Preparing for Changes from CFPB

With the changes to the rules surrounding the
Fair Debt Collection Practices Act
(“FDCPA”) on the forefront,
the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (“CFPB”)
warns the debt collection industry to be prepared by making sure
they have a plan for compliance in place.  In recent
interviews, the CPFB announces it expects collection
agencies
to have written policies and procedures detailing how
it plans to comply with the FDCPA and how it plans to reduce and
prevent conduct that may be harmful to
consumers.    

While the CFPB has not specifically outlined any procedures for
compliance with the FDCPA, it warns collection agencies to be aware
of a short list of requirements.  First and foremost,
collection agencies should have a plan to protect consumers from
any
FDCPA violations
.  And second, a plan for any other
consumer minded statutes or issues presenting consumers, including
unfair and abusive practices, collecting on time-barred debts,
robo-calling, etc.  The CFPB
demands that these plans be specifically outlined in writing so
that current and existing employees have a reference and are able
to carry out their employment
responsibly.      

After outlining a plan for compliance, the CFPB expects the debt
collection companies to have procedures in place to ensure
compliance by their employees, including training, seminars,
monitoring conduct and constant revision to any procedures that
seem fit for change.   

The CFPB has set out a list of activities that it
suggests the entire collection industry refer to in drafting its
FDCPA compliance procedures.  First on the list is
litigation.  The CFPB has filed numerous suits against
collectors for
failing to comply with the FDCPA
.  Collection agencies
should refer to these suits to make sure their conduct is in line
with what the CFPB expects.  Second, collectors should review
the CFPB’s briefs relating to new issues presenting debtors for an
idea of conduct the CFPB deems non-compliant.  Third is credit
reporting, the CFPB has addressed issues relating to the effect of
debt on consumer credit reports, a specific area of concern for the
CFPB.  Compliance with the FDCPA should include a better
understanding and compliance with the Fair Credit
Reporting Act
(“FCRA”) as well.  Lastly, collection
agencies should pay attention to the collection of
medical debt
.  Earlier this year, the CFPB issued a report
regarding the affect medical debt has on consumers and their credit
reports.        

If you believe you are the victim of a
violation of the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act
and would
like the advice or assistance of counsel, contact SmithMarco P.C.
for a completely free case
review
.