FDCPA Unusual or Inconvenient FAQ 3 – What does the Debt Collection Rule define as an inconvenient or unusual place?

Compliance > FDCPA
Q:  What does the Debt Collection Rule define as an inconvenient or unusual place?
 
A:   (UPDATED 7/27/2022)
 
Some communication media, such as mailing addresses and landline telephone numbers, are associated with a particular place, such as the consumer’s home or workplace. A debt collector must not communicate or attempt to communicate with a consumer through a communication medium associated with an unusual place or a place that the debt collector knows or should know is inconvenient. The Debt Collection Rule does not define any per se unusual places or inconvenient places. Inconvenient places depend on whether a debt collector knows or should know that a place is inconvenient. For example, a consumer may designate the consumer’s home as inconvenient, and the debt collector must not communicate or attempt to communicate with the consumer through any communication medium associated with the consumer’s home, such as the consumer’s home landline telephone number. Other communication media, such as email addresses and mobile telephone numbers, are not associated with a place. The prohibition on communicating or attempting to communicate at unusual or inconvenient places does not prohibit a debt collector from communicating or attempting to communicate with a consumer through media not associated with a place unless the debt collector knows that the consumer is at an unusual place or knows that the consumer is at a place that the debt collector knows or should know is inconvenient to the consumer. 12 CFR § 1006.6(b)(1) and Comment 6(b)(1)(ii)-1.

For more information on the prohibition on communicating at unusual or inconvenient times or places, see Debt Collection Unusual or Inconvenient Times or Places Questions 1 and 2 and Section 4.1 in the Debt Collection Small Entity Compliance Guide. For more information on the exception to this prohibition, see Debt Collection Unusual or Inconvenient Times or Places Question 5 and Section 4.4 in the Debt Collection Small Entity Compliance Guide.
 
 
ADDITIONAL INFORMATION:
This Q&A was created based on information from CFPB’s website (which may be updated from time to time) that provides Debt Collection Rule FAQs.  This information may be found on CFPB’s website here:  https://www.consumerfinance.gov/compliance/compliance-resources/other-applicable-requirements/debt-collection/debt-collection-rule-faqs/#validation-information
 

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