ACA Seeks Engagement with California Consumer Protection Agency


Outreach efforts focus on providing education about the industry to inform the new agency’s enforcement and regulatory processes.

3/3/2021 15:00

As the new California Department of Financial Protection and Innovation (DFPI) takes hold this year, ACA International seeks to meet with the agency’s leadership to provide education on the accounts receivable management (ARM) industry.

“ACA would like to coordinate opportunities for the DFPI to learn more about our industry and start a dialogue with our Board of Directors and staff. As you continue to launch the DFPI and implement the California Consumer Financial Protection Law (CCFPL), it is critical that you have a comprehensive understanding of the ARM industry and the consumers that rely on us to continue to access credit and services,” CEO Mark Neeb said in a letter to DFPI Commissioner Manuel Alvarez.

 In 2020, the California Consumer Financial Protection Law (CCFPL) effectively created the DFPI by renaming and substantially recasting the powers and structure of the Department of Business Oversight. The CCFPL granted the DFPI new and stronger regulatory powers, which took effect Jan. 1, 2021, increased its staffing levels, and created two new sub-agencies, the Division of Consumer Financial Protection and the Office of Financial Technology, ACA previously reported.

On Jan. 19, less than a month after the DFPI saw its regulatory powers expanded, it issued subpoenas to 12 debt collection agencies with significant customer bases in California.

“ACA hopes that the DFPI will act just as swiftly in starting a dialogue with this industry it has been charged to regulate,” Neeb said. “ACA appreciates and fully supports the DFPI’s efforts to go after bad actors in the industry, but we feel a better approach would be to learn about the industry first, then to investigate from that knowledge base.”

The letter includes several factors for the DFPI to consider in developing regulations to implement the CCFPL:

  • Create an open dialogue with stakeholders.
  • Strive for clarity and uniformity.
  • Recognize the diverse nature of the industry.
  • Create a transparent enforcement environment.

ACA is working on setting up a meeting with the agency to further discuss issues impacting the industry.