Trump Admin Wants To Allow Debt Collectors To Harass You As Much As They Want Online, Call 7 Times A Week

Isheka N. Harrison
Written by Isheka N. Harrison
Trump Administration
President Donald Trump speaks during a event on medical billing in the Roosevelt Room of the White House, Thursday, May 9, 2019, in Washington. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)

As if Americans don’t already have enough stress in their lives, it seems The Trump Administration is on a continual mission to add more. Last week, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) proposed updates to the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act.

The new rules would allow debt collectors to call consumers 7 times a week and send unlimited texts and emails, reported the Washington Post. The proposal is also examining the use of social media by creditors.

The CFPB believes the new rules will give consumers “clear protections against harassment by debt collectors and straightforward options to address or dispute debts.”

However, consumer advocates are concerned they could give creditors known for their high pressure, scare tactics new ways to violate consumers’ privacy, the Post reported.

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David Phillips is an Illinois attorney who has filed dozens of lawsuits against debt collectors. In an interview with the Post he said, “People are able to ignore phone calls, and that is the thing debt collectors don’t like … It’s as if a debt collector is able to show up at your house and pound on the door. That is the effect of a text message.”

Since the original act was created in 1977, it doesn’t address digital communications – and users can still opt out of texts and emails by creditors, reported The Verge. The proposal is ironic, especially considering the President has been accused by hundreds of not paying his bills throughout his real estate career.

The CFPB heralds the proposal as an attempt “to ensure we have clear rules of the road where consumers know their rights and debt collectors know their limitations.”

It seems more like an attempt to give the debt collection industry that much more power to harass citizens struggling under the burden of financial debt. And if they have more than one debt, that stress intensifies said Linda Jun, senior policy counsel at Americans for Financial Reform.

“It could add up quickly,” Jun said.