Last month, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau announced it was throwing open its rulemaking doors to the general public and allowing anyone to submit a request.
To date, only a handful of petitions have been published by the CFPB, but it just published the first one related to debt collection and I thought it would be interesting to see the types of requests that the CFPB is receiving related to how consumers want to change the debt collection process. This request was submitted by Judy Young and can be accessed by clicking here. In it, she requests that debts should not be allowed to be collected after seven years and that collectors should only be allowed to communicate with consumers through print mail, because it creates a “paper trail.” The full petition is:
The CFPB should repeal the time that someone should be in “credit jail”. After 7 years a person should be released from a debt collection is declared on a credit file. Practices of selling the debt to third parties (for pennys on the dollar) and allowing them to continue to ravage a persons credit score is not only an instance of usery, but it goes above and beyond what the original collector should be collecting. At the point of charging off the debt, the collector is able to legally release it. Moreover, when the sell it, it further impacts the consumer a second, third, fourth etc time. I am asking that this practice be abolished after the 7 year credit jail process. Furthermore, I am asking that collection agencies contact consumers by mail (in writing) and not by phone. The current practice also opens the door for fraudulent activity after someone obtains a consumers credit report. By contacting the consumer, by mail, the collector and consumer have a paper trail… that is trackable. Phone conversations are “hearsay” and even verbal agreements are inadmissible in collection hearings after the consumer “pays as agreed”. Please reconsider how consumers are treated under the current collection process.