Fair Debt Collection; Regulation F

Overview

The Fair Debt Collection Practices Act ("FDCPA"), as originally adopted in 1977, as now implemented by CFPB Regulation F, is intended to eliminate abusive debt collection practices and promote consistent State action to protect consumers against debt collection abuses. At the time of the adoption of the act, Congress found that abusive practices contribute to a number of bad outcomes, including personal bankruptcies and invasions of individual privacy. Dodd-Frank transferred authority for the FDCPA from the FTC to the newly created CFPB.

As originally adopted, the FDCPA contained a number of substantive requirements but did not provide the FTC or any other agency the authority to adopt further rules implementing the FDCPA's requirements. However, Dodd-Frank, in addition to transferring authority to the CFPB, gave the CFPB rulemaking authority under the Act, and the CFPB has issued for comment a set of proposed rules, but had not adopted them as of July 2020. The proposed rules would cover matters such as communications between a debt collector and a consumer, the disclosure requirements applicable to collectors, and the handling of collection matters where a report of identity has been filed as to the debt. The CFPB has also requested comment on a rule governing the treatment of time-barred debt; i.e., debt as to which the claim is not enforceable in court.

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