FDCPA Unusual or Inconvenient FAQ 4 – Does an automatically generated electronic communication (such as a payment reminder) that is sent …, violate the prohibition on communicating at an inconvenient time?

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Q:  Does an automatically generated electronic communication (such as a payment reminder) that is sent at a time the debt collector knows or should know is unusual or inconvenient to the consumer, violate the prohibition on communicating at an inconvenient time?
 
A:   (UPDATED 7/27/2022)
 
Yes, unless an exception applies. An electronic communication from a debt collector does not cease to be a communication simply because it is automatically generated. Thus, if an automatically generated electronic communication is sent at an unusual time, or at a time that the debt collector knows or should know is inconvenient to the consumer, and none of the exceptions apply, that automatically generated electronic communication would violate the prohibition on communicating at an unusual or inconvenient time or place. See Debt Collection Unusual or Inconvenient Times or Places Question 5 for more information on the exceptions to the prohibition on communicating at an unusual or inconvenient time or place. Nothing in the Debt Collection Rule prohibits a debt collector from sending an automatically generated electronic communication to a consumer generally, as long as the communication itself is not
prohibited under the Debt Collection Rule.
 
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 1-3 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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