CFPB issues advisory opinion that reduces debt collection of ‘junk fees’

The CFPB Wednesday issued an advisory opinion affirming that federal law often prohibits debt collectors from charging “pay-to-pay” or “convenience” fees, which are imposed on consumers who want to make a payment in a specific way, such as online or by phone.

“Federal law generally forbids debt collectors from imposing extra fees not authorized by the original loan,” said CFPB Director Rohit Chopra. “Today’s advisory opinion shows that these fees are often illegal, and provides a roadmap on the fees that a debt collector can lawfully collect.”

The advisory opinion interprets the language in Section 808 of the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA), which prohibits debt collectors from collecting any amount that is not expressly authorized by the underlying agreement or permitted by law.

The advisory opinion covers the following on debt collection practices:

 

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