Debt collection regulation enhancements proposed

Far too often, we have heard of abusive debt collection practices here in Philadelphia. Collectors can issue threats, use profanities, make false or misleading statements and harass people at their jobs.

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau recently submitted a comprehensive proposal to overhaul debt collection practices by limiting collector contacts and by ensuring that companies clearly disclose details about the debt and make it easier for consumers to dispute the debt.

CFPB's director said, "This is about bringing better accuracy and accountability to a market that desperately needs it."

The CFPB says about a third of consumers have been contacted by one of the nation's more than 6,000 debt collection firms in the past year alone. About a third of those contacted said that the collection attempt was for an incorrect debt amount.

The CFPB says common complaints about debt collection include: attempts to collect from wrong person; attempts to collect an incorrect amount; and contacts by collectors for debts the consumer does not even recognize.

The proposal would also force collectors to confirm the debt and details about the person before they began contacting a consumer.

Collectors would be limited to a half-dozen collection contact attempts per week. The proposal also contains a provision to make it easier for consumers to deny contact through specific forms of communication (at a particular phone number or at particular hours of the day, etc.).

The proposal includes many other elements that many consumer advocates have long argued for. We will watch with interest as the regulation proposal process unfolds.

A Philadelphia attorney experienced in abusive debt collection litigation can help protect your rights and financial interests.

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