Consumer groups seek extension of FDCPA comment period | Auto Finance News | Auto Finance News

Consumer groups seek extension of FDCPA comment period

Consumer advocacy groups have formally requested a two-month extension — to Oct. 21 — on the comment period for the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau‘s proposed debt collection rule. The comment period is currently set to expire Aug. 19.

Seven advocacy groups signed the letter, citing the long and complicated nature of the proposal. “The proposal’s broad and potential impact — on virtually every person in this country — adds to the complexity of analyzing and commenting on the implications for different constituencies,” the letter said.

In fact, the consumer advocacy groups hold that these rules affect not only consumers with debt, but “anyone who may mistakenly be the subject of debt collection communications and litigation against the wrong person, wrong number or email address, or debts paid long ago,” making it difficult to respond adequately.

Further, the letter cites the CFPB’s other activities as having consumed many of the resources of the consumer advocacy groups, including a proposal to rescind much of the payday loan rule, request for comment on overdraft opt-in rules, and the proposed rule under the Home Mortgage Disclosure Act.

Moreover, the letter claims that the CFPB has done little to publicly encourage comments on the proposal “beyond the activities during the week of the proposal’s release,” leaving the burden on “the same resource-strapped organizations that are attempting to respond to the proposed regulation.”

As of press time, 1,978 comments on the proposal had been submitted on the CFPB’s website. By comparison, there were 1,100 on July 9.

The seven consumer advocacy organizations involved in the request were:

-Americans for Financial Reform Education Fund,

-Center for Responsible Lending,

-Consumer Federation of America,

-National Association of Consumer Advocates,

-National Consumer Law Center,

-Public Citizen, and

-U.S. PIRG

The CFPB hasn’t indicated whether it will approve the request, a spokeswoman from the National Consumer Law Center told Auto Finance News.

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