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Published: November 2020

Protect limited-English speakers from harmful debt collection practices

A coalition of consumer, civil and human rights, labor, community and legal services organizations wrote to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) to voice concerns with the Bureau’s approach to consumers with Limited English Proficiency (LEP) in the recently finalized Debt Collection Practices (Regulation F) rule. There are many misconceptions about debt collection laws that are heightened by language barriers, leaving LEP consumers vulnerable to harassment and exploitation. Providing enhanced language access is essential to protect LEP consumers and provides the CFPB with the ability to enforce critical consumer rights.

Limited English Proficiency (LEP) consumers need clear information about the debt collection process and the details about the alleged debt in collection to make informed decisions. Advocates encouraged the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau to provide greater protections in its upcoming disclosure rule under the Fair Debt Collections Practices Act—the federal law that provides consumers protection from abusive debt collection practices. Their recommendations include requiring debt collectors to provide validation notice translations in eight languages and to track the consumer’s language preference.

Lead Organization

Americans for Financial Reform (AFR)

Other Organizations

Americans for Financial Reform Education Fund | California Reinvestment Coalition | Center for Responsible Lending | Congregation of Our Lady of | Charity of the Good Shepherd, U.S. Provinces | Connecticut Fair Housing Center | Consumer Action | Consumer Federation of America | Fair Housing Advocates of Northern California | Greater Napa Valley Fair Housing Center | Justice in Aging | Louisiana Fair Housing Action Center | Mobilization for Justice | NAACP | National Advocacy Center of the Sisters of the Good Shepherd | National Association of Consumer Advocates | National CAPACD (Coalition for Asian Pacific American Community Development) | National Center for Law and Economic Justice | National Consumer Law Center (on behalf of its low-income clients) | National Housing Resource Center | Project Sentinel | Public Justice Center | Public Law Center | Southwest Fair Housing Council | Texas Appleseed | The Equal Rights Center | U. S. PIRG

More Information

Click here to read the letter in full.

For more information, please visit AFR.

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