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CFPB Updates Regulatory Agenda; Debt Collection Rule Possibly Coming in Next 12 Months

It’s that time of year again where everyone in the ARM industry gets to try and guess what is going on with the proposed debt collection rule being worked on by the Bureau of Consumer Financial Protection by parsing the agency’s semi-annual rulemaking agenda.

The CFPB published the Spring 2018 version of its itinerary last Thursday, and the proposed debt collection rule is still on the list, along with some indication of what the Bureau is planning. In talking about the proposed rule, the Bureau also made sure to mention that the large number of collection-related complaints submitted by consumers regarding collections is what is now driving the CFPB’s actions.

The Bureau has engaged in research and pre-rulemaking activities regarding the debt collection market, which continues to be a top source of complaints to the Bureau. We are preparing a proposed rule focused on Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA) collectors that may address such issues as communication practices and consumer disclosures.

Earlier this year, Mick Mulvaney, the acting director of the CFPB, said that the agency’s rulemaking and enforcement prerogatives would be driven by data, and used the number of complaints received about debt collections compared with complaints about payday lending as justification for the decision.

The Notice of Proposed Rulemaking is scheduled for March 2019, according to the CFPB, but that is decidedly not a date that is set in stone. The proposed debt collection rule, which would update the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act, has been in the offing for years now. Whether the Detroit Lions win a Super Bowl before the rule is issued is becoming more and more possible, and that’s not because the Lions are getting better.



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