Debt Collection Practices in Connection with the Global COVID-19 Pandemic (Regulation F)
The Bureau issues this interim final rule to address certain debt collector conduct associated with an eviction moratorium issued by the CDC. This interim final rule applies to debt collectors, as that term is defined in the FDCPA. The FDCPA establishes broad consumer protections and prohibits debt collectors from engaging in harassment or abuse, making false or misleading representations, or engaging in unfair practices in debt collection.
On March 29, 2021, the CDC extended an existing agency order that imposes an eviction moratorium that generally limits the circumstances in which certain persons may be evicted from residential property. The CDC Order’s eviction moratorium is now in effect until June 30, 2021. The Bureau is concerned that consumers are not aware of their protections under the CDC Order’s eviction moratorium and that FDCPA-covered debt collectors may be engaging in eviction-related conduct that violates the FDCPA.
This interim final rule amends Regulation F, which implements the FDCPA, to require debt collectors to provide written notice to certain consumers of their protections under the CDC Order’s eviction moratorium and to clarify that certain misrepresentations are prohibited. More specifically, § 1006.9 prohibits certain acts by debt collectors that undermine the purpose and effectiveness of the CDC Order’s eviction moratorium to prevent the further spread of COVID-19. Section 1006.9(a) and (b) sets forth the purpose and coverage of subpart B and defines certain terms used in the subpart, and § 1006.9(c) identifies the prohibited acts.