CFPB adds new FAQ on debt collection rules

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Last week, the CFPB posted additional frequently asked questions about Regulation F, its debt collection rule. The new FAQ addresses third-party communications, electronic communications, and unusual or inconvenient time and place arrangements.

Prohibitions on Third Party Communications. The FAQ answers the following questions:

  • What is the Debt Collection Rule’s general prohibition on communications with third parties?
  • Are there any exceptions to the general prohibition on third party communications?
  • Does the general ban on communications with third parties apply to a debt collector‘s electronic communications regarding a debt?

Electronic communications. The FAQ answers the following questions:

  • Does the debt collection rule require debt collectors to communicate electronically with consumers?
  • Under the Debt Collections Rule, can a person limit communications with a debt collector?
  • What is the electronic communications debt collection rule opt-out notification requirement?
  • What methods are considered reasonable and straightforward to opt out of electronic communications under the debt collection rule?
  • Is a collection agent obligated to honor a consumer’s request to opt out of electronic communications if the request does not comply with the collection agent’s opt-out instructions?

Unusual or awkward times or places. The FAQ answers the following questions:

  • Does the debt collection rule limit where and when a debt collector can communicate or attempt to communicate with a consumer about a debt?
  • What does the debt collection rule define as an inopportune or unusual time?
  • What does the debt collection rule define as an inconvenient or unusual location?
  • Does an automatically generated electronic communication (such as a payment reminder) that is sent at a time that the debt collector knows or should know to be unusual or inconvenient to the consumer violate the prohibition on communicating to an inopportune moment?
  • What are the exceptions to the ban on communicating at an unusual or awkward time or place?
  • An automatically generated electronic communication (such as a payment confirmation) sent at a time that the debt collector knows or should know is inconvenient to the consumer, which is sent in response to a consumer action (such as a payment), satisfy the limited exception to respond to a contact initiated by the consumer?
  • If a consumer tells a debt collector that Fridays are not convenient, but later contacts a debt collector on a Friday, can the debt collector respond the following Friday under the limited exception to respond to a contact initiated by the consumer at a time or place the previously designated consumer as inconvenient?


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