CFPB targets debt collectors in bid to protect renters

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau on Monday unveiled a rule cracking down on debt collectors to stop them from forcing renters from their homes during a nationwide eviction ban, as millions of Americans struggle with bills amid the pandemic.

The new rule requires debt collectors to notify tenants of their rights under the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s moratorium on evictions for nonpayment of rent. The CFPB warned that debt collectors who evict tenants could face prosecution. The agency is issuing the new rule under the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act.

“Kicking families out into the street during this pandemic may literally be a death sentence,” acting CFPB Director Dave Uejio said in a statement. “No one should be evicted from their home without understanding their rights, and we will hold accountable those debt collectors who move forward with illegal evictions. We encourage debt collectors to work with tenants and landlords to find solutions that work for everyone.”

About 9 million tenant households are behind on rental payments, according to the CFPB. The eviction moratorium is currently scheduled to expire June 30.

The CFPB is imposing the new rule after finding that consumers are not aware of protections they have under the CDC eviction ban and that debt collectors may be violating the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act, the agency said in the text of the rule.

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The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau on Monday unveiled a rule cracking down on debt collectors to stop them from forcing renters from their homes during a nationwide eviction ban, as millions of Americans struggle with bills amid the pandemic.

The new rule requires debt collectors to notify tenants of their rights under the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s moratorium on evictions for nonpayment of rent. The CFPB warned that debt collectors who evict tenants could face prosecution. The agency is issuing the new rule under the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act.

“Kicking families out into the street during this pandemic may literally be a death sentence,” acting CFPB Director Dave Uejio said in a statement. “No one should be evicted from their home without understanding their rights, and we will hold accountable those debt collectors who move forward with illegal evictions. We encourage debt collectors to work with tenants and landlords to find solutions that work for everyone.”

About 9 million tenant households are behind on rental payments, according to the CFPB. The eviction moratorium is currently scheduled to expire June 30.

The CFPB is imposing the new rule after finding that consumers are not aware of protections they have under the CDC eviction ban and that debt collectors may be violating the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act, the agency said in the text of the rule.

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