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Title 12

Displaying title 12, up to date as of 9/14/2021. Title 12 was last amended 9/13/2021.

Title 12

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PART 1006 - FAIR DEBT COLLECTION PRACTICES ACT (REGULATION F)
Authority:

12 U.S.C. 5512; 15 U.S.C. 1692l(d), 1692o.

Source:

76 FR 78124, Dec. 16, 2011, unless otherwise noted.

Subpart A - Procedures for State Application for Exemption From the Provisions of the Act
§ 1006.1 Purpose and definitions.

(a) Purpose. This part, known as Regulation F, is issued by the Bureau of Consumer Financial Protection (Bureau). This subpart establishes procedures and criteria whereby states may apply to the Bureau for exemption of a class of debt collection practices within the applying state from the provisions of the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (the Act) as provided in section 817 of the Act, 15 U.S.C. 1692o.

(b) Definitions. For purposes of this subpart:

Class of debt collection practices includes one or more such classes of debt collection practices.

State law includes any regulations that implement state law and formal interpretations thereof by a court of competent jurisdiction or duly authorized agency of that state.

§ 1006.2 Application.

Any state may apply to the Bureau pursuant to the terms of this part for a determination that, under the laws of that state, any class of debt collection practices within that state is subject to requirements that are substantially similar to, or provide greater protection for consumers than, those imposed under sections 803 through 812 of the Act, and that there is adequate provision for state enforcement of such requirements. The application shall be in writing, addressed to the Bureau, signed by the Governor, Attorney General or state official having primary enforcement or responsibility under the state law which is applicable to the class of debt collection practices, and shall be supported by the documents specified in this subpart.

§ 1006.3 Supporting documents.

The application shall be accompanied by the following, which may be submitted in paper or electronic form:

(a) A copy of the full text of the state law that is claimed to contain requirements substantially similar to those imposed under sections 803 through 812 of the Act, or to provide greater protection to consumers than sections 803 through 812 of the Act, regarding the class of debt collection practices within that state.

(b) A comparison of each provision of sections 803 through 812 of the Act with the corresponding provision of the state law, together with reasons supporting the claim that the corresponding provisions of the state law are substantially similar to or provide greater protection to consumers than provisions of sections 803 through 812 of the Act and an explanation as to why any differences between the state and Federal law are not inconsistent with the provisions of sections 803 through 812 of the Act and do not result in a diminution in the protection otherwise afforded consumers; and a statement that no other state laws (including administrative or judicial interpretations) are related to, or would have an effect upon, the state law that is being considered by the Bureau in making its determination.

(c) A copy of the full text of the state law that provides for enforcement of the state law referred to in paragraph (a) of this section.

(d) A comparison of the provisions of the state law that provides for enforcement with the provisions of section 814 of the Act, together with reasons supporting the claim that such state law provides for administrative enforcement of the state law referred to in paragraph (a) of this section that is substantially similar to, or more extensive than, the enforcement provided under section 814 of the Act.

(e) A statement identifying the office designated or to be designated to administer the state law referred to in paragraph (a) of this section, together with complete information regarding the fiscal arrangements for administrative enforcement (including the amount of funds available or to be provided), the number and qualifications of personnel engaged or to be engaged in enforcement, and a description of the procedures under which such state law is to be administratively enforced. The statement should also include reasons to support the claim that there is adequate provision for enforcement of such state law.

§ 1006.4 Criteria for determination.

The Bureau will consider the criteria set forth below, and any other relevant information, in determining whether the law of a state is substantially similar to, or provides greater protection to consumers than, the provisions of sections 803 through 812 of the Act regarding the class of debt collection practices within that state, and whether there is adequate provision for state enforcement of such law. In making that determination, the Bureau primarily will consider each provision of the state law in comparison with each corresponding provision in sections 803 through 812 of the Act, and not the state law as a whole in comparison with the Act as a whole.

(a)

(1) In order for provisions of state law to be substantially similar to, or provide greater protection to consumers than the provisions of sections 803 through 812 of the Act, the provisions of state law at least shall provide that:

(i) Definitions and rules of construction, as applicable, import the same meaning and have the same application as those prescribed by sections 803 through 812 of the Act.

(ii) Debt collectors provide all of the applicable notifications required by the provisions of sections 803 through 812 of the Act, with the content and in the terminology, form, and time periods prescribed by this part pursuant to sections 803 through 812; however, required references to state law may be substituted for the references to Federal law required in this part. Notification requirements under state law in additional circumstances or with additional detail that do not frustrate any of the purposes of the Act may be determined by the Bureau to be consistent with sections 803 through 812 of the Act;

(iii) Debt collectors take all affirmative actions and abide by obligations substantially similar to, or more extensive than, those prescribed by sections 803 through 812 of the Act under substantially similar or more stringent conditions and within the same or more stringent time periods as are prescribed in sections 803 through 812 of the Act;

(iv) Debt collectors abide by the same or more stringent prohibitions as are prescribed by sections 803 through 812 of the Act;

(v) Obligations or responsibilities imposed on consumers are no more costly, lengthy, or burdensome relative to consumers exercising any of the rights or gaining the benefits of the protections provided in the state law than corresponding obligations or responsibilities imposed on consumers in sections 803 through 812 of the Act.

(vi) Consumers' rights and protections are substantially similar to, or more favorable than, those provided by sections 803 through 812 of the Act under conditions or within time periods that are substantially similar to, or more favorable to consumers than, those prescribed by sections 803 through 812 of the Act.

(2) Paragraph (a)(1) of this section is not to be construed as indicating that the Bureau would consider adversely any additional requirements of state law that are not inconsistent with the purpose of the Act or the requirements imposed under sections 803 through 812 of the Act.

(b) In determining whether provisions for enforcement of the state law referred to in § 1006.3(a) of this part are adequate, consideration will be given to the extent to which, under state law, provision is made for administrative enforcement, including necessary facilities, personnel, and funding.

§ 1006.5 Public notice of filing.

In connection with any application that has been filed in accordance with the requirements of §§ 1006.2 and 1006.3 of this part and following initial review of the application, a notice of such filing shall be published by the Bureau in the Federal Register, and a copy of such application shall be made available for examination by interested persons during business hours at the Bureau of Consumer Financial Protection, 1700 G Street NW., Washington, DC 20006. A period of time shall be allowed from the date of such publication for interested parties to submit written comments to the Bureau regarding that application.

§ 1006.6 Exemption from requirements.

If the Bureau determines on the basis of the information before it that, under the law of a state, a class of debt collection practices is subject to requirements substantially similar to, or that provide greater protection to consumers than, those imposed under sections 803 through 812 and section 814 of the Act, and that there is adequate provision for state enforcement, the Bureau will exempt the class of debt collection practices in that state from the requirements of sections 803 through 812 and section 814 of the Act in the following manner and subject to the following conditions:

(a) Notice of the exemption shall be published in the Federal Register, and the Bureau shall furnish a copy of such notice to the state official who made application for such exemption, to each Federal authority responsible for administrative enforcement of the requirements of sections 803 through 812 of the Act, and to the Attorney General of the United States. Any exemption granted shall be effective 90 days after the date of publication of such notice in the Federal Register.

(b) The appropriate official of any state that receives an exemption shall inform the Bureau in writing within 30 days of any change in the state laws referred to in § 1006.3(a) and (c) of this part. The report of any such change shall contain copies of the full text of that change, together with statements setting forth the information and opinions regarding that change that are specified in § 1006.3(b) and (d). The appropriate official of any state that has received such an exemption also shall file with the Bureau from time to time such reports as the Bureau may require.

(c) The Bureau shall inform the appropriate official of any state that receives such an exemption of any subsequent amendments of the Act or this part that might necessitate the amendment of state law for the exemption to continue.

(d) No exemption shall extend to the civil liability provisions of section 813 of the Act. After an exemption is granted, the requirements of the applicable state law shall constitute the requirements of sections 803 through 812 of the Act, except to the extent such state law imposes requirements not imposed by the Act or this part.

§ 1006.7 Adverse determination.

(a) If, after publication of a notice in the Federal Register as provided under § 1006.5 of this part, the Bureau finds on the basis of the information before it that it cannot make a favorable determination in connection with the application, the Bureau shall notify the appropriate state official of the facts upon which such findings are based and shall afford that state authority a reasonable opportunity to demonstrate or achieve compliance.

(b) If, after having afforded the state authority such opportunity to demonstrate or achieve compliance, the Bureau finds on the basis of the information before it that it still cannot make a favorable determination in connection with the application, the Bureau shall publish in the Federal Register a notice of its determination regarding the application and shall furnish a copy of such notice to the state official who made application for such exemption.

§ 1006.8 Revocation of exemption.

(a) The Bureau reserves the right to revoke any exemption granted under the provisions of this part, if at any time it determines that the state law does not, in fact, impose requirements that are substantially similar to, or that provide greater protection to applicants than, those imposed under sections 803 through 812 of the Act or that there is not, in fact, adequate provision for state enforcement.

(b) Before revoking any such exemption, the Bureau shall notify the appropriate state official of the facts or conduct that, in the Bureau's opinion, warrant such revocation, and shall afford that state such opportunity as the Bureau deems appropriate in the circumstances to demonstrate or achieve compliance.

(c) If, after having been afforded the opportunity to demonstrate or achieve compliance, the Bureau determines that the state has not done so, notice of the Bureau's intention to revoke such exemption shall be published in the Federal Register. A period of time shall be allowed from the date of such publication for interested persons to submit written comments to the Bureau regarding the intention to revoke.

(d) If such exemption is revoked, notice of such revocation shall be published by the Bureau in the Federal Register, and a copy of such notice shall be furnished to the appropriate state official, to the Federal authorities responsible for enforcement of the requirements of the Act, and to the Attorney General of the United States. The revocation shall become effective, and the class of debt collection practices affected within that state shall become subject to the requirements of sections 803 through 812 of the Act, 90 days after the date of publication of the notice in the Federal Register.

Subpart B - Rules for Debt Collectors Subject to the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act
Source:

86 FR 21180, Apr. 22, 2021, unless otherwise noted.

§ 1006.9 Debt collection practices in connection with the global COVID-19 pandemic.

(a) Purpose and coverage. The purpose of this subpart is to eliminate certain abusive debt collection practices by debt collectors related to the global COVID-19 pandemic, to ensure that debt collectors who refrain from using such abusive debt collection practices are not competitively disadvantaged, and to promote consistent State action to protect consumers against such debt collection abuses. This subpart applies to debt collectors, as defined in FDCPA section 803(6), 15 U.S.C. 1692(a)(6), other than a person excluded from coverage by section 1029(a) of the Consumer Financial Protection Act of 2010, title X of the Dodd-Frank Act, 12 U.S.C. 5519(a).

(b) Definitions. For purposes of this subpart, the following definitions apply:

(1) The terms consumer, debt, and debt collector have the same meaning given to them in FDCPA section 803, 15 U.S.C. 1692a.

(2) The term CDC Order means the order issued by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention titled Temporary Halt in Residential Evictions to Prevent the Further Spread of COVID-19 (86 FR 16731 (Mar. 31, 2021)), as extended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

(3) The term eviction notice means the earliest of any written notice that the laws of any State, locality, territory, or tribal area require to be provided to a consumer before an eviction action against the consumer may be filed.

(c) Prohibitions. During the effective period of the CDC Order, a debt collector collecting a debt in any jurisdiction in which the CDC Order applies must not, in connection with the collection of that debt:

(1) File an eviction action for non-payment of rent against a consumer to whom the CDC Order reasonably might apply without disclosing to that consumer clearly and conspicuously in writing, on the date that the debt collector provides the consumer with an eviction notice or, if no eviction notice is required by applicable law, on the date that the eviction action is filed, that the consumer may be eligible for temporary protection from eviction under the CDC Order; or

(2) Falsely represent or imply to a consumer that the consumer is ineligible for temporary protection from eviction under the CDC Order.

Supplement I to Part 1006 - Official Interpretations

Introduction

1. Official status. This commentary is the vehicle by which the Bureau of Consumer Financial Protection supplements Regulation F, 12 CFR part 1006. The provisions of the commentary are issued under the same authorities as the corresponding provisions of Regulation F and have been adopted in accordance with the notice-and-comment procedures of the Administrative Procedure Act (5 U.S.C. 553). Unless specified otherwise, references in this commentary are to sections of Regulation F or the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA) (15 U.S.C. 1692 et seq.). No commentary is expected to be issued other than by means of this Supplement I.

Subpart B - Rules for Debt Collectors Subject to the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act

Section 1006.9 - Debt Collection Practices in Connection With the Global COVID-19 Pandemic

9(b) Definitions.

9(b)(3).

1. Examples. Section 1006.9(b)(3) defines eviction notice as the earliest of any written notice that the laws of any State, locality, territory, or tribal area require to be provided to a consumer before an eviction action against the consumer may be filed. The term eviction notice includes, for example, notices to quit, notices to pay rent or quit, and notices to terminate tenancy.

9(c) Prohibitions.

9(c)(1).

1. Eviction action for non-payment of rent. Section 1006.9(c)(1) provides that, during the effective period of the CDC Order, a debt collector collecting a debt in any jurisdiction in which the CDC Order applies must not file an eviction action for non-payment of rent against a consumer to whom the CDC Order reasonably might apply without making the disclosure described in § 1006.9(c)(1). A debt collector does not file an eviction action for non-payment of rent if the debt collector files the eviction action based solely on the consumer engaging in one or more of the following actions: Criminal activity while on the premises; threatening the health or safety of other residents; damaging or posing an immediate and significant risk of damage to property; violating any applicable building code, health ordinance, or similar regulation relating to health and safety; or violating any other contractual obligation, other than the timely payment of rent or similar housing-related payment (including non-payment or late payment of fees, penalties, or interest).

2. Reasonably might apply. Section 1006.9(c)(1) requires a debt collector to provide the disclosure described in § 1006.9(c)(1) to any consumer to whom the CDC Order reasonably might apply. A consumer to whom the CDC Order reasonably might apply is a consumer who reasonably might be eligible to be a covered person as defined in the CDC Order. A consumer is not reasonably eligible to be a covered person if the debt collector has knowledge that a consumer is not eligible for protection under the CDC Order. However, nothing in § 1006.9(c)(1) prohibits a debt collector from providing the disclosure to a consumer even if the consumer might not reasonably be eligible to be a covered person. A debt collector therefore may comply with the requirement to provide the disclosure to any consumer to whom the CDC Order reasonably might apply by, for example, providing the disclosure to each consumer against whom the debt collector files an eviction action for non-payment of rent. A debt collector does not violate FDCPA sections 807 (15 U.S.C. 1692e) or 808 (15 U.S.C. 1692f) merely because the debt collector provides the disclosure to consumers as described in this comment 9(c)(1)-2 even if the consumer is not reasonably eligible to be a covered person.

3. Provision of disclosure. Section 1006.9(c)(1) requires a debt collector to disclose to the consumer, on the date that the debt collector provides the consumer with an eviction notice or, if no eviction notice is required by applicable law, on the date that the eviction action is filed, that the consumer may be eligible for temporary protection from eviction under the CDC Order. A debt collector may satisfy this requirement by, for example, delivering the disclosure to the address that is the subject of eviction proceedings; the debt collector is not required to ensure that the consumer actually receives the disclosure. A debt collector may, but is not required to, provide the disclosure at the same time that the debt collector provides the consumer with any eviction notice or serves the consumer with any eviction action. For example, a debt collector may, but is not required to, include the disclosure in an envelope either on or with the eviction notice or in the same mailing in which the debt collector serves the consumer with an eviction action.

4. Frequency of disclosure. Section 1006.9(c)(1) does not require a debt collector to provide the disclosure described in § 1006.9(c)(1) more than once. However, nothing in § 1006.9(c)(1) prohibits a debt collector from providing the disclosure more than once, such as in each subsequent communication with the consumer. In addition, a debt collector does not violate FDCPA sections 807 (15 U.S.C. 1692e) or 808 (15 U.S.C. 1692f) merely because the debt collector provides the disclosure more than once.

5. Sample language. Section 1006.9(c)(1) requires a debt collector to disclose that the consumer may be eligible for temporary protection from eviction under the CDC Order.

i. A debt collector may use, but is not required to use, the following language to satisfy § 1006.9(c)(1): “Because of the global COVID-19 pandemic, you may be eligible for temporary protection from eviction under Federal law. Learn the steps you should take now: visit www.cfpb.gov/eviction or call a housing counselor at 800-569-4287.” A debt collector does not violate FDCPA sections 807 (15 U.S.C. 1692e) or 808 (15 U.S.C. 1692f) merely because the debt collector provides the sample language in this comment 9(c)(1)-5.i to a consumer in a jurisdiction in which the CDC Order does not apply.

ii. Alternatively, a debt collector may use, but is not required to use, the following language to satisfy § 1006.9(c)(1): “Because of the global COVID-19 pandemic, you may be eligible for temporary protection from eviction under the laws of your State, territory, locality, or tribal area, or under Federal law. Learn the steps you should take now: visit www.cfpb.gov/eviction or call a housing counselor at 800-569-4287.” A debt collector does not violate FDCPA sections 807 (15 U.S.C. 1692e) or 808 (15 U.S.C. 1692f) merely because the debt collector provides the sample language in this comment 9(c)(1)-5.ii to a consumer in a jurisdiction in which only the CDC Order applies or in which the CDC Order does not apply.

6. Clear and conspicuous. A debt collector must provide the disclosure described in § 1006.9(c)(1) clearly and conspicuously in writing. Clear and conspicuous means readily understandable. The location and type size also must be readily noticeable and legible to consumers, although no minimum type size is mandated.

[86 FR 21180, Apr. 22, 2021]