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Financial Services Law Insights and Observations

CFPB confirms final debt collection rules still set to take effect November 30

Federal Issues CFPB Debt Collection Agency Rule-Making & Guidance FDCPA

Federal Issues

On July 30, the CFPB officially announced that the agency’s two final debt collection rules, which implement the FDCPA, will take effect as scheduled on November 30. Earlier in April, the Bureau proposed delaying the effective date by 60 days to provide affected parties additional time to comply due to the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic (covered by InfoBytes here). However, the Bureau determined that an extension is unnecessary and will publish a formal notice in the Federal Register withdrawing the April notice of proposed rulemaking. According to the Bureau, “public comments generally did not support an extension. Most industry commenters stated that they would be prepared to comply with the final rules by November 30, 2021.” The Bureau pointed out that while “consumer advocate commenters generally supported extending the effective date, they did not focus on whether additional time is needed to implement the rules.” Rather, the “alternative basis for an extension that many commenters urged, a reconsideration of the rules, was beyond the scope of the NPRM and could raise concerns under the Administrative Procedure Act,” the Bureau stated, adding that the decision does not preclude the Bureau from reconsidering the debt collection rules at a later date.

As previously covered by InfoBytes, the first debt collection rule, issued in October 2020, addressed debt collection communications and prohibitions on harassment or abuse, false or misleading representations, and unfair practices. The second debt collection rule, issued in December 2020, clarified the information debt collectors must provide to consumers at the outset of collection communications and provided a model validation notice containing such information (covered by InfoBytes here).

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