The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) has taken many steps to protect borrowers from illegal debt collection practices. However, debt collectors continue to use extreme measures to try to collect on debt. The Director of the CFPB, Richard Cordray said, “We continue to hear about serious problems with debt collection – debiting accounts without authorization, calling at all hours of the day or night, threats of arrest or criminal prosecution or threats of physical harm to consumers and even their pets.”
As a result, the CFPB has proposed a new set of rules that will further monitor debt collectors’ practices and prohibit them from harassing and tricking consumers. Below are five of the new rules that will protect consumers from abusive debt collection practices.
- According to the CFPB, approximately one-third of all consumers who are contacted by debt collectors said the attempt to collect was for the wrong amount. This occurs because debts are often sold to debt collectors with limited and inaccurate or incomplete information about the consumers and their debts. However, new proposed rules would force debt collectors to “scrub” their files and make sure they have the correct consumer and debt information before contacting the borrower.
- The CFPB’s new proposal would also prohibit debt collectors from contacting consumers more than six times per week. Some debt collectors contact consumers multiple times per day, causing a major disruption to their daily lives. The new limits would also give consumers the right to tell collectors not to call on a particular phone line or at a particular time of the day, such as during work hours.
- Another new rule would force debt collectors to disclose more information to consumers regarding their debt. This rule gives consumers the opportunity to defend themselves against illegal practices and enable them to spot a debt collection scam. The same rule would also force collectors to tell consumers if their debt is too old to initiate legal action.
- Debt collectors would also be forced to provide consumers with a debt report if they disputed a debt via written notice. Until the debt report is provided to the consumer the collectors would not be permitted to actively pursue debt collection.
- Finally, the new rules would also prevent debt collectors from transferring debt without responding to debt disputes. If the debt is transferred before the dispute, the next collector would not be able to pursue the debt until a response is submitted.
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If you are in financial crisis and considering filing for bankruptcy, contact an experienced Miami bankruptcy attorney who can advise you of all of your options. As an experienced CPA as well as a proven bankruptcy lawyer, Timothy Kingcade knows how to help clients take full advantage of the bankruptcy laws to protect their assets and get successful results. Since 1996 Kingcade & Garcia, P.A. has been helping people from all walks of life build a better tomorrow. Our attorneys’ help thousands of people every year take advantage of their rights under bankruptcy protection to restart, rebuild and recover. The day you hire our firm, we will contact your creditors to stop the harassment. You can also find useful consumer information on the Kingcade & Garcia website at www.miamibankruptcy.com.