ACA International will ramp up grassroots advocacy efforts through the deadline with continued opportunities for members to get involved.
Less than a month from the original deadline and with close to 2,000 comments filed to date, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau extended the comment period for the proposed rule to modernize the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act to Sept. 18, 2019.
“ACA International will be moving forward with its advocacy efforts to ensure members’ voices are represented in the final rulemaking and utilizing the additional time to further ensure the best possible outcome for the accounts receivable management industry,” said Leah Dempsey, ACA’s vice president and senior counsel of federal advocacy. “It is critical for the industry to be engaged in this process and to work closely with ACA as it continues to advocate for additional clarity for the accounts receivable management industry.”
According to the Federal Register notice from Director Kathy Kraninger, the CFPB received written requests to extend the comment period from “consumer advocates and an industry trade group” by either 60 or 90 days. “The requests indicate that the interested parties would use the time to conduct additional outreach to relevant constituencies and to properly address the many questions presented in the NPRM.”
The new deadline is to strike a balance between the groups’ requests and allow more time for preparing responses without delaying the debt collection rulemaking, according to Kraninger’s report. “The bureau has balanced interested parties’ desire to have additional time to consider the issues raised in the NPRM, gather data, and prepare their responses, with the bureau’s interest in proceeding expeditiously with the debt collection rulemaking,” she said in the report.
ACA International is continuing to work diligently to compile feedback and a comprehensive comment letter on the rule proposal through a grassroots advocacy effort and appreciates the opportunity to continue to work with members and the bureau on an extended deadline.
In its current state, the proposed rule includes:
- Certain disclosures, such as an itemization of the debt and plain-language information about how a consumer may respond to a collection attempt, including by disputing the debt.
- Methods by which debt collectors may lawfully use newer communication technologies, such as voicemails, emails and text messages.
- Methods by which collectors may provide required disclosures electronically, for example, by email or text message.
- Call frequency limits of no more than seven attempts by telephone per week; prohibiting call attempts within 7 days of a telephone conversation.
- Out-of-statute debt collection, by prohibiting suits and threats of suit on time-barred debts and requiring communication with the consumer before credit reporting.
Members are encouraged to review the proposed rule (text of rule starting on page 447) and ACA’s summary of it here. ACA will continue to work closely with the CFPB to advocate on behalf of the accounts receivable management industry and to ensure that the final rule will be beneficial for the debt collection industry and consumers alike.
Members may now continue to join the advocacy campaign until the close of the comment period. ACA will provide additional information about member webinars and opportunities to learn more about how to file individual comments in the next few days.
Here is how you can file comments:
- Federal eRulemaking Portal: http://www.regulations.gov. Follow the instructions for submitting comments.
- Email: [email protected]. Include Docket No. CFPB-2019-0022 or RIN 3170-AA41 in the subject line of the email.
- Mail: Comment Intake—Debt Collection, Bureau of Consumer Financial Protection, 1700 G Street NW, Washington, DC 20552.
- Hand Delivery/Courier: Comment Intake—Debt Collection, Bureau of Consumer Financial Protection, 1700 G Street NW, Washington, DC 20552.
Make sure to include Docket No. CFPB-2019-0022 or RIN 3170-AA41 on your comments.
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