Fair Debt Collection Practices Act
Kathleen L. Kraninger, the former CFPB director who oversaw the rules, said they are a necessary update to the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act.
Our rule also gives consumers the option to unsubscribe from receiving text messages and emails from debt collectors or otherwise limit ways debt collectors contact them. It also clarifies the use of voicemails and other messages left by debt collectors.
The first rule focuses on the new communication channels and clarifies the FCPA’s prohibitions on harassment and abuse, false or misleading representations, and unfair practices by debt collectors when collecting consumer debt.
The second rule prohibits debt collectors from suing or threatening to sue consumers on time-barred debt. Debt collectors must also take specific steps to disclose the existence of a debt to consumers before reporting information about the debt to a consumer reporting agency.
April Kuehnhoff, a staff attorney at the National Consumer Law Center, told NPR that it gives criminals new ways to “swindle people out of their money,” and says the rules should be opt-in instead of opt-out.