On Tuesday, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau introduced new rules that would limit the number of calls debt collectors can make to seven per week.
What are the details?
According to the new proposed regulations, debt collectors would have "bright light limits on the number of calls" they can make "to reach consumers on a weekly basis." The weekly limit is per debt, which has led the National Consumer Law Center to point out to CBS News that someone with multiple loans could still be inundated with calls.
In addition to the limiting the number of calls to seven days a week, the rules would require debt collectors to wait a week before calling someone again if they actually reached the person they were looking for.
The CFPB will give the public 90 days to comment on the new rules in writing.
While the rules would limit the number of calls that debt collectors could make, it would allow them to contact consumers through unlimited emails, voicemails, or text messages. Debt collectors have been asking the government to allow them to use these methods of communication, since many people are starting to move away from using phones to make and receive calls.
Consumers will still be able to ask the collectors not to contact them using a particular method, effectively allowing them to "unsubscribe," according to the CFPB. Debt collectors would also be prohibited from "suing or threatening to sue a consumer to collect a debt if the debt collector knows or should know that the statute of limitations has expired."
In a statement announcing the new rules, CFPB Director Kathleen L. Kraninger said, "The Bureau is taking the next step in the rule-making process to ensure we have clear rules of the road where consumers know their rights and debt collectors know their limitations."
Editor's note: an earlier version of this story incorrectly said that the limit was seven calls per week per debt collector, not per debt.