The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) and the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) sent notification letters on May 3 to the nation’s largest apartment landlords, which collectively own more than 2 million rental units, about their obligations under the CFPB’s interim final rule establishing new notice requirements for evictions under the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA). CFPB’s interim final rule, which took effect May 3, requires debt collectors to provide written notice to tenants who may have rights under the federal eviction moratorium issued by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and prohibits them from misrepresenting tenants’ eligibility for protection under the moratorium (see Memo, 4/26).
The letters ask landlords to examine their practices in light of the CDC moratorium to ensure they comply with the FTC Act and the FDCPA and remediate any harm to tenants stemming from law violations. The notification letters encourage landlords to notify FDCPA-covered debt collectors working on their behalf, which may include attorneys, of the federal eviction moratorium, applicable state or local moratoriums, and their obligation under the FTC Act and FDCPA.
The letters are the latest action by the CFPB and FTC to enforce the CDC eviction moratorium. The CFPB and FTC released a joint statement on March 29 announcing the agencies will monitor and investigate eviction practices to ensure landlords and property owners are complying with the federal, state, or local moratoriums (see Memo, 4/5). Following the joint statement, the CFPB on April 19 issued the interim final rule clarifying that tenants can hold debt collectors accountable for illegal evictions.
Read the CFPB’s press release at: https://bit.ly/3vKec3u
Read a sample notification letter at: https://bit.ly/3b7XIKw
The CFPB interim final rule is available at: https://bit.ly/3n9Zq2S
Renters can learn about their rights under the FDCPA and how to report debt collectors who break federal law at: https://bit.ly/3tLU5kI
Consumers can submit a debt collection complaint, including complaints related to an eviction, eviction lawyers, or eviction law firms with the CFPB at https://www.consumerfinance.gov/complaint/ or by calling (855) 411-2372.