Last week, the CFPB published additional frequently asked questions on Regulation F, its debt collection rule. The new FAQs address third-party communications, electronic communications, and unusual or inconvenient time and place provisions.
Prohibitions on Third-Party Communications. The FAQs address the following questions:
- What is the Debt Collection Rule’s general prohibition on third-party communications?
- Are there exceptions to the general prohibition against third-party communications?
- Does the general prohibition on third-party communications apply to electronic communications from a debt collector about a debt?
Electronic Communications. The FAQs address the following questions:
- Does the Debt Collection Rule require debt collectors to communicate electronically with consumers?
- Under the Debt Collection Rule, can a person limit debt collector communications?
- What is the Debt Collection Rule’s opt-out notice requirement for electronic communications?
- What are considered reasonable and simple methods for opting out of electronic communications under the Debt Collection Rule?
- Is a debt collector required to honor a consumer’s request to opt out of electronic communications if the request does not conform to the debt collector’s opt-out instructions?
Unusual or Inconvenient Times or Places. The FAQs address the following questions:
- Does the debt collection rule limit where or when a debt collector can communicate or attempt to communicate with a consumer about a debt?
- What does the Debt Collection Rule define as an inconvenient or unusual time?
- What does the Debt Collection Rule define as an inconvenient or unusual place?
- Does an automatically generated electronic communication (such as a payment reminder) that is sent at a time the debt collector knows or should know is unusual or inconvenient to the consumer, violate the prohibition on communicating at an inconvenient time?
- What are the exceptions to the prohibition on communicating at an unusual or inconvenient time or place?
- Does an automatically generated electronic communication (such as a payment confirmation) sent at a time the debt collector knows or should know is inconvenient to the consumer, which is sent in response to a consumer action (such as a payment), meet the limited exception for responding to consumer-initiated contact?
- If a consumer tells a debt collector that Fridays are inconvenient, but later contacts a debt collector on a Friday, can the debt collector respond on the following Friday under the limited exception for responding to consumer-initiated contact at a time or place the consumer previously designated as inconvenient?