Abusive debt collection practices run rampant.

Oklahomans filed over 5,000 debt collection complaints with regulators since 2008. As a consumer protection attorney, we do what we can to help, but there are far more consumers in need of legal help than there are consumer lawyers in Oklahoma.

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau should be doing what it can to protect us from debt collectors’ bullying, but instead its plan would protect the bullies.

Many of us are just a paycheck away from an account going to collection. Medical debt is especially susceptible.

Forty percent of fellow Oklahomans have debts in collection, making it highly likely that someone you know is directly affected.

In May, the CFPB proposed a new debt collection rule that would leave Oklahoma consumers more vulnerable than ever to the collections industry’s worst practices.

Consumers are sick of debt collectors calling day in and day out.

Under the new rule, collectors will actually be allowed to expand their harassment with daily text messages, emails and/or direct messages on social media.

That’s just the tip of the iceberg. The proposed rule is full of gaps, loopholes and new opportunities to abuse consumers.

In its eight years of existence, the CFPB has come out with strong rules and taken decisive actions to protect us.

But now we need a debt collection rule that protects consumers and not the debt collection industry.

Letters to the editor are encouraged. Send letters to letters@tulsaworld.com.

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