Breaking News: ACA International’s Comments Respond to CFPB’s First-Ever Proposed Debt Collection Rule

“Overall, ACA believes that the bureau’s efforts will resolve ambiguities in the FDCPA and help create uniform national standards. Nevertheless, in its comprehensive comments, ACA identifies a significant number of changes that should be made to the proposal.”
–  ACA International CEO Mark Neeb

After working with ACA International members and association leadership to garner feedback on the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s first-ever proposed rule for the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act, ACA submitted comprehensive comments on behalf of its members, outlining views on the rule and suggested improvements.

The comment period began in May after the CFPB’s debt collection town hall in Philadelphia, where ACA CEO Mark Neeb represented members and the industry.

The bureau’s proposed rule (Regulation F) will be the first of its kind since the FDCPA was enacted more than 40 years ago. Accordingly, the CFPB’s proposal will shape the future of the accounts receivable management (ARM) industry and the larger economy.

The proposed rule addresses several key issues ACA has long sought clarity on, including safe harbor procedures for the use of voicemail messages and the ability to use modern forms of communication, such as text messaging and email. The proposed rule also provides more clarity on the requirements for a validation notice and includes a model form.

Notably, ACA’s comments outline why arbitrary limitations on communications ultimately harm consumers. Communication barriers addressed in the comments include “call caps,” complicated consent requirements for sending emails, vague inconvenient place and time restrictions, and unworkable requirements to differentiate between work and personal email addresses.

In its comments, ACA provides a road map of suggested improvements that can be made to the proposal. More than 9,000 comments were filed on the Federal Register website before the Sept. 18 deadline, including many from ACA members and ARM industry professionals helping to shape the suggested improvements to the CFPB’s proposal and ensure the final version reflects the input from those working with consumers and creditors every day. ACA thanks its members for their robust participation in the process and for sharing their feedback. We will provide additional coverage of the comments in the coming days.

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Posted in Debt Collection.