Thanks to the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA) and the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA), debt collectors and creditors have to think twice before contacting you about a debt. Calling at unacceptable hours or too many times in a week can be flagged as creditor harassment, putting them at risk of paying damages to you the consumer and fines to the state.
However, the protections you enjoy as an American consumer in debt might soon be jeopardized due to a Trump Administration policy change. A Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) policy under review and development could allow creditors to call you seven times a week without any penalty. In other words, you could expect a phone call once a day about your debt, even though it should be obvious that you would not have time to improve on your debt between one day and the next.
The policy also aims to bring texting and emails into the equation, but not in a way that benefits consumers. If the policy is ultimately approved without further editing, then creditors could text and email you an unlimited number of times without any penalty. In order to stop emails and texts from creditors, you would have to manually opt out of such electronic communications with each individual creditor.
The methodology is immediately problematic. Notifying a creditor to stop emailing or texting you will likely put your request into a queue, which will be overpacked with other consumer requests. It could feasibly be weeks until your request is acknowledged, and you will be receiving countless emails and texts all the while.
Thankfully, the policy change has not been approved yet. Also, there will be a three-month “trial” period where the public can comment on the proposed policy directly to the CFPB, who can still decide to set it aside.
You can learn more about the proposed CFPB policy change by clicking here and viewing a full article from The Verge. If you live in Chicago and need to fight creditor harassment now, call (312) 313-1613 and talk with the consumer protection attorneys of Atlas Consumer Law. We are here to help you stand up for yourself and your rights!