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Statement: CFPB Issues "Heartless Rule" that Benefits Predatory Debt Collectors

In the Middle of a Pandemic, Heartless CFPB Finalizes Rule Benefiting
Predatory Debt Collectors at the Expense of Struggling Main Street Families
 
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Friday, October 30, 2020
Contact: Pamela Russell at 202-618-6433 or prussell@bettermarkets.com
 
Washington, D.C.  –  Dennis M. Kelleher, President and Chief Executive Officer of Better Markets, released the following statement regarding the debt collection rule issued today by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB):
 
“As the pandemic-caused economic crisis robs Main Street families of their jobs, livelihoods, savings and financial security, the CFPB is heartlessly unleashing debt collectors on them. The almost certain result will be abusive treatment of many decent, hard-working people thrown out of work due to the pandemic, thanks to Director Kraninger. It’s as if the CFPB Director was trying to win a predator protection award given to those most uncaring about financial consumers under extreme stress and duress from circumstances beyond their control.
 
“At the worst possible time, the debt collection rule issued today once again betrays the CFPB’s statutory duty to protect consumers from fraud and abuse by financial companies, in this case debt collectors. Instead, the CFPB, ignoring the concerns raised by many consumers and consumer advocates, including in Better Markets’ comment letter, has pushed out a rule that gives predatory debt collectors far too much leeway to annoy, harass and abuse consumers suffering financially.
 
“Perhaps nowhere are the flaws of the rule more apparent than in the so-called “limits” on call frequency. The Bureau’s rule grants debt collectors a rebuttable presumption that, if they call consumers up to 7 times per week per debt, they have not violated the statutory prohibition on harassing consumers. Yet no reasonable person could conclude that such conduct is anything but harassment. In fact, the CFPB’s own research demonstrates that consumers overwhelmingly believe anything more than 1 call a week from a debt collector amounts to harassment. And the abuse could get even worse under the rule, since any consumer struggling with multiple debts—which could easily be tens of millions of Americans thrown out of work due to the pandemic —could be subjected to dozens of calls per week from debt collectors. Preventing that type of abuse is why the CFPB was created in the first place.
 
“This rule is yet another example of the transformation of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau to the “Financial Predator Protection Bureau,” and proves again that Better Markets was right when it declared, upon Director Kraninger’s confirmation, that she was unfit and unqualified to head this critical consumer protection agency.”
 
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Better Markets is a non-profit, non-partisan, and independent organization founded in the wake of the 2008 financial crisis to promote the public interest in the financial markets, support the financial reform of Wall Street and make our financial system work for all Americans again. Better Markets works with allies – including many in finance – to promote pro-market, pro-business and pro-growth policies that help build a stronger, safer financial system that protects and promotes Americans’ jobs, savings, retirements and more. To learn more, visit www.bettermarkets.com.

 

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