Bill Introduced to Keep CFPB From Including ‘Unlimited’ Texts and Emails in Proposed Rule

I’ll admit that I didn’t even realize it when I listed a package of bills that were on the agenda to be discussed at last month’s House Financial Services Committee hearing on debt collection — largely because it had not been introduced yet, I’ll tell myself to try and make me feel better — but it does appear that Rep. Ayanna Pressley [D-Mass.] is moving forward with proposed legislation that would, among other things, prohibit the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau from issuing any rule that allows an “unlimited” number of text messages and emails to be sent to individuals by collectors.

Called the Monitoring and Curbing Abusive Debt Collection Practices Act, the proposed legislation would require the CFPB to publish a report on debt collection complaints and enforcement actions and keep the agency from issuing “any rule with respect to debt collection that allows a debt collector to send unlimited email and text messages to a consumer.’

The bill does not to appear to have been officially introduced in Congress, but Rep. Pressley did email out a press release about the bill.

“My mother took pride in paying her bills on time, but after several life-disrupting events, there came a point where she no longer could afford it,” Pressley said in an emailed press release. “No matter how hard she worked, we owed everybody — the utility company, the landlord, the bank, the car company — and we were frequently harassed by debt collectors. Our story is the story of millions of families, who go through life with feelings of fear, vulnerability, judgment, and shame thanks to abusive debt collectors. My bill, the Monitoring and Curbing Abusive Debt Collection Practices Act, works to actively curb the aggressive tactics and psychological harassment that debt collectors are all too quick to employ.”

The bill follows a letter that Rep. Pressley, along with Rep. Katie Porter [D-Calif.], Rep. Maxine Waters [D-Calif.], the chairwoman of the House Financial Services Committee, and more than 60 of their colleagues sent to Kathy Kraninger, the director of the CFPB, last month, urging the bureau to reconsider its proposed debt collection rule.

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