ACA International and Debt Collection Industry React to Final Components of CFPB’s Landmark Debt Collection Rule

12/18/2020 09:00 AM

The release of this rule is the biggest development in the accounts receivable management industry since passage of the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act more than 40 years ago.

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Minneapolis, Minnesota – December 18, 2020 – The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s release of part two of its final rule signals another important development in the accounts receivable management (ARM) industry, providing implementing regulations for the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act, which was passed more than 40 years ago.

ACA International submitted comprehensive comments in September 2019 and August 2020 outlining industry viewpoints on the proposed rule. ACA is analyzing part two of the rule released today to determine its full impact on ACA members.

“The bureau provided a model form to address the plethora of ambiguities in the FDCPA concerning the validation of debts, and we are currently analyzing it to determine whether it will be workable for ACA members and their creditor clients, who are providing credit and much-needed products and services such as medical care to consumers across the country,” said ACA CEO Mark Neeb, who was part of the May 2019 debt collection town hall with CFPB Director Kathy Kraninger, ACA staff, ACA members and industry stakeholders at the time the latest proposed rule was announced.

“The current state of the law for out-of-statute debt is unclear, with varying requirements among jurisdictions across the country that cause confusion to collectors and consumers, and generate ongoing, wasteful litigation,” Neeb said. “However, the actions taken in the final rule miss the mark in providing clarity to the industry and consumers to untangle a complex regulatory environment in this area of the law.”

ACA Vice President and Senior Counsel of Federal Advocacy Leah Dempsey added, “ACA is pleased that the bureau has finally completed the much-anticipated rule for the ARM industry, after working on it for nearly seven years and throughout two different administrations. However, our advocacy on behalf of the industry is not done and we will continue to push for needed clarifications so that ACA members can continue to work with consumers who rely on their help to understand their options for preserving the ability to access credit and services in the future.”

ACA is the largest membership organization in the accounts receivable management industry. Founded in 1939, ACA brings together third-party collection agencies, law firms, asset buying companies, creditors and vendor affiliates representing industry professionals. ACA produces a wide variety of products, services and publications, including educational and compliance-related information; and articulates the value of the accounts receivable management industry to businesses, policymakers and consumers.