An open letter to the CFPB in response to the Advance Notice For Proposed Rule-making
We, as a community, respectfully submit this response in regards to the Advance Notice For Proposed Rule-making, with the hope that the CFPB will consider implementing additional rules, guidelines or recommendations to improve the relationship between debt collectors and debtors.
Our main concerns are as follows:
- Debtors should communicate openly and honestly with debt collectors in accordance with the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA) guidelines. If proper information is provided, debtors should have an obligation to communicate and find solutions.
- Debtors should not request information that goes beyond what is legally and reasonably required. Many online debt response letters tend to request information that exceeds what is necessary to prove the debt and negotiate a solution. We recommend that the CFPB provide sample correspondence that would serve as a reasonable request and response to information requests in a court of law.
- All negotiations between debtors and creditors should be made in good faith.
- Debtors should have a clear understanding of what constitutes "harassment" as defined by law.
- Debtors should allow court officers to perform their duties without interference, including accepting service of process and cooperating with the court system in an orderly and efficient manner, without the abuse of motions and filings.
- Debtors should have a clear understanding of the terms of their contract with creditors. All definitions and terms should be clear and simple for both parties.
- Originating creditors should maintain and provide origination documents and payment histories to all necessary parties.
We and our clients are aware of our obligations under the FDCPA, Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA) and other legal guidelines, as well as our ethical obligations to creditors. However, we have concerns that the focus of government agencies is on regulating companies, many of whom are small businesses, that provide valuable economic services to the country.
We appreciate your attention to this matter and thank you for considering our response.