Citing pandemic, bureau extends comment period on ‘time-barred debt’ proposal

The comment period will be extended on a proposal to require debt collectors to make certain disclosures when attempting to collect on debts that have exceeded the statute of limitations, the federal consumer financial protection agency said Friday, citing “challenges” posed by the coronavirus crisis.

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) said the comment period on its supplemental notice of proposed rulemaking (SNPRM) implementing the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA) would end June 5; originally, the comment period was set to end May 4 (60 days after it was proposed).

Under the proposal, debt collectors would be banned from making calls or taking other “non-litigation means” to collect on debt that is beyond the statute of limitations (i.e., “time barred”) unless it is disclosed during an initial contact that the debt is, in fact, past the time limit.

The bureau indicated the comment period extension was directly related to the coronavirus crisis. “Given the challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic, the comment period will be extended to June 5, 2020,” the agency stated.

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