From Collector: The Shape of Things to Come
The issues and trends that will be changing the accounts receivable management industry this year.
2/5/2019 11:30 AM
The new year brings a mixed bag of old issues—credit repair organizations flooding agencies with generic mass dispute letters, the lack of Telephone Consumer Protection Act clarity and general regulatory confusion—as well as fresh challenges and opportunities. Collector magazine managing editor Anne Rosso May spoke with several accounts receivable management industry professionals about what we can expect to see in 2019. Here’s what you need to know to prepare your business.
Following is an excerpt from the article in the January issue of Collector magazine.
Rulemaking and More from the CFPB
The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau continues to engage in research and pre-rulemaking activities for debt collection, and said it expects to issue a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) addressing accounts receivable management issues, including communication practices and consumer disclosures, by March 2019.
Of course, it’s important to note that the CFPB’s regulatory agendas are only a rojection of where it expects to be in the rulemaking process; there is no guaranteed time frame. The bureau has pushed back its accounts receivable management industry pre-rule activities many times since first seeking comments in 2013.
The structure and constitutionality of the CFPB continues to be challenged. While the D.C. Circuit Court in the PHH Corp. case found the bureau’s single director structure was constitutional, the New York federal district court in the RD Legal Funding case ruled the bureau’s structure is unconstitutional and the agency should be completely dissolved.
The bureau appealed the decision to the Second Circuit, but this is an issue that could end up in front of the U.S. Supreme Court. Something to note: newly appointed U.S. Supreme Court Judge Brett Kavanaugh wrote the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals majority panel opinion in 2016 declaring the bureau unconstitutional, as well as a lengthy dissent when his decision was overturned.
Call Blocking and Labeling Issues
Call blocking and labeling concerns continue to increase, and this year ACA is committed to educating new members of the 116th Congress about some of the negative consequences these technologies are having on both businesses and consumers, such as impeding legitimate debt collection calls.
As other industries continue to also be swept into this issue, ACA will be working with outside groups on congressional advocacy efforts, including others in the financial services and telecommunications industry.
There is no one solution to this issue, which is why ACA is pursuing a multifaceted strategy to find relief for our members.
Particularly since it’s not clear that the Federal Communications Commission or Federal Trade Commission is going to work to address some of the detrimental impacts of call blocking and labeling technologies, this may be an area where we look to Congress for a directive to the agencies.
Rosso May’s report also includes insights from industry professionals on federal student loans, merger and acquisition trends, state issues including garnishment and mass dispute letters and more.
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