Blaming pandemic (again), bureau adds 60 more days to comment period on ‘time-barred debt’ (again)

Sixty more days are added to the comment period for a proposed rule on debt collections past the statute of limitations, the federal consumer financial protection agency said Tuesday, making this the second extension for the comment period, with the same reason given as before: the impact of the coronavirus crisis.

The new comment deadline is now Aug. 4; it had been June 5 (and, before that, May 4 – 60 days since its proposal).

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) issued a supplemental notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM) on the proposal (known officially as “proposed rulemaking on time-barred debt”) originally on Feb. 21. That proposal would ban debt collectors from making calls or taking other “non-litigation means” to collect on debt that is beyond the statute of limitations unless it is disclosed during an initial contact that the debt is, in fact, past the time limit.

The proposal also requires the debt collector to inform the consumer that the statute of limitations on the debt has expired during any required validation.

In March, the agency announced an extension of the 60-day comment period for another two-month period. In its announcement of that extension, the agency indicated it 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.

In Tuesday’s announcement – pushing the comment deadline back another 60 days – the agency said the extension is intended to allow all interested parties with additional time to comment on the rulemaking as a result of the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.

CFPB to Provide Additional Extension of Comment Period for Supplemental Notice of Proposed Rulemaking on Time Barred Debt