On October 30, 2020, Jonathan Pompan was quoted in Bloomberg Law on new rules from the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) that limit the number of times debt collectors can communicate with consumers but also allow them to use email and text messages for collections.
According to the article, the final rules allow debt collectors to use modern communications to contact consumers, while giving consumers the right to easily opt out of email and texts and designate their preferred method of contact. They are the first set of federal regulations interpreting the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act, a 1977 law that includes references to contacting consumers via telegram.
The rules are the culmination of a four-year process that began under former CFPB Director Richard Cordray. The CFPB did not address disclosures that debt collectors are required to present to consumers, including a final model disclosure form. The bureau said it will address those types of issues in a second, final rule in December.
Given the complexity involved in both the new communications rules and the disclosure requirements, it makes sense to issue two different final rules, said Pompan. “Even the Cordray-era CFPB recognized the initial coverage would be too much for one rulemaking,” he said.