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FTC Supports CFPB Proposal to Amend Debt Collection Practices

In comments supporting a CFPB proposal to amend the Fair Debt Collection Practice Act, the FTC recommended that the CFPB require collectors to adopt procedures to ensure that consumers receive notices.

As previously covered, the CFPB proposal to amend its Regulation F would, among other things:

  • limit a debt collector's call attempts to seven times a week;

  • require a debt collector to wait one week after speaking with a consumer before calling again;

  • force debt collectors to send disclosures to consumers with debt information, such as itemizations of debt, and guidance on how consumers can respond to collection communication;

  • allow emails, text messages and other new communication technologies to be used in collection communications; and

  • prohibit a debt collector from suing or threatening to sue a consumer if the relevant statute of limitations for collection on the item has expired.

The FTC advised the CFPB to:

  • require collectors to adopt procedures that would ensure that consumers receive notices, and that collection notices are not sent to an unauthorized party;

  • assess whether unnecessary burdens would be placed on law enforcement agencies to prove that a debt collector knew that debt was time-barred; and

  • clarify collectors' obligations concerning voicemail messages.

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