers,” Mark Neeb, the CEO of the Association of Credit and Collection Professionals, the trade group for the debt collection industry, said in an emailed statement.

Number of industry sources mentioned/quoted: One

The New York Times

Consumer advocates also criticized the proposal for giving legal protection to collection tactics that they view as excessive and potentially harmful. Because many customers have multiple debts, they could still be subjected to dozens of phone calls a week from collectors, along with texts and emails. The proposed changes do not explicitly limit the number of texts and emails that can be sent.

Number of industry sources mentioned/quoted: One

New York Post

It’s a far cry from the current rules, which allow collectors to call deadbeat borrowers as often as they please between 8 a.m. and 9 p.m.

Number of industry sources mentioned/quoted: Zero

Washington Post

“People are able to ignore phone calls, and that is the thing debt collectors don’t like,” said David Phillips, an Illinois attorney who has filed dozens of lawsuits against debt collectors. “It’s as if a debt collector is able to show up at your house and pound on the door. That is the effect of a text message.”

Number of industry sources mentioned/quoted: Three

USA Today

Forget about dodging debt collectors’ constant phone calls.

Under a proposed rule, collectors soon might be able to text, email and private message consumers over unresolved debt.

Number of industry sources mentioned/quoted: Zero

Bustle

Under the proposal, which hasn’t yet been implemented and is still in the public comment stage, debt collectors would legally be allowed to send unlimited texts and emails to consumers — who, in turn, would have the right to opt-out of digital communications sent to specific email addresses or phone numbers.

Number of industry sources mentioned/quoted: One

Politico

Melissa Stegman, senior policy counsel at the Center for Responsible Lending, agreed, accusing the CFPB of “again catering to businesses instead of consumers” in an emailed statement.

“We had hoped for a rule that would effectively halt illegal and harassing industry practices,” she said. Instead, the rule is “expanding the authorized ways debt collectors can communicate by adding text messages and e-mail. Consumers will now bear the burden of opting out of these new communications.”

Number of industry surces mentioned/quoted: One

Salon

President Donald Trump’s Consumer Financial Protection Bureau is proposing changes to regulations surrounding debt collectors that would greatly increase their powers to call, text and email consumers.

Number of industry sources mentioned/quoted: Zero

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