Abstract: United States: Consumer Financial Protection Bureau provides sample disclosure language and guidance regarding its new rule imposed upon debt collectors of landlords.
Debt collectors, as defined under the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act, are now obligated to provide affirmative notice to tenants in non-payment eviction matters of their protections under the CDC Eviction Order, as discussed in our April 22 post.
Recently, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) issued a Compliance Aid, which provided sample language debt collectors can use when communicating with tenants to comply with this new disclosure requirement. In its Compliance Aid, the CFPB stated that the “sample language is just one way to comply with the requirements in the 2021 IFR, and does not include all possible ways to satisfy the disclosure requirement.”
Sample disclosure language:
Because of the global COVID-19 pandemic, you may be eligible for temporary protection from eviction under the laws of your State, territory, locality, or tribal area, or under Federal law.
Learn the steps you should take now:
As a reminder, the above referenced disclosure language may be provided (1) along with the eviction notice as a separate document, or (2) within the eviction notice itself.
Also, the disclosure must be in a location and type size that is readily noticeable and legible to the consumer, although no minimum type size is mandated.
Other information regarding disclosure requirement:
As discussed in our April 22 post, the disclosure language must be included in the first notice of eviction for non-payment sent by the debt collector to the tenant. The definition of eviction notice is meant to encompass all such required notices, regardless of the names by which those notices are known, for example: notices to quit, notices to pay rent or quit, and notices to terminate tenancy.
If the debt collector does not become involved in the eviction process until the eviction petition/complaint is filed (for example, in the situation where the debt collector is an attorney), the above referenced language must be given upon service of the eviction petition/complaint to the tenant and parties in possession.