Organizations submitted a letter in response to the CFPB’s Small Business Regulatory Enforcement Fairness Act (SBREFA) review of proposed regulations under the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA). Specifically, the letter addresses the Bureau’s proposal related to increasing access to the FDCPA’s protections for Limited English Proficient (LEP) consumers. We applaud the Bureau for raising the issue of language access in the context of debt collection and for seeking feedback on this important issue.
NACA joins the Massachusetts Law Reform Institute, and the National Consumer Law Center, on written testimony submitted to the Massachusetts Division of Banks and the Massachusetts Office of the Attorney General.
NACA and other consumer protection, civil rights, and legal services groups sent a letter to Richard Cordray, director of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, to express significant concerns with the outline of proposed regulations on third-party debt collection issued by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau on July 28, 2016. The proposal represents a missed opportunity to fundamentally improve protections for consumers victimized by predatory debt collection practices.
Groups are concerned that the proposal does not meaningfully address: substantiation of debt; inadequate investigation of disputed debt; lawsuits and default judgments based on faulty documentation; call harassment; time-barred debt; confusing validations notices; protections for medical debt, student loan debt, and decedent debt; collectors’ promises relating to credit reporting; and language access concerns for consumers with limited English proficiency who do not speak Spanish.
NACA joined organizations in a letter to U.S. Sen. Jeff Merkley (D-OR) to support his introduction of the Medical Debt Relief Act of 2016. The legislation would provide much needed protection for patients and consumers struggling with medical debt.
Currently the CFPB has the authority to write new rules under the federal Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA) and enforce the law to rein in the worst abuses of the debt collection and debt buying industries. But effective compliance not only requires enforcement and regulation but also supervision of “larger” debt collectors. The flexibility of supervisory and examination authority enables the CFPB to obtain the information it needs about operational issues and emerging threats to write well-informed, effective, and timely rules and meaningful enforcement actions over debt collectors, as well as other providers of the consumer products
and services it regulates.