As we anticipated last week, today the CFPB issued its much anticipated proposal to adopt the first substantive regulations to govern the activity of debt collectors under the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA) since that law’s passage in 1977 (Proposal).
The Proposal, which runs over 530 pages, would among other things:
- set limits on the number of calls that debt collectors may place to reach consumers on a weekly basis;
- clarify how collectors may communicate lawfully using newer technologies, such as voicemails, emails and text messages; and
- require debt collectors to provide more information to consumers to assist consumers in identifying debts and responding to collection attempts.
In the coming days, McGuireWoods will be publishing additional analysis of key issues in the Proposal. An overview of the scope of the proposed rule is also available in a CFPB-published “Fast Facts” document.
As we explained in our Primer last week, the rules ultimately adopted under this Proposal likely will impact not only “debt collectors” as the FDCPA defines that term, but also others involved in collections activity. FDCPA rules may affect others by influencing not only how UDAAP and UDAP requirements apply to all collections activity, but also how state debt collection law is interpreted, because such laws often apply to collectors who are not covered by the FDCPA.
Written comments on the Proposal are due 90 days after its publication in the Federal Register, which will occur within the next few weeks. Under that timeline, comments would likely be due in August of this year.