CONSUMER CATCH-UP: Senators voice concern over new debt collection communication rules, lawsuit over arsenic levels in bottled water

SAN FRANCISCO (KGO) -- Senators voice concern over proposal to change the rules for debt collection communications

A group of more than 20 senators are voicing their concerns over a proposal that would allow debt collectors to contact consumers via text and email.

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau is currently considering an update to the "Fair Debt Collection Practices Act," which would limit the number of contacts a collector could have with a consumer - but also allow collectors to send them unlimited texts and emails.

RELATED: CONSUMER CATCH-UP: Debt collectors could soon contact consumers via text and email

A letter to the CFPB signed by 19 Democratic and 2 Independent senators brought up potential drawbacks to this proposal. The senators cited concerns that collectors could harass consumers with their unlimited messages, and that consumers may be on the hook for charges on the texts sent to them. They also noted that contacting consumers via email could be ineffective given spam filters and that there is no guarantee a consumer would see a message. Debt collection emails could also spawn a new breed of scam emails made to look like the ones sent by legitimate collectors.



RELATED: FCC allows telecom companies to block illegal robocalls




Peñafiel bottled water found to have arsenic levels above federal limits

Beverage producer and distributor Keurig Dr Pepper is in hot water over arsenic levels in its bottled water.

California resident John Pels filed a federal lawsuit on Monday, citing investigations by Consumer Reports into the levels of arsenic present in Peñafiel Mineral Spring Water. Consumer Reports had found the levels of arsenic in the water to be at 18 parts per billion on average. The Food and Drug Administration limits arsenic to only 10 parts per billion.

Keurig Dr Pepper then conducted its own tests to confirm the arsenic levels, and halted production for two weeks to alter their filtration methods. The company has not responded to requests for information regarding the continued sale of the water in the United States. The FDA has not yet issued a recall, saying they are working with the company on next steps.

Pels's lawsuit could apply to all California consumers who purchased Peñafiel in recent years, due to Pels's claims of "violations of California's consumer protection, unfair competition, and false advertising laws."



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