Consumer financial agency draws ire by ruling debt-collecting lawyers now under its supervision

, The National Law Journal


On October 24, the CFPB released its final rule for overseeing debt collectors, and included attorneys among those who will be subject to direct federal supervision for the first time.

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What's being said


    The ABA has no mandate from its members to express a position on the rulemaking authority of the CFPB, particularly one which furthers the protection of millions of Americans that cannot afford a lawyer to defend their home against the despicable abuses of judicial process engaged in by bank hired attorneys throughout the United States

  • Louise Miller

    I welcome the new Bureau intervention in a field overcome with abuses.

    I regret to say that many of the law firms who lend their name to collection agencies or who actively participate in the collection process are even worse predators than those with whom they are associated.

    First of all Mr. Freedman, federal supervision does not mean federal regulation. It may come to that if abuses are detected but the law firms in question should not indulge in such practices and if they do, it is only equitable that an agency intervenes to protect the consumer. In addition, to quote Mr. Conyers comment: "giving the new Bureau authority to regulate the practice of law could materially interfere with and jeopardize sensitive aspects of the attorney-client relationship," I understand the << clients >> alluded to are the collection agencies. If the associated law firms are becoming as unethical as their clients it is obvious that something needs to intervene and the CFPB is a perfect candidate for the task.

    The business of recovering a debt should not be confused with the right to become a predator. I sincerely hope that the ABA will reconsider their opinion about the CFPB overseeing duties.

    I wish to add as an epilog that I was personally harassed by such a law firm for several months, by emails and by phone. I tried to explain that they had the wrong person but they refused to accept my word and they would neither cease nor desist in their action. It is only when I filed a formal complaint with the FTC and the ABA that the harassment stopped. Due to my background, I was merely upset and inconvenience but I can imagine what this could do to some other person, especially an elderly person or one with ill health.
    Any law firm worthy of this appellation should be utterly ashamed to behave in such a way.

    That is why I truly welcome the Bureau in its appointment.

  • MSmith

    I think its long overdue. I just helped a co-worker whose husband has cancer, deal with a collection law firm that didn't even serve her, but filed the affidavit of service with the court. When I called the person they described serving was 30 years younger. They represent a company that issues loans to low-income people and act the same way that unscrupulous landlord lawyers act. They were only interested in negotiating because a lawyer called otherwise they would have perpretrated their fraudulent service and procedures in court.

    If we have to call for civility in dealing with each other, I am not surprised that the Govt wants to make sure we don't engage in unscrupulous practices with the oftimes unrepresented or underrepresented consumer.

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