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What is a “limited-content message?”

Under the CFPB’s Debt Collection Rule, a “limited-content message” is a voicemail message left by a debt collector that must contain required information and may contain other optional information.

The CFPB’s Debt Collection Rule clarifying certain provisions of the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA) became effective on November 30, 2021.

Under the Debt Collection Rule, this is a voicemail message left for a consumer that must contain required information and may contain other optional information. A limited-content message is not a “communication,” meaning that it is not subject to other legal requirements and prohibitions. For example, a debt collector who leaves only a limited-content message does not violate the prohibition against third-party communications.

For a voicemail message to be a “limited-content message,” it must include the following information:

  • A business name that does not indicate that the caller is a debt collector
  • Telephone number(s) you can use to reply to the caller
  • A request that you reply and the names of the people who you can contact to reply

The debt collector may also include the following optional information:

  • A salutation
  • The date and time of the message
  • Suggested dates and times for you to reply
  • That you may speak to any of the company’s representatives

To be a “limited-content message,” the voicemail message cannot contain any other information. Messages other than voicemail messages, such as text messages, are not limited-content messages. For more information about the definition of a limited-content message under the Debt Collection Rule, see Section 3.3 in the Debt Collection Small Entity Compliance Guide .

Learn more about limits on what a debt collector can say or do.

If you're having an issue with debt collection, you can submit a complaint with the CFPB online or by calling (855) 411-CFPB (2372)