The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) issued on April 19 an interim final rule to strengthen and enforce the federal eviction moratorium issued by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). The new rule takes effect May 3 and requires debt collectors, including attorneys, to provide written notice to tenants of their rights under the CDC eviction moratorium and prohibits debt collectors from misrepresenting tenants’ eligibility for protection under the moratorium.
Under the new rule, debt collectors who evict tenants protected by the CDC moratorium without providing written notice of the moratorium or who misrepresent tenants’ rights under the moratorium can be prosecuted by federal agencies and state attorneys general for violating the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA) and are also subject to private lawsuits by tenants.
“With COVID-19 killing hundreds of Americans every day, kicking families out into the street during this pandemic may literally be a death sentence,” said CFPB Acting Director Dave Uejio. “No one should be evicted from their home without understanding their rights, and we will hold accountable those debt collectors who move forward with illegal evictions.”
The rule follows a joint statement released on March 29 by the CFPB and the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) 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). The CFPB’s action also comes after over 2,300 organizations joined NLIHC in urging the Biden administration to strengthen and enforce the federal eviction moratorium.
The CFPB 2021 Debt Collection COVID-19 Interim Final Rule is available at: https://bit.ly/3n9Zq2S
Read the CFPB’s fact sheet on the Interim Final Rule at: https://bit.ly/3tJVZ5p
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.