CFPB Outlook: Final Debt Collection Rule on Schedule for this Year


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Policy Associate Director Tom Pahl talks with members about rulemaking plans and response to COVID-19 at the bureau. Editor’s note: This article is available for members only.

6/3/2020 11:00

Just over a year since the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau released its proposed rule for the debt collection industry, Tom Pahl, policy associate director for research, markets and regulations, provided an update on its timeline for this year and compliance dates.

Pahl, speaking during the Washington Insights Livestream conference June 3, said the industry can expect a final debt collection rule in the fall and a universal compliance date for out-of-statute debt disclosures and validation notices, for example.

“We are cognizant of the importance of a compliance date,” Pahl said.

He said the CFPB has heard about how debt collectors are helping consumers throughout the COVID-19 crisis and reviewed updates to the consumer complaint database.

Pahl candidly talked with members Tim Collins, chief compliance office with TrueAccord Corp., and Mike Frost, partner, Malone Frost Martin PLLC, about initiatives at the bureau in response to COVID-19, insights on enforcement actions and examinations by the CFPB and analyzing comments from the industry after the proposed debt collection rule was issued.

We’ve kept up the pace with what we’ve been working on,” Pahl said.

ACA members and staff also met via phone with Pahl, CFPB Assistant Director of Consumer Lending John McNamara and Assistant Director for Regulations Susan Bernard on May 19 to discuss the supplemental proposal on out-of-statute debt and proposed debt collection rule, including the patchwork of state laws that create a problem, and disclosure options detailed in a Notice of Ex Parte Presentation Debt Collection Practices (Regulation F) Supplemental Proposal on Time-Barred Debt (SNPRM) [Docket No. CFPB-2020-0010].

Pahl said in general the CFPB continues its supervision and enforcement and consumer education while listening to feedback from financial services industry professionals about challenges they face during the COVID-19 crisis.

For example, Pahl talked with Frost and Collins about misconceptions about garnishment by debt collectors from consumers’ stimulus checks.

He said he knows the process is rare and if it happens it is often accidental on the part of debt collectors and that effective redress options are in place.

“There are positive things collectors are doing in their actions with consumers, and we want to continue to encourage that,” Pahl said.

Members may read additional coverage of the Washington Insights Livestream here.

Thank you to our sponsors, VoApps, (title sponsor), Solutions by Text, FICO, Applied Innovation and Kaulkin Ginsberg, speakers and attendees.

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