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Press Releases

May 13, 2021
WASHINGTON, D.C. – The United States House of Representatives today passed the Comprehensive Debt Collection Improvement Act (H.R. 2547). Introduced by House Financial Services Committee Chairwoman Maxine Waters, the Act is comprised of eight bills that would collectively enact critical debt collection reforms aimed at protecting vulnerable consumers. If passed into law, the Act would, in part, prohibit the collection of medical debt for two years after a procedure, as well as prohibit credit reporting of debt arising from medically necessary procedures. It also would amend the Fair Debt...
December 18, 2020
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) released the second part of its final debt collection rule, which includes new provisions on time-barred or “zombie” debt for which the statute of limitations has expired, validation notices, and language access, among others. The first part of the rule, released in October, focused on telephone calls and electronic communications. Despite the urging of many advocacy organizations, including the Center for Responsible Lending (CRL), the CFPB’s final rule does not ban the collection of time-barred debt out of court....
October 30, 2020
One-Third of U.S. Adults with a Credit Report Have Debt in Collection Washington, D.C. – The National Consumer Law Center, on behalf of its low income clients, Americans for Financial Reform Education Fund, Center for Responsible Lending, Consumer Federation of America, and the National Association of Consumer Advocates, expressed relief that the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s final debt collection rule drops or punts on some of the most harmful parts of its proposal, but advocates still opposed the high call cap that will permit telephone harassment and noted with concern that the...
October 13, 2020
Debt collectors too often lack sufficient documentation to prove ownership of debt Greater enforcement and stronger laws needed to protect California consumers OAKLAND, CALIF. – A new report released today by the Center for Responsible Lending (CRL) finds debt collectors in California may have seized more than $700 million from consumers between 2012 and 2017, even though they frequently lack sufficient documentation to establish the validity and ownership of an individual’s debt. The CRL report, “The State of Debt Collection in California” finds that the decks are still stacked...
August 5, 2020
WASHINGTON, DC – The Center for Responsible Lending (CRL), The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights, NAACP, National CAPACD, and UnidosUS submitted a joint comment to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) in response to the agency’s Supplemental Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (Supplemental NPRM) that fails to protect consumers against stale, time-barred “zombie” debt, for which the statute of limitations has expired. The rule supplements a proposed debt collection rule that the CFPB released last year. The Supplemental NPRM gives the green light for debt collectors to...
February 25, 2020
WASHINGTON, DC - On Friday, February 21, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) released a Supplemental Notice of Propose Rulemaking (Supplemental NPRM), that would provide a path for debt collectors to pursue time-barred debt. The rule supplements a proposed debt collection rule that the CFPB released in May 2019. As proposed, debt collectors could collect debt that is beyond statutes of limitations – as long as consumers receive certain disclosures at the time of initial contact and for any required validation notice. The consumer disclosure would apply only if the debt collector “...
September 19, 2019
“Without significant changes, we believe the proposed rule will perpetuate abusive practices, harm already economically distressed families, and widen the racial wealth gap.” WASHINGTON, D.C. – As the time for the public to weigh in on a proposed rule governing debt collection practices comes to a close, a coalition of national consumer advocates and civil rights organizations sent a comment letter to Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) Director Kathy Kraninger urging her to make substantial changes to the agency’s proposal. The letter was submitted by the Center for Responsible...
September 11, 2019
"Survey also reveals that one in five Americans have been contacted by a debt collector in the past twelve months, including higher numbers in communities of color, among lower-income people, and military families." WASHINGTON, D.C. - Strong majorities across parties oppose the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau's (CFPB) proposed debt collection rule including medical debt, according to a new poll released by Americans for Financial Reform (AFR) and the Center for Responsible Lending (CRL). The poll was conducted by the bipartisan team of Lake Research Partners and Chesapeake Beach...
May 7, 2019
WASHINGTON, D.C. - Today, Kathy Kraninger, the Director of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB), announced a long-awaited proposed rule governing the $11.5 billion debt collection industry that includes 7,700 collection agencies nationwide. It is also an industry that ranks among those most reported complaints received by the CFPB and the Federal Trade Commission (FTC). As announced, debt collectors would be able to place up to seven unanswered calls each week to consumers. Once that limit is reached, the collector could not resume communications until a week had passed. If more...
March 18, 2019
DURHAM, N.C. – Debt collection abuses rank first in the type of complaints filed by Washington State military servicemembers to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, and second for all consumers in the state. A new Center for Responsible Lending (CRL) report may help explain why. “Debt by Default: Debt Collection Practices in Washington 2012-2016” found that over 80% of lawsuits filed by debt buyers against consumers are unchallenged in court, meaning the debt buyer wins by default. So people sued by debt buyers are frequently subject to a judgment or garnishment of their wages,...

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