ACA In Your Corner: Helping Members Succeed in Advocacy and Education

advocacy underlined with a penWhat is ACA working on right now? Here’s a recap of our recent projects and news coverage, focused on compliance resources, ongoing advocacy on the CFPB’s regulatory approach, updates on text messaging rules from the FCC and changes to the Safeguards Rule compliance deadline.

11/21/2022 1:15 P.M.

6 minute read

ACA International’s team is dedicated to helping members succeed through advocacy, education, compliance resources, communications strategies and much more.

In July, we released our 2022 Midyear Accomplishments report, which details our advocacy leadership at the state and federal level, compliance resource improvements, member services updates and unmatched industry education. Keep an eye out for our end of the year update, coming soon!

Check out these highlights from October and early November that build on the accomplishments in our most recent report—all to help members succeed.

Safeguards Rule Resource Center Delivers Compliance Insights

The FTC’s Safeguards Rule requires financial institutions to develop, implement, and maintain a comprehensive information security program by June 9, 2023. This is an extension from the previous deadline of Dec. 9, 2022, which was achieved thanks in part to ACA’s advocacy on the issue.

According to a news release from the FTC, it is “extending the deadline based on reports, including a letter from the Small Business Administration’s Office of Advocacy, that there is a shortage of qualified personnel to implement information security programs and that supply chain issues may lead to delays in obtaining necessary equipment for upgrading security systems. These difficulties were exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic. These issues may make it difficult for financial institutions, especially small ones, to come into compliance by the deadline.”

In July, on behalf of their members, ACA, the American Financial Services Association, the Consumer Data Industry Association and the National Automobile Dealers Association submitted a letter to the FTC requesting a deadline extension.

The SBA Office of Advocacy’s letter to the FTC supports the arguments made by ACA and input from other industry trade groups, noting the impact the deadline has on small entities like ACA’s members.

Find more details and access ACA’s Safeguards Rule Resource Center online.

ACA Addresses CFPB’s Exclusionary Actions in Letter to Bureau and Shared with Congress

ACA outlined the myriad of actions the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau has taken outside of the rulemaking process and their negative impact for the accounts receivable management (ARM) industry in a letter to CFPB Director Rohit Chopra.

These actions include the bureau’s apparent objectives to completely remove any reference to outstanding medical debts from all credit reports and the interpretive rule issued as an advisory opinion on “junk fees” in the debt collection market, among several others that ACA has been tracking and responding to on behalf of members as part of our advocacy strategy.

This letter follows ACA’s widespread advocacy campaign outlining concerns with the CFPB’s actions related to medical debt and credit reporting in a message sent to several congressional committees as well as House and Senate leaders Nancy Pelosi, Kevin McCarthy, Charles Schumer and Mitch McConnell.

ACA is also focusing on outreach with the House Financial Services Committee, Senate Committee on Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs and the Senate and House small business committees related to its widespread concerns with the CFPB’s approach to rulemaking and stakeholder involvement in issues that impact businesses and consumers.

Learn more about ACA’s advocacy with the CFPB in this article.

Hunstein Decision: What Members and ACA Staff Are Saying

As the dust continues to settle from the ruling in Hunstein v. Preferred Collection & Management Services, ACA member agency owners, attorneys, vendors and leaders shared their initial thoughts on the case outcome and what might be next for their business procedures and compliance and legal strategies.

This case also threatened the larger financial services industry, including the consumers that rely on it for products and services.

“Not only did the 2021 Hunstein opinion produce hundreds of copycat lawsuits across the U.S., but it also undermined many important consumer compliance protections built into using vendors,” said ACA CEO Scott Purcell. “It is a relief to see that many of the broader negative implications of this case have now been mitigated.”

Agency owners want to know how this decision will impact their operations, especially if they have brought their letter process in-house. Can they reconnect with their letter vendor or should they stay the course?

Find more member perspectives and insights on the case in ACA’s coverage here.

Tips to Prepare for NMLS License Renewal

The Nationwide Multistate Licensing System (NMLS) annual license renewal period is currently underway as of Nov. 1, 2022.

State regulators are urging businesses in the mortgage, money transmission, debt collection and consumer financial services industries to prepare ahead of time, according to an article from the Conference of State Bank Supervisors.

ACA’s report on the license renewal period covers tips to prepare.

ACA and Joint Industry Trade Groups See Progress on Call Blocking Notifications Processes

ACA and joint industry trade groups met with the Federal Communications Commission to discuss how it can improve call blocking notifications as required under the Telephone Robocall Abuse Criminal Enforcement and Deterrence (TRACED) Act.

The meeting included ACA, the American Association of Healthcare Administrative Management; Credit Union National Association; American Express; American Bankers Association; National Association of Federally-Insured Credit Unions and the National Council of Higher Education Resources. The purpose was to discuss how the FCC can best ensure that the associations’ members and other lawful callers are provided with meaningful, immediate notification when their outbound calls are blocked by telephone companies using analytics engines.

ACA’s report on the groups’ comments and the meeting with the FCC is available for more information.

ACA Visionaries and Fall Forum Conferences Build Connections in Chicago

ACA’s return to Chicago for the 2022 Fall Forum kicked off with the Visionaries Conference, an engaging day of business networking with professionals and their allies in the industry, career empowerment and personal growth.

Individuals at every level of an organization participated in sessions led by ACA board members, members of the Women in Collections Resource Committee, ACA staff and other industry experts. The engaging, interactive Visionaries Conference explored work-life balance, building confidence and negotiation skills.

The Visionaries group joined Fall Forum exhibitors, speakers, and attendees in the Expo Hall to kick off the 2022 Fall Forum, which is featured in more coverage from ACA here.

CFPB Takes Case Challenging Funding Structure to the U.S. Supreme Court

The CFPB has filed a petition for certiorari with the U.S. Supreme Court to review a 5th Circuit Court of Appeals’ decision declaring the bureau’s funding structure is unconstitutional.

ACA has long advocated for the bureau’s funding to be through the congressional appropriations process.

“Funding through the congressional appropriations process for the CFPB will bring value to regulated entities and consumers in terms of greater transparency and following the existing rules to get better outcomes for the American public by involving all relevant parties in decision-making,” said ACA CEO Scott Purcell. “The congressional appropriations process was contemplated to create a strong balance of all stakeholders and, being that it’s a matter of constitutional law that is being decided, we respect the process that is about to unfold.”

In designing the CFPB, Congress debated various structures and ultimately, in a partisan manner, opted for as little accountability as possible, which has been problematic ever since, noted Leah Dempsey, ACA’s lobbyist and shareholder at Brownstein Hyatt Farber Schreck.

Find more details and updates on ACA’s advocacy on the case in coverage from ACA.

Subscribe to ACA Daily through your My ACA profile to keep up with similar news and advocacy projects.

If you have executive leadership updates or other member news to share with ACA, contact our communications department at [email protected]. View our publications page for more information and our news submission guidelines here.

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