Rep. Porter Sounds Alarm on Rollback of Protections Against Abusive Debt Collection Practices

September 26, 2019
Press Release
Congresswoman’s leads 65 House colleagues in calling on Trump Administration to protect consumers rather than debt collectors

WASHINGTON – Congresswoman Katie Porter (CA-45) today called out the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) for rolling back protections that prevent debt collectors from harassing Americans. She was joined in her effort by 65 Members of Congress.

“Debt collectors today use the exact same excuses I heard from mortgage lenders in the years leading up to the financial crisis, and we know how that turned out,” Congresswoman Porter said. “Instead of serving as a watchdog for consumers, the CFPB has shown again that it would rather let corporate abuse go unchecked. I’m proud to lead 65 of my colleagues in demanding that the Trump Administration do its job to protect consumers from abusive debt collection practices.”

Debt collection is one of the leading sources of consumer complaints. The National Consumer Law Center reported that in California alone, consumers filed 69,615 complaints about abusive debt collection practices. Under a newly proposed rule from the Trump Administration, debt collectors would be allowed to call up seven times per week per debt, text and email without clear limits, and decline to translate important notices into consumers’ preferred language.

In a letter to CFPB Director Kathy Kraninger, the 66 Representatives write, “The Bureau has the authority to stand up for consumers and rein in the worst practices of one of the leading sources of consumer complaints: debt collection. Yet, the Bureau has proposed changes to the law that will fail to constrain collectors’ harmful behaviors in any meaningful way—and may make them worse.”

A longtime commercial law professor and consumer protection advocate, Porter has made consumer protection a top priority in Congress. She stood up to leaders of both parties to speak up against a bill that would prevent the IRS from creating its own program to allow Americans to file their taxes for free. At a Financial Services Committee hearing earlier this year, she exposed Consumer Financial Protection Bureau Director Kathy Kraninger for her unfamiliarity with the basics of consumer lending. She called out Equifax CEO Mark Begor for arguing in federal court that his company’s data breach did not harm consumers.

Read the Congresswoman’s letter to Director Kraninger HERE.

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