Under New Leadership, CFPB Withdraws Proposed Debt Collection Disclosure Survey

After strong opposition to the survey instrument by ACA and others, the CFPB pulls its request so that new CFPB leadership can review the proposed survey.

12/18/2017 1:00 PM

NewsCFPB
Under New Leadership, CFPB Withdraws Proposed Debt Collection Disclosure Survey

Amidst substantial criticism, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau has formally withdrawn its request to conduct its planned survey on debt collection disclosures. “Bureau leadership would like to reconsider the information collection in connection with its review of the ongoing related rulemaking,” states the notice of action

Given ACA International’s consistent advocacy against the fundamental flaws of the proposed disclosure survey, ACA applauds the bureau’s new leadership for taking this much-needed, positive step. 

Under former Director Richard Cordray, the CFPB planned to seek approval from the Office of Management and Budget to conduct a web-based survey of 8,000 individuals as part of the CFPB’s research on debt collection disclosures. According to the CFPB, it wanted to use the information gathered from the web survey “to help assess whether it can improve the clarity of forms used during debt collection to facilitate consumer decision making,” as well as to help inform the development of future consumer disclosures.  

Although rigorous research is essential to the development of well-reasoned rules, ACA submitted comment letters in response to the CFPB’s two notices opposing the disclosure survey because of serious issues with the survey instrument. Specifically, ACA alerted the CFPB that the disclosure survey contained several shortcomings that would need to be addressed before it could have the “practical utility” required under the Paperwork Reduction Act. 

However, despite strong arguments in the record, the CFPB failed to revise the survey and instead summarily dismissed substantive concerns about the quality, utility, and clarity of the information to be collected. As a result, just last week, ACA submitted comments urging the Office of Management and Budget to deny approval for the CFPB’s proposed debt collection disclosure survey. 

Given the CFPB’s flawed survey instrument and its refusal to revise the questions to accurately measure consumer understanding of the sample disclosure notices, ACA is extremely pleased by the CFPB’s recent decision to withdraw the proposed survey.

As Acting Director of the CFPB, and current Director of the OMB (the agency which would have ultimately decided whether or not to approve the survey), Mick Mulvaney and others new to the bureau rightfully want the opportunity to evaluate actions the CFPB has taken under former Director Cordray related to debt collection and ensure they align with the vision of new bureau leadership for any potential rulemaking activity. 

While the CFPB has sought to develop a body of debt collection research to inform its rulemaking efforts, ACA has consistently pointed out the substantial flaws of that research and its insufficiency to be used as the basis for any potential debt collection rules. Given this, ACA is grateful that new leadership is taking a fresh look at the CFPB’s debt collection rulemaking efforts and looks forward to working with the bureau to discuss issues related to the CFPB’s debt collection research and other activity to date.


Follow ACA International on Twitter @ACAIntl and @acacollector, Facebook and request to join our LinkedIn group for news and event updates. ACA International members are welcome to submit news items for possible publication to comm@acainternational.org. Visit our publications page for news submission guidelines and subscriptions to ACA Daily, Collector magazine and Pulse.

Advertising is available for companies wishing to promote their products or services. Be sure to visit the ACA Events Calendar on the Education and Training page to view our listing of upcoming CORE Curriculum and Hot Topic seminars featuring critical educational opportunities for your company.


Subscribe to ACA Daily NEWSROOM

Under New Leadership, CFPB Withdraws Proposed Debt Collection Disclosure Survey

Amidst substantial criticism, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau has formally withdrawn its request to conduct its planned survey on debt collection disclosures. “Bureau leadership would like to reconsider the information collection in connection with its review of the ongoing related rulemaking,” states the notice of action

Given ACA International’s consistent advocacy against the fundamental flaws of the proposed disclosure survey, ACA applauds the bureau’s new leadership for taking this much-needed, positive step. 

Under former Director Richard Cordray, the CFPB planned to seek approval from the Office of Management and Budget to conduct a web-based survey of 8,000 individuals as part of the CFPB’s research on debt collection disclosures. According to the CFPB, it wanted to use the information gathered from the web survey “to help assess whether it can improve the clarity of forms used during debt collection to facilitate consumer decision making,” as well as to help inform the development of future consumer disclosures.  

Although rigorous research is essential to the development of well-reasoned rules, ACA submitted comment letters in response to the CFPB’s two notices opposing the disclosure survey because of serious issues with the survey instrument. Specifically, ACA alerted the CFPB that the disclosure survey contained several shortcomings that would need to be addressed before it could have the “practical utility” required under the Paperwork Reduction Act. 

However, despite strong arguments in the record, the CFPB failed to revise the survey and instead summarily dismissed substantive concerns about the quality, utility, and clarity of the information to be collected. As a result, just last week, ACA submitted comments urging the Office of Management and Budget to deny approval for the CFPB’s proposed debt collection disclosure survey. 

Given the CFPB’s flawed survey instrument and its refusal to revise the questions to accurately measure consumer understanding of the sample disclosure notices, ACA is extremely pleased by the CFPB’s recent decision to withdraw the proposed survey.

As Acting Director of the CFPB, and current Director of the OMB (the agency which would have ultimately decided whether or not to approve the survey), Mick Mulvaney and others new to the bureau rightfully want the opportunity to evaluate actions the CFPB has taken under former Director Cordray related to debt collection and ensure they align with the vision of new bureau leadership for any potential rulemaking activity. 

While the CFPB has sought to develop a body of debt collection research to inform its rulemaking efforts, ACA has consistently pointed out the substantial flaws of that research and its insufficiency to be used as the basis for any potential debt collection rules. Given this, ACA is grateful that new leadership is taking a fresh look at the CFPB’s debt collection rulemaking efforts and looks forward to working with the bureau to discuss issues related to the CFPB’s debt collection research and other activity to date.


Follow ACA International on Twitter @ACAIntl and @acacollector, Facebook and request to join our LinkedIn group for news and event updates. ACA International members are welcome to submit news items for possible publication to comm@acainternational.org. Visit our publications page for news submission guidelines and subscriptions to ACA Daily, Collector magazine and Pulse.

Advertising is available for companies wishing to promote their products or services. Be sure to visit the ACA Events Calendar on the Education and Training page to view our listing of upcoming CORE Curriculum and Hot Topic seminars featuring critical educational opportunities for your company.


Subscribe to ACA Daily NEWSROOM

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