An open letter to the CFPB in response to the Advance Notice For Proposed Rule-making
To Whom It May Concern:
As a community effort to respond to the Advance Notice For Proposed Rule-making, I have compiled the below response in request that the CFPB consider either additional rules, guidelines, or recommendations toward not only an improved relationship between debt collectors and debtors, but also between debtors and debt collectors as well.
Our Concerns Are:
1. Debtors should communicate with debt collectors in an open and honest manner. If proper information is provided per FDCPA guidelines, debtors should have an obligation to communicate and work out solutions.
2. Debtors should not request information above and beyond what is legally and reasonably required. Many internet-generated debt-response letters tend to request information which is beyond what is needed for reasonable proof of debt and workout negotiations. To this end, we recommend that the CFPB work towards generating sample correspondence which would hold as a reasonable request – and response – to information requests in a court of law.
3. All negotiations should be made in good faith with creditors.
4. Debtors should know and understand a clear definition of “harassment.”
5. Debtors should allow court officers to perform their duties without obstruction – which should include acceptance of service of process, and working with the court system in a clear and effective manner, with no abuse of motions and filings.
6. Finally, debtors should know and understand terms of their contract with creditors. All definitions and terms should be clear and simple for both sides.
7. Originating creditors should maintain and provide origination paperwork and pay histories to all necessary parties.
My self and my clients know and understand the obligations of the debt industry to follow all FDCPA, TCPA, and other legal guidelines as well as all other ethical obligations to creditors. However, we share a great concern that the focus of government agencies is to regulation of companies – many of whom are small businesses – which provide valuable economic services to the country.