On December 6, Kathy Kraninger was confirmed as the new head of the CFPB. Her long-awaited appointment relieved the interim director Mulvaney of his duties.
Already, she is being urged to take action on debt collection regulations. If the petitioning groups get their way, things could get a lot stricter in the debt collection industry, according to American Banker.
- Two consumer advocacy groups have urged Kraninger to impose stricter limits on collectors
- They are pushing for regulations that would restrict agents to one live conversation per week with a borrower, and up to three attempts per week to reach a consumer by phone
- The CFPB is expected to formally address any updates to the FDCPA in March
- There seems to be a general understanding that the 40-year-old act must be updated to keep pace with technology. Cellphones and texting are much more common now than they were when the act was first published
- The group is also advocating for consumer-driven contact methods
- In conclusion, advocates are seeking to restore the original statutory purpose of the FDCPA in the wake of new methods of debt collection – to protect consumers from debt collection abuses.
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What is the TRACED Act?
In the most logistical terms, it’s the Telephone Robocall and Abuse Criminal Enforcement and Deterrence Act. It is a bipartisan bill that was proposed to help “deter criminal robocall violations and improve enforcement of section 227(b) of the Communications Act of 1934, and for other purposes.”
But what is it really trying to accomplish, and what happens if it gets passed?
- To sum it up, the TRACED Act “wants to encourage the FCC to broaden the TCPA again.”
- Seeks to reduce the forfeiture penalty to $10k per violation (it is currently $16k)
- Would require the DOJ and the FCC to meet with the CFPB, the Department of State, the Department of Homeland Security, the Department of Commerce and the FTC about whether there are currently any laws that interfere with the TCPA’s enforcement
- Would require the FCC to implement regulations protecting telephone subscribers from receiving non-authenticated calls
Essentially, the end goal for the TRACED Act appears to be a more strictly enforced and more regulated TCPA.