NCRC Statement on CFPB Oversight of Debt Collectors

Washington, DC – Today, in reaction to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s (CFPB) newly published rule allowing the agency to regulate the debt collection industry, NCRC President and CEO John Taylor made the following statement:

“The CFPB should be commended for taking steps to reign in the debt collection industry and protect consumers from unsavory and unfair practices. By moving to clean up this industry, the new cop on the regulatory beat has again shown that they are serious about ensuring that consumers have the protections they need in the financial marketplace.”

“The CFPB should take the following additional measures to ensure consumers are protected from bad practices in debt collection:

·      Undertake vigorous enforcement actions where appropriate and necessary.
·      Freeze charges, fees and interest if a debt collection complaint is pending with the CFPB.
·      Ensure that debt collection payment plans reflect a consumer’s ability to pay.
·      Halt collection activity for at least 30 days if a consumer has requested assistance from a creditor, nonprofit credit or housing counseling agency, or state consumer protection agency.”

“This is an industry where the consumers are often wrongly targeted for collections, and often targeted for incorrect debts. Consumers are also often subject to harassment, poor treatment, and false threats, and are frequently not adequately informed of their rights in writing. The CFPB’s entry into regulating this realm is a welcome development.”

“On the horizon is a very important decision for the CFPB on how to define a qualified mortgage. We need the CFPB to continue to demonstrate this same vigilance and commitment to consumer rights as they conduct rulemaking on qualified mortgages, by including a rebuttable presumption in the qualified mortgage (QM) rule. This decision is imminent, and the CFPB must ensure that consumer rights are not abridged by the rule.”

About the National Community Reinvestment Coalition (NCRC):

The National Community Reinvestment Coalition is an association of more than 600 community-based organizations that promote access to basic banking services, including credit and savings, to create and sustain affordable housing, job development, and vibrant communities for America’s working families.

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