Comment Period on Time-Barred Debt Disclosures Closes Today

Today is the deadline for individuals to file comments on the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s Supplemental Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (SNPRM) on time-barred debt disclosures, and unless a lot of people are waiting until the last minute, it is not going to take long to read all the comments that have been submitted so far.

As of Tuesday morning, there have been 52 comments filed. In comparison, there were more than 12,000 comments filed on the CFPB’s proposed debt collection rule.

The SNPRM would not affect the lengths of statutes of limitations set by each state, but would establish a national standard for how collectors must attempt to collect on debts where the statutes have expired. Individuals are not allowed to be sued for unpaid debts once the statute of limitations has expired, but collectors can still attempt to collect. In many cases, the courts have decided what a collector can or can not say when attempting to collect on a time-barred debt, and that has created a patchwork set of de facto regulations to which the industry must adhere.

Among some of the comments that have been submitted in the past few days include those from PRA Group, the National Creditors Bar Association, the North Carolina Creditors Bar Association, RMA International, and the Consumer Federation of America.

The industry is fighting an uphill battle against consumer advocates. The first point argued by the Consumer Federation of America is “The Bureau Should Prohibit Collection of All Time-Barred Debt.”

Meanwhile, most of the comments that have been filed by those in the accounts receivable management industry are actually about the proposal issued by the CFPB. For example, RMA International laid out its comments based on what the CFPB proposed in the SNPRM.

Comments can be filed in one of three ways:

  • Federal eRulemaking Portal: http://www.regulations.gov. Follow the instructions for submitting comments.
  • Email: 2020-NPRM-DebtCollection@cfpb.gov. Include Docket No. CFPB-2020-0010 or RIN 3170-AA41 in the subject line of the email.
  • Mail/Hand Delivery/Courier: Comment Intake, Bureau of Consumer Financial Protection, 1700 G Street NW, Washington, DC 20552.

All comments should reference docket number CFPB-2020-0010 or RIN 3170-AA41.

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