CFPB Seeks Approval for Debt Collection and Household Balance Sheets Surveys

Timing could make it difficult for Bureau to issue FDCPA rules in March.

2/4/2019 8:00 AM

CFPB Seeks Approval for Debt Collection and Household Balance Sheets Surveys

The CFPB published two notices in Monday’s Federal Register seeking Office of Management and Budget approval for two surveys, one dealing with debt collection and the other with household balance sheets, Barbara S. Mishkin, counsel with Ballard Spahr LLP, wrote in a blog post.

The following is an excerpt from Mishkin’s blog:

Debt collection. The request described in the notice is a resubmission of a previously published request to OMB seeking approval to conduct an online survey of 8,000 individuals as part of its research on debt collection disclosures.  The Bureau withdrew the request in December 2017.  (We surmised that the withdrawal reflected the 30-day regulatory freeze imposed by former Acting Director Mick Mulvaney.)  Comments on the resubmitted request are due on or before March 6, 2019.

In its Fall 2018 rulemaking agenda, the CFPB estimated that a notice of proposed rulemaking regarding debt collection would be issued in March 2019.  The agenda indicated that the NPRM would address “such issues as communication practices and consumer disclosures.”  Since the notice references the CFPB’s “consumer protection rule writing” authority and its reliance on “empirical evidence and rigorous research to improve its understanding of consumer financing markets for regulatory purpose,” the CFPB presumably intends to use the survey results in connection with its debt collection rulemaking.  Accordingly, the survey’s timing would seem to make it unlikely that the Bureau will issue an NPRM in March.

ACA International will continue to follow this story.

To read the entire blog post, click here.

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