With the introduction of the CFPB Rule-making Process at the end of 2013, there was an opportunity for agencies, creditors, and consumers alike to offer their input on debt collection laws. While collection agencies would like to see certain laws undergo a modernization process, consumers provided input about their own rights and the experience of being a debtor.
Over at InsideArm.com, Patrick Lunsford has rounded up some of the key points from consumer comments during the rule-making process. Some highlights include:
- Call Volume and Frequency: Not surprisingly, consumers are inclined to think that collectors call them too frequently. The uncomfortably context and high stress of these conversations make it understandable that consumers would like to see a cap on the number of calls made. On this issue, the National Consumer Law Center (NCLC) suggests the following rules be put into place: "The CFPB should limit [collection] calls to three per week and actual contact to once a week...Calls that are more frequent can have no purpose other than harassment.”
- Time-barred Debt: In this case, the NCLC claims that the following measures should be in place: "the CFPB should go further and prohibit all efforts to collect old debt that is beyond the statute of limitations. The collector could be permitted to accept a voluntary, unsolicited payment, but no affirmative collection activities should be permitted.”
As with anything, the key to the rule-making process will be to find a middle ground. Most agencies want the best parameters in place to work together with consumers to take care of their debts. In turn, most consumers likely want to pay their debts and simply want to be treated fairly in the process. As the CFPB weighs the input from various perspectives, hopefully the laws are fair to everybody involved, as well as modernized to reflect the fact that it is the year 2014.