Summary outlines final rule on debt collection practices

(Jan. 22, 2021) The latest summary from NASCUS focuses on the new rule from CFPB on debt collection practice, which revises Regulation F (which, in turn, implements the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act, FDCPA). The summary is available to members only.

The bureau said the final rule, issued late last year, is intended to “restate and clarify” prohibitions on harassment and abuse, false or misleading representations, and unfair practices by debt collectors when collecting consumer debt. It revises the bureau’s Regulation F, focusing on the timing and means of communications between consumers and debt collectors and clarifying how the protections of the FDCPA, enacted in 1977, apply to newer communication technologies, such as email and text messages.

Not included in the final rule is a safe harbor for debt collectors against claims that an attorney falsely represented the attorney’s involvement in the preparation of a litigation submission, the bureau said. “That provision was proposed to bring greater clarity to this issue but, after receiving questions and comments from many stakeholders concerning the proposal, the Bureau has decided not to finalize that provision,” the bureau said.

However, the final rule summary does note inclusion of a safe harbor for debt collectors from civil liability “for an unintentional third-party disclosure if the debt collector follows the procedures identified in the rule when communicating with a consumer by email or text message.”

NASCUS Summary: CFPB Final rule, debt collection practices (members only)