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CFPB looks to update rules against creditor harassment in Texas

Many people who face large medical bills may find themselves fielding phone calls and letters from a debt collector. However, this is where the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) comes in to curb creditor harassment. The bureau is in charge of regulating debt collection activities in Texas and all other states in the nation. Now, the bureau is preparing to update the rules which regulate how debt collectors are allowed to communicate with consumers that owe overwhelming debt.

The bureau is now gathering information from debt collection agencies as well as consumer rights advocates in order to prepare to make changes to the current rules. CFPB aims to increase consumer protection as well as increase accountability for collection agencies. However, the bureau says it also aims to ensure creditors and debt collectors are allowed to collect on debts legally owed. This recent action by the bureau was spurred by complaints the bureau has received from consumers regarding debt collection practices.

Some of the complaints include reports of debt collectors attempting to collect on debt which has already been paid off. Many times the consumer never even owed the debt in the first place, yet debt collectors continued to try to collect on the illegitimate debt. Collection agencies have reportedly responded to thousands of consumer complaints. Approximately 30 million people currently have one or more debts in collection.

With so many consumers facing overwhelming debt and creditor harassment in Texas and other states, many individuals may decide to file a personal bankruptcy. This could possibly discharge unsecured debts, such as unpaid medical bills. Sometimes debts are restructured in order to create a more manageable payment schedule. After the bankruptcy is completed, the petitioner will be able to start his or her new financial life.

Source: El Paso Inc., Debt collection rules may change, Ann Carrns, Dec. 1, 2013

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