Earlier this year, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) issued a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) to implement the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA). The proposal, which will go into deliberation in September and won’t be finalized until after that date at the earliest, would provide consumers with clear-cut protections against disturbance by debt collectors and straightforward options to address or dispute debts. Additionally, the NPRM would set strict limits on the number of calls debt collectors may place to reach consumers weekly, as well as clarify how collectors may communicate lawfully using technologies developed after the FDCPA’s passage in 1977.
So, what does this mean for collectors?
The compliance conundrum is ever present, especially in the debt collection industry. Debt collectors are expected to continuously adapt to changing regulations, forcing them to spend time, energy and resources on maintaining compliance. As the most recent onslaught of developments and proposed new rules have been pushed out to the financial community, compliance professionals are once again working to implement changes. According to the Federal Register, here are some key ways the new regulation would affect debt collection:
- Limited to seven calls: Debt collectors would be limited to attempting to reach out to consumers by phone about a specific debt no more than seven times per week.
- Ability to unsubscribe: Consumers who do not wish to be contacted via newer technologies, including voicemails, emails and text messages must be given the option to opt-out of future communications.
- Use of newer technologies: Newer communication technologies, such as emails and text messages, may be used in debt collection, with certain limitations to protect consumer privacy.
- Required disclosures: Debt collectors will be obligated to send consumers a disclosure with certain information about the debt and related consumer protections.
- Limited contact: Consumers will be able to limit ways debt collectors contact them, for example at a specific telephone number, while they are at work or during certain hours.
Now that you know the details, how can you prepare?
At Experian, we understand the importance of an effective collections strategy. Our debt collection solutions automate and moderate dialogues and negotiations between consumers and collectors, making it easier for collection agencies to reach consumers while staying compliant.
- Online, hassle-free, negotiations platform: Advance your collections strategy into the digital age with eResolveTM and communicate with consumers in a less-threatening, more cost-effective way. With eResolve, consumers can negotiate and pay their past-due account at their convenience on their smart devices.
- Powerful locating solution: Locate past-due consumers more accurately, efficiently and effectively. TrueTraceSM adds value to each contact by increasing your right-party contact rate.
- Exclusive contact information: Mitigate your compliance risk with a seamless and unparalleled solution. With Phone Number IDTM, you can identify who a phone is registered to, the phone type, carrier and the activation date.
If you aren’t ready for the new CFPB regulation, what are you waiting for?
Note: Click here for an update on the CFPB’s proposal.