Under a new Trump administration policy, debt collectors would be able to call consumers as frequently as seven times a week, and be allowed to start sending emails and texts.
The Fair Debt Collection Practices Act established rules for debt collection in 1977, before the age of digital communication, leaving phone calls as the default option for collectors. The new proposal, from the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, would open the door for emails and texts, and not limit how many collectors send. Tens of thousands of people file complaints with the CFPB yearly over debt collection practices.
The Washington Post reported news of the proposal earlier in the day.
Under the plan, consumers could opt out of receiving collection notices through text or email, and the CFPB said in a statement that debt collectors would be required to send disclosures with information for consumers on how to respond.
Once they make contact on a call, the collector would have to wait a week before trying again. The CFPB said in the statement that the proposal would “establish a clear, bright-line rule limiting call attempts and telephone conversations.”
The Trump administration has moved to dismantle consumer protection regulations across the federal government. Before being implemented, the CFPB’s plan will enter a 90-day public comment period.