When it released its debt collection rule, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau did not make a lot of changes to how the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act restricts the use of harassing, oppressive, and abusive behavior, but it did make some subtle changes, and they are changes that collectors need to be aware of. In the latest episode of, “You Wanted a Rule, You Got a Rule,” John Bedard of Bedard Law Group finishes off Section 1006.14 of the debt collection rule, walking through some of the new wrinkles that are different from what was originally included in the FDCPA.
Now that collectors are being given rules related to communicating via text messaging and email, for example, this section needed to be updated to address those channels, Bedard notes during the episode. Bedard also walks through the exceptions under which collectors can communicate with individuals after a cease communication request has been made. Collectors are allowed, under the rule, to send one more communication confirming that the cease communication request has been received and will be honored from that point forward, Bedard said. Collectors are also allowed to use a communication channel where consent has been revoked if a consumer uses that channel first. The final exception, Bedard points out, is when a communication is required by law.
“Let’s say, for example, the debt collector calls the consumer on the phone and that telephone call is the initial communication with the consumer,” Bedard said. “Well, that initial communication triggers an obligation by the debt collector to provide to the consumer the [validation] notice disclosures in writing, if the debt collector does not provide those disclosures during that phone call. If the consumer says, ‘Please don’t send me written correspondence,’ the collector will not be violating the law by complying with the requirement to send that consumer written notice of their validation information, because it would be otherwise required by law to do it.”
Check out all the episodes in the series here: You Wanted a Rule, You Got a Rule. You will also find links on that page to subscribe to the audio version of the series through Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, and Spotify.