CFPB, FTC Release Annual FDCPA Report, But What Does the Footnote Mean?

Both the Federal Trade Commission and the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau fulfilled their Congressional mandate in recent days by summarizing how both agencies administered and enforced the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act.

The FTC provided its recap in a letter to the CFPB, while the CFPB published a report on its effort to protect consumers from unscrupulous debt collection activities.

The FTC obtained $26 million in judgments against debt collectors in 2020, up slightly from the $25 million in obtained in 2019. The FTC also spotlighted its Operation Corrupt Collector, which it launched last September as a crackdown on collectors that harassed and abused consumers illegally. The agency also touted bringing its first debt parking enforcement action, which it did last November, just before the CFPB included the practice in a list of prohibited actions in the release of Part II of Regulation F, its debt collection rule.

The CFPB reported that there were 82,700 complaints filed against debt collectors last year, an increase of 10% from 2019.

Along with detailing its enforcement activities in the report, the CFPB discussed its rulemaking actions that it took last year relative to the FDCPA, including the two-part release of Regulation F, the debt collection rule. Interestingly, the report said that “Both final rules are currently scheduled to take effect on November 30, 2021” but it included a footnote, relating to a post that CFPB Acting Director Dave Uejio made last month, in which he said that he was directing the Bureau to “explore options for preserving the status quo” with respect to the debt collection rule, without adding additional context about whether the status quo means having the rule go into effect in November as scheduled, making changes, or pulling back the rule altogether. The footnote did not include any other additional information.

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