More From the CFPB on the TCPA

Over the past several months I have shared more than a few posts
on the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s (“CFPB”)
proposed rule-making efforts for the 2014 calendar year in addition
to sharing information on the trend toward consumers filing fewer
Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (“FDCPA”) cases and bringing
more
Telephone Consumer Protection Act (“TCPA”) claims

The reason for the increase in TCPA
cases
is fairly obvious as cellular
phone
use continues to increase across the general
public.  With the widespread epidemic of mobile phone use, the
TCPA has had to tighten its reigns to protect consumers from
creditors contacting them and violating the consumer
laws. 

In its initial changes to the existing law, the CFPB announced
it will be focusing its efforts of improvement on technology and
must find a way to be fair to both consumers who solely use their
cellular phones as a means of communication and creditors who must
reach a the vast population of consumers by using auto-dialed
calls.  The CFPB specifically stated that it must address the
use of cellular phones in establishing its new rules for debt
collectors.  While the CFPB does understand that the
collection industry needs to use auto-dialer systems to contact a
great amount of debtors it remains to be seen how the CFPB will
fairly balance the laws that focus on the collection
process.       

The CFPB has stated that it is still open to comments from the
general public through mid-February and then shortly after that it
will begin drafting new rules on the subject.  If past
behavior is any indication, we can expect to see great changes to
protect consumers under the TCPA rather quickly as the CFPB wants
new rules in place sooner rather than later.  The CFPB has
tipped off the public letting them know the first set of rules will
focus on creditors’ responsibilities under the FDCPA but not far
behind should be provisions restricting creditors’ conduct under
the TCPA which will no doubt apply also to lenders and collection
agencies.        

For more information on the TCPA contact SmithMarco P.C. for a
free case review.