The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s recently proposed amendments to the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act has earned rebuke from the public, just three days into the proposal’s comment period.
The bureau’s proposal to amend the regulation that implements the FDCPA primarily focuses on debt collection communications and disclosures in light of “newer communication technologies” such as mobile phones, email, and text messaging.
So far, 12 comments have been submitted since the comment period opened on Tuesday. Some comments disapprove of the proposal to allow newer communication technologies, such as emails and text messages, to be used in debt collections. They contend that debt collectors’ messages should include opt-out instructions for consumers.
One commenter, David Self, from Winston-Salem, N.C., wrote that “allowing debt collectors to send text will mean I will have my data allowance used up by inappropriate users sending requests to the wrong person.” He noted that in the past year, he has received “over 100 phone calls from debt collection services” calling the wrong number. Another commenter, Steven Hoyt, said “by not placing caps on the number of text messages and emails a collector is allowed to send, you are effectively authorizing collectors to institute a denial-of-service attack on a debtor’s phone and computer.”
Comments on the proposed rule must be submitted by Aug. 19