Customer-Creditor Relationship in Debt Collection Must be Maintained September 18, 2019 The comment period for the first-ever regulations of the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA) closed today. In its letter to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB), the American Financial Services Association (AFSA) commended the Bureau for bringing the FDCPA into the 21st century, and for taking the opportunity to study the third-party debt collection market. “We support the Bureau’s decision to focus this rulemaking on third-party debt collectors, as intended by the FDCPA,” AFSA’s President and CEO Bill Himpler wrote, adding, “We also welcome the CFPB’s proposal to modernize the FDCPA by expressly allowing debt collectors to contact consumers using current technology such as text messages, emails, and web portals, and by addressing areas of litigation and confusion through the use of limited-content messages.” However, AFSA believes that the CFPB should make certain changes to the proposal before finalizing it. AFSA’s letter lays out three recommendations for the Bureau to consider: First, the CFPB should promulgate the entire rule under the FDCPA, not under both the FDPCA and the Dodd-Frank Act. Second, the CFPB should recognize and more clearly describe the clear differences between third-party debt collectors and creditors collecting their own debt. Third, the CFPB should make it clear that the proposed call limits do not apply to creditors. Creating a one-size-fits-all approach on call limitations doesn’t work for consumers. It is crucial that creditors be able to contact their customers. Communication between creditors and their customers is crucial to helping customers stay current or in working with them if they face a hardship.