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116th Congress }                                            { Report
                        HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES
 2d Session    }                                            { 116-418

======================================================================



 
             ENDING DEBT COLLECTION HARASSMENT ACT OF 2019

                                _______
                                

 March 19, 2019.--Committed to the Committee of the Whole House on the 
              State of the Union and ordered to be printed

                                _______
                                

  Ms. Waters, from the Committee on Financial Services, submitted the 
                               following

                              R E P O R T

                             together with

                             MINORITY VIEWS

                        [To accompany H.R. 5021]

      [Including cost estimate of the Congressional Budget Office]

    The Committee on Financial Services, to whom was referred 
the bill (H.R. 5021) to amend the Consumer Financial Protection 
Act of 2010 and the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act to 
improve consumer protections relating to debt collection 
practices, and for other purposes, having considered the same, 
reports favorably thereon with an amendment and recommends that 
the bill as amended do pass.

                                CONTENTS

                                                                   Page
Purpose and Summary..............................................     2
Background and Need for Legislation..............................     3
Section-by-Section Analysis......................................     3
Hearings.........................................................     4
Committee Consideration..........................................     5
Committee Votes..................................................     5
Statement of Oversight Findings and Recommendations of the 
  Committee......................................................     7
Statement of Performance Goals and Objectives....................     7
New Budget Authority and CBO Cost Estimate.......................     7
Committee Cost Estimate..........................................     9
Unfunded Mandate Statement.......................................     9
Advisory Committee...............................................     9
Application of Law to the Legislative Branch.....................     9
Earmark Statement................................................     9
Duplication of Federal Programs..................................    10
Changes to Existing Law..........................................    10
    The amendment is as follows:
  Strike all after the enacting clause and insert the 
following:

SECTION 1. SHORT TITLE.

  This Act may be cited as the ``Ending Debt Collection Harassment Act 
of 2019''.

SEC. 2. CONSUMER PROTECTIONS RELATING TO DEBT COLLECTION PRACTICES.

  (a) Reports on Debt Collection Complaints and Enforcement Actions.--
          (1) Semi-annual report.--Section 1016(c) of the Consumer 
        Financial Protection Act of 2010 (12 U.S.C. 5496(c)) is 
        amended--
                  (A) in paragraph (8), by striking ``and'' at the end;
                  (B) in paragraph (9), by striking the period at the 
                end and inserting a semicolon; and
                  (C) by adding at the end the following:
          ``(10) an analysis of the consumer complaints received by the 
        Bureau with respect to debt collection, including a State-by-
        State breakdown of such complaints; and
          ``(11) a list of enforcement actions taken against debt 
        collectors during the preceding year.''.
          (2) Annual report.--Section 815(a) of the Fair Debt 
        Collection Practices Act (15 U.S.C. 1692m(a)) is amended by 
        adding at the end the following new sentence: ``Each such 
        report shall also include an analysis of the impact of 
        electronic communications by debt collectors on consumer 
        experiences with debt collection, including a consideration of 
        consumer complaints about the use of electronic communications 
        in debt collection.''.
  (b) Limitation on Debt Collection Rules.--Section 1022 of the 
Consumer Financial Protection Act of 2010 (12 U.S.C. 5512) is amended 
by adding at the end the following:
  ``(e) Limitation on Debt Collection Rules.--The Director may not 
issue any rule with respect to debt collection that allows a debt 
collector to send unlimited email and text messages to a consumer.''.
  (c) Protection of Consumers From Unlimited Texts and Emails Used in 
Debt Collection.--Section 806 of the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act 
(15 U.S.C. 1692d) is amended by adding at the end the following new 
paragraph:
          ``(7) Contacting the consumer electronically, including by 
        email or text message, without consent of the consumer, after 
        such consent has been withdrawn, or more frequently than the 
        consumer consents to be contacted.''.
  (d) Ensuring Consumers Receive Notice of Debt Collection 
Protections.--Section 809(a) of the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act 
(15 U.S.C. 1692g(a)) is amended in the matter preceding paragraph (1) 
by striking ``Within five days'' and all that follows through ``debt,'' 
and inserting the following: ``Notice of Debt; Contents.--Within five 
days after the initial communication with a consumer in connection with 
the collection of any debt,''.
  (e) Improved Limitations on Debt Collection Rules.--Section 814(d) of 
the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (15 U.S.C. 1692l(d)) is amended 
by adding at the end the following: ``Such rules--
          ``(1) may not allow a debt collector to send unlimited 
        electronic communications to a consumer;
          ``(2) shall require debt collectors to obtain consent 
        directly from consumers before contacting them using a method 
        other than by postal mail or by phone;
          ``(3) may not waive the requirements of the Electronic 
        Signatures in Global and National Commerce Act (15 U.S.C. 7001 
        et seq.); and
          ``(4) shall allow consumers to opt out of any method of 
        communication that the debt collector uses to communicate with 
        consumers, including a method for which such consumer had given 
        prior consent.''.

                          Purpose and Summary

    On November 8, 2019, Representative Ayanna Pressley 
introduced H.R. 5021, the ``Ending Debt Collection Harassment 
Act of 2019,'' which amends the Fair Debt Collection Practices 
Act (FDCPA) to prohibit a debt collector from contacting a 
consumer by email or text message without a consumer's consent 
to be contacted electronically. H.R. 5021 would also prohibit 
the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (Consumer Bureau or 
CFPB) from issuing any rules implementing FDCPA that allows a 
debt collector to send unlimited email and text messages to a 
consumer. Furthermore, the bill would require the CFPB to 
analyze and annually report on the impact of electronic 
communications utilized by debt collectors, as well include in 
CFPB's Semi-Annual Report to Congress an analysis of consumer 
complaints, including a state-by-state breakdown of such 
complaints, and a list of recent enforcement actions taken 
against debt collectors.

                  Background and Need for Legislation

    As discussed at a September 2019 Committee hearing on debt 
collection, nearly one in three Americans with a credit record 
indicated in a Consumer Bureau survey that they were contacted 
by at least one creditor or collector trying to collect one or 
more debts during the previous year. Many lenders or 
institutions contract with third-party debt collectors, who 
will work with or pursue consumers to settle the debt. The 
third-party debt collectors either purchase the debt, or 
contract with the lender to receive a portion of the paid debt. 
When a consumer is not able to settle a debt, the owner of the 
debt may seize collateral associated with the loan, such as a 
home for mortgage defaults or a vehicle for auto-loan defaults. 
For non-collateral loans, a debt owner may garnish a consumer's 
wages via a court order.
    In May 2019, the Consumer Bureau released a notice of 
proposed rulemaking to establish guidelines on how 
communication may take place between debt collectors and 
consumers. This proposal would prohibit debt collectors from 
providing information to credit score furnishers without 
informing the debtor first. The proposal also permits up to 
seven collection calls a week, per debt. Under this proposal, 
debt collectors would have to wait at least one week after 
making phone contact with the debtor consumer. The CFPB's 
proposal would also allow debt collectors to use other methods 
of communication to contact consumers, including unlimited 
email or text messages. Consumer groups have argued that the 
rule does not go far enough to protect consumers against 
predatory debt collection practices. This legislation would 
prohibit the CFPB from issuing any rule that allows debt 
collectors to send unlimited emails and text messages to 
consumers.

                      Section-by-Section Analysis


Section 1. Short title

    This section provides that H.R. 5021 may be cited as the 
``Ending Debt Collection Harassment Act of 2019''.

Section 2. Consumer protections related to debt collection practices

    Subsection (a)(1) amends section 1016(c) of the Consumer 
Financial Protection Act of 2010 (12 U.S.C. 5496) by requiring 
the CFPB's semi-annual report to Congress to include an 
analysis of debt collection consumer complaints received by the 
Bureau, including a state-by-state breakdown of such 
complaints, and a list of enforcement actions taken against 
debt collectors during the preceding year.
    Subsection (a)(2) amends section 815(a) of the Fair Debt 
Collection Practices Act (15 U.S.C. 1692m) by requiring the 
CFPB's annual report to Congress to include an analysis of the 
impact of electronic communications by debt collectors on 
consumer experiences with debt collection, including a 
consideration of consumer complaints about the use of 
electronic communications in debt collection.
    Subsection (b) amends section 1022 of the Consumer 
Financial Protection Act of 2010 (12 U.S.C. 5512) by 
prohibiting the CFPB Director from issuing any rule with 
respect to debt collection that allows a debt collector to send 
unlimited email and text messages to a consumer.
    Subsection (c) amends section 806 of the Fair Debt 
Collection Practices Act (15 U.S.C. 1692d) by prohibiting debt 
collectors from contacting consumers electronically, including 
by email or text message, without consent of the consumer, 
after such consent has been withdrawn, or more frequently than 
the consumer consents to be contacted. Electronic communication 
without consumer consent is a violation of debt collector 
conduct.
    Subsection (d) amends section 809(a) of the Fair Debt 
Collection Practices Act (15 U.S.C. 1692g(a)) by ensuring that 
consumers receive notice of debt collection protections, 
regardless of whether that information is contained in the 
initial communication or the consumer has paid the debt.
    Subsection (e) amends section 814(d) of the Fair Debt 
Collection Practices Act (15 U.S.C. 1692l(d)) by prohibiting 
CFPB from prescribing rules that allow a debt collector to send 
unlimited electronic communications to a consumer. This 
amendment also requires CFPB to prescribe rules that require 
debt collectors to obtain consent directly from consumers 
before contacting them using a method other than by postal mail 
or by phone. Under the amendments made by this subsection, the 
CFPB is prohibited from waiving the requirements of the 
Electronic Signatures in Global and National Commerce Act. The 
amendments made by this section also Require the CFPB to 
prescribe rules that allow consumers to opt out of any method 
of communication that the debt collector uses to communicate 
with consumers, including a method for which such consumer had 
given prior consent.

                                Hearings

    For the purposes of section 103(i) of H. Res. 6 for the 
116th Congress--
    (1) On September 26, 2019, the Committee on Financial 
Services held a hearing entitled, ``Examining Legislation to 
Protect Consumers and Small Business Owners from Abusive Debt 
Collection Practices'' to discuss three bills and seven 
discussion drafts. A discussion draft of H.R. 5021, the 
``Examining Legislation to Protect Consumers and Small Business 
Owners from Abusive Debt Collection Practices'', was 
considered. This single-panel hearing consisted of witnesses 
from the Federal Trade Commission, consumer advocates, consumer 
law centers, and debt collection attorneys. The hearing allowed 
members to hear from witnesses about predatory debt collection 
practices and discuss the limitations of the Fair Debt 
Collection Practices Act.
    (2) On November 13, 2019, the Committee on Financial 
Services held a full Committee markup to discuss several debt 
collection bills. H.R. 5021 was amended in the Nature of a 
Substitute.

                        Committee Consideration

    The Committee on Financial Services met in open session on 
November 13, 2019, and ordered H.R. 5021 to be reported 
favorably to the House as amended in the nature of a substitute 
by a recorded vote of 31 yeas and 23 neas, a quorum being 
present.

                            Committee Votes

    In compliance with clause 3(b) of rule XIII of the Rules of 
the House of Representatives, the Committee advises that the 
following roll call votes occurred during the Committee's 
consideration of H.R. 5021:


    [GRAPHIC(S) NOT AVAILABLE IN TIFF FORMAT]


  Statement of Oversight Findings and Recommendations of the Committee

    In compliance with clause 3(c)(1) of rule XIII and clause 
2(b)(1) of rule X of the Rules of the House of Representatives, 
the Committee's oversight findings and recommendations are 
reflected in the descriptive portions of this report.

             Statement of Performance Goals and Objectives

    Pursuant to clause (3)(c) of rule XIII of the Rules of the 
House of Representatives, the goals of H.R. 5021 are to ensure 
that government employees, contractors, and other consumers 
affected by a Federal government shutdown.

               New Budget Authority and CBO Cost Estimate

    Pursuant to clause 3(c)(2) of rule XIII of the Rules of the 
House of Representatives and section 308(a) of the 
Congressional Budget Act of 1974, and pursuant to clause 
3(c)(3) of rule XIII of the Rules of the House of 
Representatives and section 402 of the Congressional Budget Act 
of 1974, the Committee has received the following estimate for 
H.R. 5021 from the Director of the Congressional Budget Office:

                                     U.S. Congress,
                               Congressional Budget Office,
                                 Washington, DC, February 18, 2020.
Hon. Maxine Waters,
Chairwoman, Committee on Financial Services,
House of Representatives, Washington, DC.
    Dear Madam Chairwoman: The Congressional Budget Office has 
prepared the enclosed cost estimate for H.R. 5021, the Ending 
Debt Collection Harassment Act of 2019.
    If you wish further details on this estimate, we will be 
pleased to provide them. The CBO staff contact is David Hughes.
            Sincerely,
                                         Phillip L. Swagel,
                                                          Director.
    Enclosure.


    [GRAPHIC(S) NOT AVAILABLE IN TIFF FORMAT]
    

    H.R. 5021 would require the Consumer Financial Protection 
Bureau (CFPB), as part of its semi-annual report to the 
Congress, to analyze consumer complaints received by the bureau 
concerning debt collection and to compile a list of enforcement 
actions taken against debt collectors in the preceding year. As 
part of its annual report to the Congress on its activities to 
administer the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA), H.R. 
5021 would require the CFPB to analyze the impact of electronic 
communications by debt collectors on consumers. The bill would 
prohibit debt collectors from contacting a consumer 
electronically without their consent, after their consent has 
been withdrawn, or more frequently than they consent to be 
contacted; any such contact would constitute harassment under 
the FDCPA.
    Under the bill, any rules issued by the CFPB to regulate 
debt collection would not permit debt collectors to send 
unlimited electronic communications to consumers, would require 
debt collectors to obtain consent from consumers before 
contacting them electronically, and would have to allow 
consumers to opt out of any communication method the debt 
collector uses.
    Federal Cost: CBO assumes that the legislation would be 
enacted in fiscal year 2020. The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) 
is primarily responsible for enforcing violations of the FDCPA. 
Using information from the FTC, CBO estimates that enforcing 
the new violations under the law would cost less than $500,000 
over the 2020-2025 period; any spending would be subject to the 
availability of appropriated funds.
    The CFPB is authorized to implement the FDCPA through 
regulation and may enforce certain provisions of the FDCPA. 
Using information from the CFPB, CBO estimates that the bureau 
would spend less than $500,000 over the 2020-2030 period to 
implement the bill's requirements. CBO expects that the CFPB 
would need one employee at a cost of $220,000 over one year to 
amend debt collection regulations. The CFPB has permanent 
authority, not subject to annual appropriation, to spend 
amounts transferred from the Federal Reserve.
    Mandates: H.R. 5021 would impose private-sector mandates as 
defined in the Unfunded Mandates Reform Act (UMRA) by 
prohibiting debt collectors from contacting consumers 
electronically without the consumer's consent or after a 
consumer revokes consent previously given, or from contacting 
consumers more frequently than they have permitted. The cost of 
the mandates would be the commission revenue lost by collectors 
who would have succeeded, absent the prohibitions in the bill, 
in receiving payments on delinquent debts. According to 
published information, debt collection is an $11 billion 
industry in the United States. However, because CBO cannot 
anticipate the number of consumers who would consent to 
electronic communication with a debt collector or the level of 
collections that could be directly attributed to electronic 
communications, CBO cannot determine whether the cost of the 
mandates would exceed the private-sector threshold established 
in UMRA ($168 million in 2020, adjusted annually for 
inflation).
    The bill contains no intergovernmental mandates as defined 
in UMRA.
    The CBO staff contacts for this estimate are David Hughes 
(for federal costs) and Rachel Austin (for mandates). The 
estimate was reviewed by H. Samuel Papenfuss, Deputy Director 
of Budget Analysis.

                        Committee Cost Estimate

    Clause 3(d)(1) of rule XIII of the Rules of the House of 
Representatives requires an estimate and a comparison of the 
costs that would be incurred in carrying out H.R. 5021. 
However, clause 3(d)(2)(B) of that rule provides that this 
requirement does not apply when the committee has included in 
its report a timely submitted cost estimate of the bill 
prepared by the Director of the Congressional Budget Office 
under section 402 of the Congressional Budget Act, which is 
attached.

                       Unfunded Mandate Statement

    Pursuant to Section 423 of the Congressional Budget and 
Impoundment Control Act (as amended The Committee adopts as its 
own the estimate of federal mandates regarding H.R. 5021, as 
amended, prepared by the Director of the Congressional Budget 
Office.

                           Advisory Committee

    No advisory committees within the meaning of section 5(b) 
of the Federal Advisory Committee Act were created by this 
legislation.

              Application of Law to the Legislative Branch

    Pursuant to section 102(b)(3) of the Congressional 
Accountability Act, Pub. L. No. 104-1 H.R. 4328, as amended, 
does not apply to terms and conditions of employment or to 
access to public services or accommodations within the 
legislative branch.

                           Earmark Statement

    In accordance with clause 9 of rule XXI of the Rules of the 
House of Representatives, H.R. 5021 does not contain any 
congressional earmarks, limited tax benefits, or limited tariff 
benefits as described in clauses 9(e), 9(f), and 9(g) of rule 
XXI.

                    Duplication of Federal Programs

    Pursuant to clause 3(c)(5) of rule XIII of the Rules of the 
House of Representatives, the Committee states that no 
provision of H.R. 5021 establishes or reauthorizes a program of 
the Federal Government known to be duplicative of another 
federal program, a program that was included in any report from 
the Government Accountability Office to Congress pursuant to 
section 21 of Public Law 111-139, or a program related to a 
program identified in the most recent Catalog of Federal 
Domestic Assistance.

         Changes in Existing Law Made by the Bill, as Reported

    In compliance with clause 3(e) of rule XIII of the Rules of 
the House of Representatives, changes in existing law made by 
the bill, H.R. 5021, as reported, are shown as follows:

         Changes in Existing Law Made by the Bill, as Reported

  In compliance with clause 3(e) of rule XIII of the Rules of 
the House of Representatives, changes in existing law made by 
the bill, as reported, are shown as follows (existing law 
proposed to be omitted is enclosed in black brackets, new 
matter is printed in italics, and existing law in which no 
change is proposed is shown in roman):

               CONSUMER FINANCIAL PROTECTION ACT OF 2010



           *       *       *       *       *       *       *
TITLE X--BUREAU OF CONSUMER FINANCIAL PROTECTION

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *


Subtitle A--Bureau of Consumer Financial Protection

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *


SEC. 1016. APPEARANCES BEFORE AND REPORTS TO CONGRESS.

  (a) Appearances Before Congress.--The Director of the Bureau 
shall appear before the Committee on Banking, Housing, and 
Urban Affairs of the Senate and the Committee on Financial 
Services and the Committee on Energy and Commerce of the House 
of Representatives at semi-annual hearings regarding the 
reports required under subsection (b).
  (b) Reports Required.--The Bureau shall, concurrent with each 
semi-annual hearing referred to in subsection (a), prepare and 
submit to the President and to the Committee on Banking, 
Housing, and Urban Affairs of the Senate and the Committee on 
Financial Services and the Committee on Energy and Commerce of 
the House of Representatives, a report, beginning with the 
session following the designated transfer date. The Bureau may 
also submit such report to the Committee on Commerce, Science, 
and Transportation of the Senate.
  (c) Contents.--The reports required by subsection (b) shall 
include--
          (1) a discussion of the significant problems faced by 
        consumers in shopping for or obtaining consumer 
        financial products or services;
          (2) a justification of the budget request of the 
        previous year;
          (3) a list of the significant rules and orders 
        adopted by the Bureau, as well as other significant 
        initiatives conducted by the Bureau, during the 
        preceding year and the plan of the Bureau for rules, 
        orders, or other initiatives to be undertaken during 
        the upcoming period;
          (4) an analysis of complaints about consumer 
        financial products or services that the Bureau has 
        received and collected in its central database on 
        complaints during the preceding year;
          (5) a list, with a brief statement of the issues, of 
        the public supervisory and enforcement actions to which 
        the Bureau was a party during the preceding year;
          (6) the actions taken regarding rules, orders, and 
        supervisory actions with respect to covered persons 
        which are not credit unions or depository institutions;
          (7) an assessment of significant actions by State 
        attorneys general or State regulators relating to 
        Federal consumer financial law;
          (8) an analysis of the efforts of the Bureau to 
        fulfill the fair lending mission of the Bureau; [and]
          (9) an analysis of the efforts of the Bureau to 
        increase workforce and contracting diversity consistent 
        with the procedures established by the Office of 
        Minority and Women Inclusion[.];
          (10) an analysis of the consumer complaints received 
        by the Bureau with respect to debt collection, 
        including a State-by-State breakdown of such 
        complaints; and
          (11) a list of enforcement actions taken against debt 
        collectors during the preceding year.

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *


Subtitle B--General Powers of the Bureau

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *


SEC. 1022. RULEMAKING AUTHORITY.

  (a) In General.--The Bureau is authorized to exercise its 
authorities under Federal consumer financial law to administer, 
enforce, and otherwise implement the provisions of Federal 
consumer financial law.
  (b) Rulemaking, Orders, and Guidance.--
          (1) General authority.--The Director may prescribe 
        rules and issue orders and guidance, as may be 
        necessary or appropriate to enable the Bureau to 
        administer and carry out the purposes and objectives of 
        the Federal consumer financial laws, and to prevent 
        evasions thereof.
          (2) Standards for rulemaking.--In prescribing a rule 
        under the Federal consumer financial laws--
                  (A) the Bureau shall consider--
                          (i) the potential benefits and costs 
                        to consumers and covered persons, 
                        including the potential reduction of 
                        access by consumers to consumer 
                        financial products or services 
                        resulting from such rule; and
                          (ii) the impact of proposed rules on 
                        covered persons, as described in 
                        section 1026, and the impact on 
                        consumers in rural areas;
                  (B) the Bureau shall consult with the 
                appropriate prudential regulators or other 
                Federal agencies prior to proposing a rule and 
                during the comment process regarding 
                consistency with prudential, market, or 
                systemic objectives administered by such 
                agencies; and
                  (C) if, during the consultation process 
                described in subparagraph (B), a prudential 
                regulator provides the Bureau with a written 
                objection to the proposed rule of the Bureau or 
                a portion thereof, the Bureau shall include in 
                the adopting release a description of the 
                objection and the basis for the Bureau 
                decision, if any, regarding such objection, 
                except that nothing in this clause shall be 
                construed as altering or limiting the 
                procedures under section 1023 that may apply to 
                any rule prescribed by the Bureau.
          (3) Exemptions.--
                  (A) In general.--The Bureau, by rule, may 
                conditionally or unconditionally exempt any 
                class of covered persons, service providers, or 
                consumer financial products or services, from 
                any provision of this title, or from any rule 
                issued under this title, as the Bureau 
                determines necessary or appropriate to carry 
                out the purposes and objectives of this title, 
                taking into consideration the factors in 
                subparagraph (B).
                  (B) Factors.--In issuing an exemption, as 
                permitted under subparagraph (A), the Bureau 
                shall, as appropriate, take into 
                consideration--
                          (i) the total assets of the class of 
                        covered persons;
                          (ii) the volume of transactions 
                        involving consumer financial products 
                        or services in which the class of 
                        covered persons engages; and
                          (iii) existing provisions of law 
                        which are applicable to the consumer 
                        financial product or service and the 
                        extent to which such provisions provide 
                        consumers with adequate protections.
          (4) Exclusive rulemaking authority.--
                  (A) In general.--Notwithstanding any other 
                provisions of Federal law and except as 
                provided in section 1061(b)(5), to the extent 
                that a provision of Federal consumer financial 
                law authorizes the Bureau and another Federal 
                agency to issue regulations under that 
                provision of law for purposes of assuring 
                compliance with Federal consumer financial law 
                and any regulations thereunder, the Bureau 
                shall have the exclusive authority to prescribe 
                rules subject to those provisions of law.
                  (B) Deference.--Notwithstanding any power 
                granted to any Federal agency or to the Council 
                under this title, and subject to section 
                1061(b)(5)(E), the deference that a court 
                affords to the Bureau with respect to a 
                determination by the Bureau regarding the 
                meaning or interpretation of any provision of a 
                Federal consumer financial law shall be applied 
                as if the Bureau were the only agency 
                authorized to apply, enforce, interpret, or 
                administer the provisions of such Federal 
                consumer financial law.
  (c) Monitoring.--
          (1) In general.--In order to support its rulemaking 
        and other functions, the Bureau shall monitor for risks 
        to consumers in the offering or provision of consumer 
        financial products or services, including developments 
        in markets for such products or services.
          (2) Considerations.--In allocating its resources to 
        perform the monitoring required by this section, the 
        Bureau may consider, among other factors--
                  (A) likely risks and costs to consumers 
                associated with buying or using a type of 
                consumer financial product or service;
                  (B) understanding by consumers of the risks 
                of a type of consumer financial product or 
                service;
                  (C) the legal protections applicable to the 
                offering or provision of a consumer financial 
                product or service, including the extent to 
                which the law is likely to adequately protect 
                consumers;
                  (D) rates of growth in the offering or 
                provision of a consumer financial product or 
                service;
                  (E) the extent, if any, to which the risks of 
                a consumer financial product or service may 
                disproportionately affect traditionally 
                underserved consumers; or
                  (F) the types, number, and other pertinent 
                characteristics of covered persons that offer 
                or provide the consumer financial product or 
                service.
          (3) Significant findings.--
                  (A) In general.--The Bureau shall publish not 
                fewer than 1 report of significant findings of 
                its monitoring required by this subsection in 
                each calendar year, beginning with the first 
                calendar year that begins at least 1 year after 
                the designated transfer date.
                  (B) Confidential information.--The Bureau may 
                make public such information obtained by the 
                Bureau under this section as is in the public 
                interest, through aggregated reports or other 
                appropriate formats designed to protect 
                confidential information in accordance with 
                paragraphs (4), (6), (8), and (9).
          (4) Collection of information.--
                  (A) In general.--In conducting any monitoring 
                or assessment required by this section, the 
                Bureau shall have the authority to gather 
                information from time to time regarding the 
                organization, business conduct, markets, and 
                activities of covered persons and service 
                providers.
                  (B) Methodology.--In order to gather 
                information described in subparagraph (A), the 
                Bureau may--
                          (i) gather and compile information 
                        from a variety of sources, including 
                        examination reports concerning covered 
                        persons or service providers, consumer 
                        complaints, voluntary surveys and 
                        voluntary interviews of consumers, 
                        surveys and interviews with covered 
                        persons and service providers, and 
                        review of available databases; and
                          (ii) require covered persons and 
                        service providers participating in 
                        consumer financial services markets to 
                        file with the Bureau, under oath or 
                        otherwise, in such form and within such 
                        reasonable period of time as the Bureau 
                        may prescribe by rule or order, annual 
                        or special reports, or answers in 
                        writing to specific questions, 
                        furnishing information described in 
                        paragraph (4), as necessary for the 
                        Bureau to fulfill the monitoring, 
                        assessment, and reporting 
                        responsibilities imposed by Congress.
                  (C) Limitation.--The Bureau may not use its 
                authorities under this paragraph to obtain 
                records from covered persons and service 
                providers participating in consumer financial 
                services markets for purposes of gathering or 
                analyzing the personally identifiable financial 
                information of consumers.
          (5) Limited information gathering.--In order to 
        assess whether a nondepository is a covered person, as 
        defined in section 1002, the Bureau may require such 
        nondepository to file with the Bureau, under oath or 
        otherwise, in such form and within such reasonable 
        period of time as the Bureau may prescribe by rule or 
        order, annual or special reports, or answers in writing 
        to specific questions.
          (6) Confidentiality rules.--
                  (A) Rulemaking.--The Bureau shall prescribe 
                rules regarding the confidential treatment of 
                information obtained from persons in connection 
                with the exercise of its authorities under 
                Federal consumer financial law.
                  (B) Access by the bureau to reports of other 
                regulators.--
                          (i) Examination and financial 
                        condition reports.--Upon providing 
                        reasonable assurances of 
                        confidentiality, the Bureau shall have 
                        access to any report of examination or 
                        financial condition made by a 
                        prudential regulator or other Federal 
                        agency having jurisdiction over a 
                        covered person or service provider, and 
                        to all revisions made to any such 
                        report.
                          (ii) Provision of other reports to 
                        the bureau.--In addition to the reports 
                        described in clause (i), a prudential 
                        regulator or other Federal agency 
                        having jurisdiction over a covered 
                        person or service provider may, in its 
                        discretion, furnish to the Bureau any 
                        other report or other confidential 
                        supervisory information concerning any 
                        insured depository institution, credit 
                        union, or other entity examined by such 
                        agency under authority of any provision 
                        of Federal law.
                  (C) Access by other regulators to reports of 
                the bureau.--
                          (i) Examination reports.--Upon 
                        providing reasonable assurances of 
                        confidentiality, a prudential 
                        regulator, a State regulator, or any 
                        other Federal agency having 
                        jurisdiction over a covered person or 
                        service provider shall have access to 
                        any report of examination made by the 
                        Bureau with respect to such person, and 
                        to all revisions made to any such 
                        report.
                          (ii) Provision of other reports to 
                        other regulators.--In addition to the 
                        reports described in clause (i), the 
                        Bureau may, in its discretion, furnish 
                        to a prudential regulator or other 
                        agency having jurisdiction over a 
                        covered person or service provider any 
                        other report or other confidential 
                        supervisory information concerning such 
                        person examined by the Bureau under the 
                        authority of any other provision of 
                        Federal law.
          (7) Registration.--
                  (A) In general.--The Bureau may prescribe 
                rules regarding registration requirements 
                applicable to a covered person, other than an 
                insured depository institution, insured credit 
                union, or related person.
                  (B) Registration information.--Subject to 
                rules prescribed by the Bureau, the Bureau may 
                publicly disclose registration information to 
                facilitate the ability of consumers to identify 
                covered persons that are registered with the 
                Bureau.
                  (C) Consultation with state agencies.--In 
                developing and implementing registration 
                requirements under this paragraph, the Bureau 
                shall consult with State agencies regarding 
                requirements or systems (including coordinated 
                or combined systems for registration), where 
                appropriate.
          (8) Privacy considerations.--In collecting 
        information from any person, publicly releasing 
        information held by the Bureau, or requiring covered 
        persons to publicly report information, the Bureau 
        shall take steps to ensure that proprietary, personal, 
        or confidential consumer information that is protected 
        from public disclosure under section 552(b) or 552a of 
        title 5, United States Code, or any other provision of 
        law, is not made public under this title.
          (9) Consumer privacy.--
                  (A) In general.--The Bureau may not obtain 
                from a covered person or service provider any 
                personally identifiable financial information 
                about a consumer from the financial records of 
                the covered person or service provider, 
                except--
                          (i) if the financial records are 
                        reasonably described in a request by 
                        the Bureau and the consumer provides 
                        written permission for the disclosure 
                        of such information by the covered 
                        person or service provider to the 
                        Bureau; or
                          (ii) as may be specifically permitted 
                        or required under other applicable 
                        provisions of law and in accordance 
                        with the Right to Financial Privacy Act 
                        of 1978 (12 U.S.C. 3401 et seq.).
                  (B) Treatment of covered person or service 
                provider.--With respect to the application of 
                any provision of the Right to Financial Privacy 
                Act of 1978, to a disclosure by a covered 
                person or service provider subject to this 
                subsection, the covered person or service 
                provider shall be treated as if it were a 
                ``financial institution'', as defined in 
                section 1101 of that Act (12 U.S.C. 3401).
  (d) Assessment of Significant Rules.--
          (1) In general.--The Bureau shall conduct an 
        assessment of each significant rule or order adopted by 
        the Bureau under Federal consumer financial law. The 
        assessment shall address, among other relevant factors, 
        the effectiveness of the rule or order in meeting the 
        purposes and objectives of this title and the specific 
        goals stated by the Bureau. The assessment shall 
        reflect available evidence and any data that the Bureau 
        reasonably may collect.
          (2) Reports.--The Bureau shall publish a report of 
        its assessment under this subsection not later than 5 
        years after the effective date of the subject rule or 
        order.
          (3) Public comment required.--Before publishing a 
        report of its assessment, the Bureau shall invite 
        public comment on recommendations for modifying, 
        expanding, or eliminating the newly adopted significant 
        rule or order.
  (e) Limitation on Debt Collection Rules.--The Director may 
not issue any rule with respect to debt collection that allows 
a debt collector to send unlimited email and text messages to a 
consumer.

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *

                              ----------                              


                   FAIR DEBT COLLECTION PRACTICES ACT



           *       *       *       *       *       *       *
TITLE VIII--DEBT COLLECTION PRACTICES

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *


Sec. 806. Harassment or abuse

   A debt collector may not engage in any conduct the natural 
consequence of which is to harass, oppress, or abuse any person 
in connection with the collection of a debt. Without limiting 
the general application of the foregoing, the following conduct 
is a violation of this section:
          (1) The use or threat of use of violence or other 
        criminal means to harm the physical person, reputation, 
        or property of any person.
          (2) The use of obscene or profane language or 
        language the natural consequence of which is to abuse 
        the hearer or reader.
          (3) The publication of a list of consumers who 
        allegedly refuse to pay debts, except to a consumer 
        reporting agency or to persons meeting the requirements 
        of section 603(f) or 604(3) of this Act.
          (4) The advertisement for sale of any debt to coerce 
        payment of the debt.
          (5) Causing a telephone to ring or engaging any 
        person in telephone conversation repeatedly or 
        continuously with intent to annoy, abuse, or harass any 
        person at the called number.
          (6) Except as provided in section 804, the placement 
        of telephone calls without meaningful disclosure of the 
        caller's identity.
          (7) Contacting the consumer electronically, including 
        by email or text message, without consent of the 
        consumer, after such consent has been withdrawn, or 
        more frequently than the consumer consents to be 
        contacted.

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *


Sec. 809. Validation of debts

  (a) [Within five days after the initial communication with a 
consumer in connection with the collection of any debt,] Notice 
of Debt; Contents._Within five days after the initial 
communication with a consumer in connection with the collection 
of any debt,  a debt collector shall, unless the following 
information is contained in the initial communication or the 
consumer has paid the debt, send the consumer a written notice 
containing--
          (1) the amount of the debt;
          (2) the name of the creditor to whom the debt is 
        owed;
          (3) a statement that unless the consumer, within 
        thirty days after receipt of the notice, disputes the 
        validity of the debt, or any portion thereof, the debt 
        will be assumed to be valid by the debt collector;
          (4) a statement that if the consumer notifies the 
        debt collector in writing within the thirty-day period 
        that the debt, or any portion thereof, is disputed, the 
        debt collector will obtain verification of the debt or 
        a copy of a judgment against the consumer and a copy of 
        such verification or judgment will be mailed to the 
        consumer by the debt collector; and
          (5) a statement that, upon the consumer's written 
        request within the thirty-day period, the debt 
        collector will provide the consumer with the name and 
        address of the original creditor, if different from the 
        current creditor.
  (b) If the consumer notifies the debt collector in writing 
within the thirty-day period described in subsection (a) that 
the debt, or any portion thereof, is disputed, or that the 
consumer requests the name and address of the original 
creditor, the debt collector shall cease collection of the 
debt, or any disputed portion thereof, until the debt collector 
obtains verification of the debt or a copy of a judgment, or 
the name and address of the original creditor, and a copy of 
such verification or judgment, or name and address of the 
original creditor, is mailed to the consumer by the debt 
collector. Collection activities and communications that do not 
otherwise violate this title may continue during the 30-day 
period referred to in subsection (a) unless the consumer has 
notified the debt collector in writing that the debt, or any 
portion of the debt, is disputed or that the consumer requests 
the name and address of the original creditor. Any collection 
activities and communication during the 30-day period may not 
overshadow or be inconsistent with the disclosure of the 
consumer's right to dispute the debt or request the name and 
address of the original creditor.
  (c) The failure of a consumer to dispute the validity of a 
debt under this section may not be construed by any court as an 
admission of liability by the consumer.
  (d) Legal Pleadings.--A communication in the form of a formal 
pleading in a civil action shall not be treated as an initial 
communication for purposes of subsection (a).
  (e) Notice Provisions.--The sending or delivery of any form 
or notice which does not relate to the collection of a debt and 
is expressly required by the Internal Revenue Code of 1986, 
title V of Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act, or any provision of Federal 
or State law relating to notice of data security breach or 
privacy, or any regulation prescribed under any such provision 
of law, shall not be treated as an initial communication in 
connection with debt collection for purposes of this section.

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *


Sec. 814. Administrative enforcement

  (a) Federal Trade Commission.--The Federal Trade Commission 
shall be authorized to enforce compliance with this title, 
except to the extent that enforcement of the requirements 
imposed under this title is specifically committed to another 
Government agency under any of paragraphs (1) through (5) of 
subsection (b), subject to subtitle B of the Consumer Financial 
Protection Act of 2010. For purpose of the exercise by the 
Federal Trade Commission of its functions and powers under the 
Federal Trade Commission Act (15 U.S.C. 41 et seq.), a 
violation of this title shall be deemed an unfair or deceptive 
act or practice in violation of that Act. All of the functions 
and powers of the Federal Trade Commission under the Federal 
Trade Commission Act are available to the Federal Trade 
Commission to enforce compliance by any person with this title, 
irrespective of whether that person is engaged in commerce or 
meets any other jurisdictional tests under the Federal Trade 
Commission Act, including the power to enforce the provisions 
of this title, in the same manner as if the violation had been 
a violation of a Federal Trade Commission trade regulation 
rule.
  (b) Subject to subtitle B of the Consumer Financial 
Protection Act of 2010, compliance with any requirements 
imposed under this title shall be enforced under--
          (1) section 8 of the Federal Deposit Insurance Act, 
        by the appropriate Federal banking agency, as defined 
        in section 3(q) of the Federal Deposit Insurance Act 
        (12 U.S.C. 1813(q)), with respect to--
                  (A) national banks, Federal savings 
                associations, and Federal branches and Federal 
                agencies of foreign banks;
                  (B) member banks of the Federal Reserve 
                System (other than national banks), branches 
                and agencies of foreign banks (other than 
                Federal branches, Federal agencies, and insured 
                State branches of foreign banks), commercial 
                lending companies owned or controlled by 
                foreign banks, and organizations operating 
                under section 25 or 25A of the Federal Reserve 
                Act; and
                  (C) banks and State savings associations 
                insured by the Federal Deposit Insurance 
                Corporation (other than members of the Federal 
                Reserve System), and insured State branches of 
                foreign banks;
          (2) the Federal Credit Union Act, by the 
        Administrator of the National Credit Union 
        Administration with respect to any Federal credit 
        union;
          (3) the Acts to regulate commerce, by the Secretary 
        of Transportation, with respect to all carriers subject 
        to the jurisdiction of the Surface Transportation 
        Board;
          (4) the Federal Aviation Act of 1958, by the 
        Secretary of Transportation with respect to any air 
        carrier or any foreign air carrier subject to that Act;
          (5) the Packers and Stockyards Act, 1921 (except as 
        provided in section 406 of that Act), by the Secretary 
        of Agriculture with respect to any activities subject 
        to that Act; and
          (6) subtitle E of the Consumer Financial Protection 
        Act of 2010, by the Bureau, with respect to any person 
        subject to this title.
The terms used in paragraph (1) that are not defined in this 
title or otherwise defined in section 3(s) of the Federal 
Deposit Insurance Act (12 U.S.C. 1813(s)) shall have the 
meaning given to them in section 1(b) of the International 
Banking Act of 1978 (12 U.S.C. 3101).
  (c) For the purpose of the exercise by any agency referred to 
in subsection (b) of its powers under any Act referred to in 
that subsection, a violation of any requirement imposed under 
this title shall be deemed to be a violation of a requirement 
imposed under that Act. In addition to its powers under any 
provision of law specifically referred to in subsection (b), 
each of the agencies referred to in that subsection may 
exercise, for the purpose of enforcing compliance with any 
requirement imposed under this title any other authority 
conferred on it by law, except as provided in subsection (d).
  (d) Except as provided in section 1029(a) of the Consumer 
Financial Protection Act of 2010, the Bureau may prescribe 
rules with respect to the collection of debts by debt 
collectors, as defined in this title. Such rules--
          (1) may not allow a debt collector to send unlimited 
        electronic communications to a consumer; 
          (2) shall require debt collectors to obtain consent 
        directly from consumers before contacting them using a 
        method other than by postal mail or by phone; 
          (3) may not waive the requirements of the Electronic 
        Signatures in Global and National Commerce Act (15 
        U.S.C. 7001 et seq.); and 
          (4) shall allow consumers to opt out of any method of 
        communication that the debt collector uses to 
        communicate with consumers, including a method for 
        which such consumer had given prior consent. 

Sec. 815. Reports to Congress by the Bureau

  (a) Not later than one year after the effective date of this 
title and at one-year intervals thereafter, the Bureau shall 
make reports to the Congress concerning the administration of 
its functions under this title, including such recommendations 
as the Bureau deems necessary or appropriate. In addition, each 
report of the Bureau shall include its assessment of the extent 
to which compliance with this title is being achieved and a 
summary of the enforcement actions taken by the Bureau under 
section 814 of this title. Each such report shall also include 
an analysis of the impact of electronic communications by debt 
collectors on consumer experiences with debt collection, 
including a consideration of consumer complaints about the use 
of electronic communications in debt collection.
  (b) In the exercise of its functions under this title, the 
Bureau may obtain upon request the views of any other Federal 
agency which exercises enforcement functions under section 814 
of this title.

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *


                             MINORITY VIEWS

    Committee Republicans recognize the need to protect 
consumers from harmful debt collection practices. The Fair Debt 
Collection Practices Act (FDCPA) was enacted to strike the 
right balance between protecting consumers and making lenders 
whole.
    H.R. 5021 would shift that balance and undermine the 
Consumer Financial Protection Bureau's (CFPB) effort to bring 
the FDCPA into the 21st Century. H.R. 5021 guts the CFPB's May 
2019 proposed rule that would outline clear rules of the road 
for both consumers and debt collectors. Specifically, this rule 
proposes to ``set clear bright-line limits on the number of 
calls debt collectors may place to reach consumers on a daily 
basis; clarify how collectors may communicate lawfully using 
new technologies, such as voicemails, emails, and text 
messages; and require collectors to provide additional 
information to consumers to help identify debts.''\1\
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    \1\https://www.consumerfinance.gov/about-us/newsroom/bureau-
proposes-regulations-implement-fair-debt-collection-practices-act/.
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    Small businesses, in particular, use third-party debt 
collectors to manage receivables and recover outstanding debts. 
Democrats through their support for H.R. 5021 would prevent 
small businesses from being able to use modern communication 
technology to collect on unresolved balances, thus preventing 
many businesses from meeting their bottom lines. Members of 
Congress are constantly updating their constituents using 
electronic communications methods--the times demand it. 
Communication between lenders and borrowers should be no 
different.
    Committee Republicans look forward to working with 
Democrats on developing a more comprehensive and bipartisan 
package of reforms to the FDCPA, rather than rifle shot bills 
directed towards undermining a proposed rule that is unpopular 
among Committee Democrats. For these reasons, Committee 
Republicans oppose H.R. 5021.
                                   Alexander X. Mooney.
                                   David Kustoff.
                                   Lance Gooden.
                                   William R. Timmons, IV.
                                   Ted Budd.
                                   J. French Hill.
                                   John W. Rose.
                                   Anthony Gonzalez, (OH).
                                   Andy Barr.
                                   Ann Wagner.
                                   Blaine Luetkemeyer
                                   Steve Stivers.
                                   Patrick T. McHenry.
                                   Warren Davidson.
                                   Barry Loudermilk.
                                   Tom Emmer.
                                   Scott R. Tipton.
                                   Roger Williams.
                                   Bryan Steil.
                                   Trey Hollingsworth.
                                   Denver Riggleman.
                                   Lee M. Zeldin.
                                   Frank D. Lucas.
                                   Bill Huizenga.
                                   Bill Posey.