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Senators Ask CFPB to Reconsider Proposed Debt Collection Rule, Saying it Puts Industry Ahead of Consumers

A group of 21 Senators have written a letter to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, urging it to reconsider its Notice of Proposed Rulemaking related to debt collection, arguing that moving forward with what it proposed will “only exacerbate and increase troubling harassment tactics,” according to a published report.

Of the 21 Senators who signed the letter, 19 of them are Democrats and two are Independents. Many of those who have declared their candidacy for President signed their name on the letter, including Sen. Bernie Sanders [I-Vt.], Sen. Kamala Harris [D-Calif.], Sen. Cory Booker [D-N.J.], Sen. Elizabeth Warren [D-Mass.], and Sen. Kirstin Gillibrand [D-N.Y.].

The concerns raised in the letter mirror many of the issues that consumer advocates have raised in the month since the CFPB released the proposed rule. Issues with the call cap limit, allowing collectors to communicate via text messaging and email, and the collection of time-barred debts, the letter includes all of the advocates’ greatest hits of the songs they have been singing since the proposed rule was released.

The Senators even call for attorneys who engage in collections “be held to a higher standard, not be granted a safe harbor to engage in abusive and deceptive practices.” The proposed rule is weighted too heavily toward helping the collection industry, the Senators said in the letter.

“Given the number of American families harmed by abusive debt collection practices, we request that you reconsider this rulemaking and pursue more meaningful reforms that put consumers, not the debt collection industry, first. A serious proposal from the CFPB would create fairness for the good actors in the debt collection marketplace, and ensure that hardworking families keep their paychecks rather than line the pockets of predatory collection firms.”

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