From CFPBMonitor, a blog run by the law firm of Ballard Spahr, comes this post, which includes a scanned copy of a voluntary debt collection questionnaire sent out by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.
The questionnaire is 60 questions long and is supposed to take about an hour to complete. The CFPB did not return a call asking how many entities received the survey. It was sent out by John McNamara, a collection industry veteran who is the debt collection program manager at the CFPB.
Some of the questions the CFPB is asking in the survey include:
- What type of collection management system is used and whether the vendor or the agency is responsible for making updates
- The different categories of personal information received from creditors, including name, Social Security number, debt ownership history, fee breakdowns, and other documentation
- How many calls are placed and letters sent to consumers
- Data related to the types and volume of complaints filed by consumers
- Skiptracing vendors used
- How payments are accepted
- Whether a compliance management system is used
It’s hard to gauge if the CFPB has a specific objective with the questionnaire because the range of questions is so vast. But it does look like the agency is looking to get a very in-depth analysis of how collection agencies operate. According to a cover letter that was included with the survey, some of the participants who opt to submit their answers may be contacted for phone interviews to further review their operations.
The CFPB is working on a proposed rule governing debt collections and is expected to release the final rule early next year.