The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau announced its plans to update the rules governing how debt collectors communicate with borrowers.
In early November the Bureau reached out to both consumers and debt collection companies and asked for suggestions on how to improve their interactions with each other. The goal was for the bureau to gain a better understanding of the current problems and how to fix them.
“We want to hear how we can better protect consumers and bring greater accountability to this multibillion-dollar industry without hamstringing legitimate debt collection activities,” said the Bureau’s Director, Richard Cordray, in the New York Times article Consumer Watchdog Takes up Debt Collection.
In the article, Cordray explained that the Bureau received more complaints about debt collectors than any of the other financial products the Bureau oversees. Most of these complaints were about questionable tactics used by debt collectors to obtain payments from consumers.
The debt-collection industry has been regularly criticized for the strategies used to get consumers to pay their debts. The current law was written before the heavy use of text messaging, social media, mobile phones and email, making the language unclear as to how debt collectors can lawfully use these tools to reach debtors. The new rules will address these issues in an effort to modernize the nation’s consumer debt collection system.
If you would like to submit a suggestion regarding possible new debt collection rules, visit Regulations.gov, or go to RegulationRoom.org, a site operated by Cornell University. The Bureau will be accepting suggestions until February of 2014.