Today the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) published guidance on new timelines for the Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) for debt collection.
The guidance appeared in two separate locations:
Kelly Cochran, Assistant Director for Regulations, published a post in the CFPB blog titled Spring 2017 rulemaking agenda. Read the blog here.
The section on debt collection reads as follows:
“We are also engaged in rulemaking activities regarding the debt collection market, which continues to be the single largest source of complaints to the federal government of any industry. We are concerned that because consumers cannot choose their debt collectors or “vote with their feet,” they have less ability to protect themselves from harmful practices.
In January 2017, we published the results of a survey of consumers about their experiences with debt collection. We have also received encouragement from industry to engage in rulemaking to make the standards clear and address issues of concern under the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA), such as the application of the FDCPA to modern communication technologies under the 40-year-old statute. We released an outline of proposals under consideration in July 2016 concerning practices by companies that are “debt collectors” under the FDCPA, in advance of convening a panel under the Small Business Regulatory Enforcement Fairness Act (SBREFA) in conjunction with the Office of Management and Budget and the Small Business Administration’s Chief Counsel for Advocacy to consult with representatives of small businesses that might be affected by the rulemaking. Building on feedback received through the SBREFA panel, we have decided to issue a proposed rule later in 2017 concerning debt collectors’ communications practices and consumer disclosures. We intend to follow up separately at a later time about concerns regarding information flows between creditors and FDCPA collectors and about potential rules to govern creditors that collect their own debts.”
Emphasis added by insideARM.
Also, published today on the website of the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs, Office of Management and Budget was a more definitive date for the NPRM. The date listed on that site was 9/00/2017. See that notice here.
insideARM last wrote about the proposed rulemaking on June 8, 2017, when CFPB Director Richard Cordray spoke at the summer meeting of the CFPB's Consumer Advisory Board. At that time he announced that the Bureau will be separating the "right consumer, right amount" aspect of its debt collection rulemaking in order to ensure that complexities are properly addressed by intertwining rules for both creditors and their clients.
For additional background read insideARM’s detailed coverage of the CFPB’s debt collection rulemaking:
insideARM Perspective on CFPB Outline of Proposed Debt Collection Rules – Communication Part 1 (Contact frequency and voicemail messages)
insideARM Perspective on CFPB Outline of Proposed Debt Collection Rules – Communication Part 2 (General time, place, and manner restrictions; decedent debt; and consumer consent)
insideARM Perspective on CFPB Outline of Proposed Debt Collection Rules – Information Integrity (Data integrity, data transfer, substantiation, validation notice)
What Collectors Really Need to Know About the CFPB’s Proposed Rules - a podcast by Attorney John Rossman
Webinar: CFPB Rulemaking and Overview (August 16, repeated on August 18) – free for Compliance Professionals Forum members; $59 for others
While the two notices deliver similar messages, industry insiders believe that the September timeframe will be difficult to meet. The CFPB has a heavy agenda right now. Most suspect that the “later in 2017” description in the Spring 2017 rulemaking agenda the is most accurate.
insideARM will continue to monitor and report on this critical item.